Give the gift of beautiful books for families
Exquisite books are a great way to bring the family together during the holidays. Give these gifts to someone you love, and bridge the generation gap
Phaidon’s books are known globally for their quality, design, and timeless beauty. Mature, cultured readers are perhaps most familiar with these aspects of our publishing house, but families and younger readers also recognise a great edition when they see one.
Our World is one such book. This new title, for readers aged between two and five, is a detailed and wondrous introduction to the beauty and variety of different environments to be found on planet earth.
The book’s author, the award-winning children’s writer Sue Lowell Gallion, has produced both a brief, rhyming text to carry young and old readers from page to page, as well as a more detailed series of explanations of the kind of geography to be found in the rainforests, among the grasslands, and at the polar ice caps.
Illustrator Lisk Feng brings these descriptions to life with her evocative drawings, that both capture the detailed beauty of the places Gallion describes, and introduces an innocent sense of discovery to the page.
That sense of discovery is brought to life, when Our World is folded out into a freestanding globe, to give readers both young and old a three-dimensional reminder of our incredibly varied planet, and perhaps inspiration for trips they might like to take when they're older.
My Art Book of Love opens preschoolers up to another quite different, though equally beautiful world–the art world. In this ingeniously simple book reproduces a series of handsome works by such famous artists as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Gustav Klimt and Robert Indiana, all of which have one theme in common: love.
Author Shana Gozansky weaves together a witty, gentle text about love and the accompanying painting or sculpture, that can be read aloud quite easily, while the names of each artist and work is included on the page for clarity and reference.
The book is a great way to share a love of contemporary art with younger generations. As the New York Times put it in its review, “This gorgeous, luxurious-feeling board book for toddlers and preschoolers explains how love makes us feel by introducing great works by diverse artists.”
For a longer look at one artist in particular, parents and children should also check out Yayoi Kusama Covered Everything in Dots and Wasn’t Sorry. This charming, cartoon-ish board book by the Italian writer and illustrator Fausto Gilberti, takes art lovers aged four to seven through the incredible life and work of the Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama.
Gilberti’s story takes us from Kusama’s childhood in Japan through to her wild early days in New York, and, in so doing, explains her poppy, dotty work in a way that young readers can truly understand.
Fellow artist, author and illustrator Tomi Ungerer might not have quite the same standing as Kusama, but he did live as tumultuous and varied a life. Nonstop, the final book by Ungerer, who passed away in February 2019, is a beautiful, uncompromising, contemporary fairytale, told to pique both childish wonder, and stimulate later-life skills.
Ungerer's story concerns young Vasco, who has to survive in a time where Earth is devastated and abandoned. Wandering the empty streets, with only his shadow for company, Vasco soon discovers that his ever-changing, penumbral companion can actually warn him of danger ahead.
After escaping a series of pitfalls his shadow leads him to a strange creature called Nothing. It becomes clear that Vasco must get Nothing’s child, Poco, to safety. Together they flee through apocalyptic landscapes until, finally, they reach a safe haven.
Nonstop might be aimed at children, yet its story is freighted with weighty, adult knowledge. “In a world now facing environmental catastrophe and a resurgence of fascist sympathies in Europe and the Americas, Nonstop could not be more timely,” wrote the award-winning author Dave Eggers in his New York Times review. “Ungerer has created an all-ages classic, a fitting capstone on a fearless career–and just in time.”
To find out more about all these books, and many others, visit the gifting section in our store, and discover exquisite books for the holidays.