I was sorting through my daughters’ books recently, and I came across an art children’s book that I totally left out when I did my art-inspired children’s book recommendations a few months ago (post 1, post 2). I cannot believe I left this out, because it is probably my favorite children’s book EVER!
It is called Lily Brown’s Paintings by Angela Johnson and E.B. Lewis, and it is pure magic.
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It is about a girl who loves her life and her family. She also loves to paint. She paints creative and wondrous things. She loves to get lost in her art, but at the end of the day, she loves to come back to the real world with her family. It is about imagination, creativity, and love.
This line always gives me chills when I read it:
In Lily Brown’s paintings
softly blowing rose-colored winds
bring voices from across the ocean
to tell stories that she has never heard.
Then, she listens…
and paints with blues and orange
to let the wind know
she has heard them.
But nothing beats the end, when she remembers how happy she is in her life.
at the end of the day when Lily Brown
is about to put her paints away,
she remembers her mama’s smile,
her daddy’s eyes,
and the way her baby brother
holds her hand before he goes to sleep.
It’s their world again,
and it’s wondrous.
Honestly, I just got chills and teared up again just typing that.
Am I crazy? Am I the only one who finds this book to be so amazing? Let me know in the comments what you think after you read it. Am I the only one who cries when they read kid’s books? This is not the only one. Please tell me I’m normal.
You are definitely not the only one who cries over children’s books. I do so on a semi-regular basis. A good children’s book has something for all ages and can speak straight to the heart. At least, that’s my take on why they can make us cry and I’m stickin’ to it.
I’ve not read this book, but I now must go find it. The excerpts are fantastic.
Cindy, The Art Curator for Kids
It’s so lovely! 🙂 I totally cried in the third knuffle bunny book too.
SheilaJ (a Canadian!)
I am a retired Children’s Literature teacher. You’e not the only one who cries. I could write a very long list : the best of children’s picture books have always touched me. Here are two picture books by Canadian authors who never fail to touch people (young and old) the first is “Love You Forever” by Robert Munch. The second is “Waiting for Whales.” I think the author is Sherry Macfarlane. What I do remember is the illustrations by Ron Lightburn. They lend an air of magical realism to the the story.
Oh, thank you so much for the recommendations! I’m especially interested in the whales one because I am a little bit obsessed with whales.