These Farmhouse Bookshelves (Birthday Boy Edition)

Today, he turns four. My beautiful boy.

These are the books we read together. These are the books that will one day bring me to tears when I pack them up in boxes.

This Saturday’s book recommendations are all Beau-approved. And he is one discerning little guy.

a new walker

I can no longer remember if I bought this book with Beau in mind. I think I did. All children love balloons, but Beau’s adoration is of long standing and un-paralleled intensity. Emily’s Balloon by Komako Sakai is beautiful. A book for little people and their grownups.

The story is simple but profound. The illustrations will melt your heart.

Best of all, this sweet little story of a girl and her balloon was one of the few books Beau was willing to sit through at age two that he still enjoys today.

This one’s a keeper.

Christie & Beau

Helen Oxenbury is one of my favorite children’s book illustrators. King Jack and the Dragon by Peter Bently, and illustrated by Oxenbury, was definitely purchased with Beau in mind.

Here is another one for littles and their parents. We appreciate the story of a child’s imaginative play (complete with giants who turn out to be mom and dad coming to bring Jack in for bed), and they get inspired to build their own backyard, dragon-proof, tent fortresses.

This is an old-fashioned book that doesn’t feel even the slightest bit old.

smiley beau

Alphabet books are funny things. They tend to feel baby-ish, and we often acquire them when our children are too little for alphabet lessons. The inscription in my copy of Gyo Fujikawa’s A to Z Picture Book reminds me that I bought this one for Beau’s first Christmas (he was eight months old).

Most books purchased too early begin to fade into the wallpaper of our lives. Understandably, we forget to pull them out when they might be age-appropriate. Thankfully, I remembered this one in time.

Beau (unlike his older brother at this age) has a strong fascination with the alphabet. I’m not sure if it’s an interest unique to him or if he’s been inspired by his two older book-reading siblings, but this book is exactly what he needs right now. It’s the kind of book he can actually “read,” and that means a great deal to this always-trailing-two-steps-behind third born boy.

Alphabet books are a dime a dozen, aren’t they? This one, however, is a work of art. Fujikawa’s illustrations are equal parts adorable and intricate. There is a gorgeous mix of black-and-white ink drawings and softer pastel full-color spreads.

This is a book to linger over, searching each drawing, slowly turning pages.

This is a book for sharing, side-by-side, underneath a quilt on a rainy day.

And only the best books are snuggling books.

a genuine Beau smile


Happy birthday, Beau. I love you.



p.s. I know you better than I did last year. You are one year closer to the Beau I glimpsed in that river of prayer.


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