One of my favorite children’s illustrators

We’ve been reading a lot of books around here lately, and Helen has discovered a love for Nadine Bernard Westcott.

I first discovered Westcott when Henry was about Helens’ age. I checked out Hello, Snow! from the library and absolutely fell in love with the joyful rhyme by Hope Vestergaard. With passages like “Hello, sock./ Good bye, toe./ Hold on, piggies –/ In you go!” this book captures the thrill of a young child playing in the snow. And Westcott’s playful illustrations add immeasurably to the fun.

Westcott has also done her own series of books, Sing Along Stories, in which she takes a classic children’s rhyme (Mary Had a Little Lamb, Yankee Doodle, Miss Mary Mack, etc.), expands it and illustrates it. Her illustrations are so full of life and movement and provide for endless conversations and enjoyment with young children.  My current favorite, and Helen’s, is Skip to My Lou. In Westcott’s take on the traditional tale, not only are the flies in the sugar bowl, but the cats have made a mess of the buttermilk, and the cows are in the kitchen making pancakes which the pigs are eating in the parlor. The entire farm is in chaos until the farmer and his wife are due to return in 15 minutes! 

Westcott is a genius and I thank her for the treasure she’s given me to share with my children.

(Oh, and as a bonus, the simple text set to music is a great way to develop early reading skills!)

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