Arthur's Book Reviews at 21 months

Andy Warhol's Colors by Susan Goldman Rubin

Arthur loves color, and as I mentioned before, the arts are very important to Justin and me, and Justin's parents are artists, so we really want to instill in the boy a strong love of art; for those reasons, I picked up Andy Warhol's Colors at the cutest little pop art store (Pop Gallery) in Downtown Disney (think Suess prints, Kosheki dolls, wooden robot toys, and original pop art everywhere--I was smitten).  

Neither Justin nor I are big Warhol fans (gasp!) just as we are not really (hope I don't lose readers for saying this) Kahlo fans, much to the chagrin of generally everyone we know.  But we do enjoy some of their art and certainly their contributions to modern art.  

That said, the book is a lovely, bright, enchanting display of color, and Arthur loves looking at the pink cows, the blue horse, the golden butterfly (Vanishing Animals: Butterfly, c.1986 [Yellow on Purple]), and it's not one of those generic, run-of-the-mill Learn about Colors kind of books.  Seeing color in context is cool, but sometimes I think Arthur looks a t a red ball and doesn't know if red means the ball or the color or the shape. The Warhol book emphasizes color so strongly that I believe the colors are unquestionable even to a toddler.

Nutsy the Robot books by Mark Shulman

 Nutsy the Robot books are by far Arthur's new Is Your Mama a Llama? (his favorite around 9 months or so all the way up to about 15 months or so).  He has loved these books for a while, but his love only seems to grow with time.  It's a pop-up book collection, and Arthur loves rotating Rusty's arms to help him clean up for bed, and I love that the books focus on rituals that we are working on ourselves.  And it's no big secret that Yorktown Owens dig the heck out of robots (add to Arthur's limited vocabulary the peculiar fact that he says the word "robot" quite well).    I wish there were more than two of these books for us to enjoy.

Another thing I love about these books is that they are rhymed in alternating iambic tetrameter and trimeter a la Emily Dickinson (the meter of the "Gilligan's Island" theme song or "Amazing Grace,":

ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum

ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum

ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum

ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum

Dickinson is one of my favorite poets, and after having familiarized Arthur with the meter and rhyme, I sometimes read her poems to him.  

Given his way, Arthur would have us read Nutsy the Robot over and over again.  There are two things Arthur just can't get his fill of: Nutsy books and bananas.


Hush, Little Alien by Daniel Kirk

This book is that classic, soothing nursery rhyme in outer space and with four-armed, candy-nosed aliens.  What more can I say?  We all love it.  Instead of a diamond ring and a mockingbird, the little alien dude gets a laser beam and a tool belt to build a rocket ship...freaking sweet. Replace the word "alien" with your kid's name, and the little man will be utterly entranced.  Sing it, and you have a lullaby that doesn't make you feel like an anachronistic 19th-century wetnurse.  

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