Saturday, May 28, 2011

2. That's My Name!

Match a baby's first name with classic characters and their stories.

For a baby named Nicholas, the Nicholas series, by Rene Goscinny, illustrated by Jean-Jacques Sempe (Phaidon, $9.95 pbk - $19.95 hbk, 2005-2008) Reprints of five classic French novels about the hilarious escapades of a school boy and his friends.

If her name is Mary, The Secret Garden, written by Frances Hodgson Burnett, illustrated by Inga Moore (Candlewick, $14.99 pbk or $22.99 hbk, 2001). A secret garden springs to life under the tender care of Mary Lennox, her spoiled invalid cousin Colin and Dickon, a Yorkshire boy.

Just right for an Alice, Lewis Caroll's Alice in Wonderland books, illustrated by a variety of artists, including Helen OxenburyRobert Sabuda and Rodney Matthews. The enchanting tale of a girl who falls down a rabbit hole into a world of irresistible nonsense. Also, consider giving Kevin Henkes new short story Junonia about another Alice, who on the verge of age 10 discovers that life isn't always exactly what she expected and that she likes herself just as she is, mole and all.

Or select books by favorite authors who share a baby's first name.

For a boy named Leo, Leo Lionni's four Caldecott Honor-winning classics, Inch by Inch, FrederickAlexander and the Wind-Up Mouse and Swimmy (Random House, $17.99, hdbk or $6.99 pbk, 1960s). Sumptuous collages illustrate fables of friendship and self-acceptance.

If she's named Holly, a bundle of Toot and Puddle books by Holly Hobbie: among my favorites, Toot & Puddle (the first book), You are My Sunshine, Let it Snow! and Top of the World. (Little, Brown, $6.99 pbk and $15.95 hbk, 2002-2011)

For a baby named Julia, Julia Donaldson's rhyming delights: including Room on a Broom, The Gruffalo and The Snail and the Whale, all illustrated by Axel Sheffler. (Arthur A. Levine and Puffin, $6.99 pbk -$16.99 hdbk, 2001-2011)

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