Why should your books get all the coffee table glory? Nowadays, some children's books are so beautiful, they are truly coffee table-worthy. Here are four of our favorites we love as much as our children do...
•Life Doesn't Frighten Me at All by Maya Angelou and Jean-Michel Basquiat
The words of Maya Angelou and the images of Jean-Michel Basquiat seem to have been made for each other as they marry in the book with the same name as Angelou's poem Life Doesn't Frighten Me at All.
16 plates by Basquiat illustrate Angelou's poem which taps into fears everyone has -- whether you're a child or not -- and shows with humor and heart that life doesn't have to be frightening if you face your fears.
While at first glance it may appear that Basquiat's work is too scary for younger children, it really isn't. Our son is fascinated by the colors, the lines and boldness of his work.
•Leonardo, The Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
What do you get when you mix a monster who wants to scare the tuna salad out of someone but can't, along with whimsical illustrations? You get Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Sesame Street alum, Mo Willems.
Leonardo teaches children that while you may not be good at some things, there's certainly a niche out there for you to fill. Plus, it's just really darn cute.
•Black? White! Day? Night! by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
An ALA Notable Children's Book Award winner, Vaccaro Seeger's book teaches children about opposites in an interactive and engaging way. This cool book takes kids through various comparisons of opposites using die cut-outs and flaps on each page: a tiny bug becomes an elephant's eye, a black bat becomes a white ghost, something simple turns into something complicated -- all with the turn of the page or the lift of a flap.
•Flotsam by David Wiesner
Winner of the 2007 Caldecott Medal, Flotsam is a picture book which depicts a boy's day at the beach which begins as ordinary and ends up as extraordinary. He finds a camera that has film with photos of wondrous underwater worlds and images no one else has seen. We've noticed this book is quite popular among young art students, perhaps because of its graphic novel feel.
So next time your rearranging your coffee table, remember that there are some books out there you can set out which the entire family can admire and read.