I can't believe I've been blogging for almost 2 years now, and I have yet to mention a Jan Brett picture book! Maybe it was just that I assumed everyone already knew about them. You probably do, but I just couldn't help mentioning them just before Christmas.
Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, she has so many winter-related themes to many of her books. So, just about any child would get a kick out of them this time of year. Everyone might not have snow, but everyone can still dream about it, can't they?
Even though Leo Lionni is my absolute favorite picture book author, Jan Brett comes in as a close second. Each of her books has a unique style of writing and illustration that you can spot right off the bat. While you may dread reading certain picture books over and over, these are just of such a high quality that even adults will delight in reading, or even just looking at them, over and over!
Ms. Brett writes fables and retells folktales so beautifully that I don't think there's a child out there who wouldn't love her books. Even without the words, the museum quality illustrations tell a story in and of themselves. There's so much going on; and the borders around each page provide extra details about what is happening, or what will happen next. What a way to get the imagination going.
While my three favorites are The Hat (which is fun for young children to act out), The Mitten 20th Anniversary Edition, and Trouble with Trolls, which are perfect for the 4 to 6 age range, she also has some wonderful Christmas related books. You can check them all out at Amazon's page of Jan Brett's picture books.
It's rare to find an author who has such an extraordinary way with words and pictures. Jan Brett has a gift for every family in the world. It's not just the gift of reading, but the joy of creating wonderful memories together through the best of children's literature. So, even if you've read most of her books 20 times, please enjoy the experience while you still can! Children grow up all too quickly.