A few months ago a reader commented on a post that I had written and intrigued by the commenter’s name, I clicked on the hyperlink which took me to my new favourite book site: Turtle and Robot.
Turtle And Robot is a children’s book review site that features beautifully written and illustrated storybooks in addition to young adult fiction novels. No glitzy, over commercialized, poorly written tales here.
Jennifer Lavonier, the author of the site knows her stuff! Having been an avid reader and collector of children’s books all her life, Jennifer spent 8 years managing and buying books for Books of Wonder in New York City. It was during her time there that she honed her interest in children’s literature even further and developed a keen understanding for the genre’s history.
Furthermore, Ms. Lavonier went on to work for Maurice Sendak (Yes, that guy! Author of Where The Wild Things Are and Bumble-Ardy . . . just to name a few) where she witnessed a master at his craft and truly learned to appreciate the intricacies of creating a beloved and timeless tale.
After reading Ms. Lavonier’s philosophy I developed a slight crush on her and have decided that she is someone I would want to be friends with in “real-life”. Her passion for reading, educating and exciting youth transcends the pages of her blog and will do nothing short of inspire you to look for special, meaningful books to share with your children.
My favourite post from Turtle and Robot is one of her more recent ones. Discussing a Difficult Topic: Death provides parents with a carefully vetted list of sensitively written and beautifully illustrated books about death (appropriate from as young as 2 years old). Jennifer Lavoiner suggests that it’s much easier to introduce the idea of death to children before a loved one or family pet passes.
I am very grateful to have discovered Turtle and Robot as Jennifer Lavonier has the done the work for me by choosing the perfect books to share with my little guys whether it be a lesson I am hoping to teach, a discussion I am hoping to have or a cuddle that is long over due.
It is, isn’t it?
I’m overwhelmed by your kind words. Thank you so very much.
Thanks for passing along that website! Another book I would recommend about death: Gentle Willow, by Joyce A. Mills. It is meant especially for children with a potentially terminal illness (and it chokes me up just to contemplate reading it in that kind of situation), but it is also a good book for other children too.