What a magical time you're having these days. Ahhh.
The Wind in the Willows was one of those Stuart Little moments for me. I think I tried engaging my kids in the book at too young an age -- and I didn't have the amazing help of Inga Moore's illustrations. It was a book that I had loved, but that never took with my next generation.
Inga Moore is great. She's also done a heavily-illustrated, unabridged
The Secret Garden which is gorgeous.
Sticking with good illustration and three or four year-olds, I wanted to talk about a new and lovely book by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Renata Liwska:
The Quiet Book.
There are many kinds of quiet:/ First one awake quiet/jelly side down quiet/Don't scare the robin quiet/Others telling secrets quiet....
The whole book is a list. The pictures are good (bordering on cute, maybe, but still very expressive), and the situations cover a huge range. What I love about this book is that it's such a good one to talk about with a child. It gives you the opportunity to delve into how one feels in response to a whole gamut of stimuli. It's so much more natural than sitting down with a clunky this-is-how-we-feel book (I am a deep disliker of the dreaded Berenstain bears -- but that can hold for another day). And there's so much to imagine. An excellent conversation starter.