Recently I got a new board book for Bella, A Picnic with Monet. It’s a cute little book that weds 10 Monet paintings with a simple rhyming text. Bella loves it and I love having a book for her that has fine art pictures that I also enjoy looking at.
Fine art books like this one seem to be a new trend in publishing for the toddler set and I hope to eventually acquire a whole set of these board books. However, the board books I’ve been able to find thus far are all impressionist paintings and I could wish for a greater variety.
Tonight as we were saying evening prayer, I had a sudden brainstorm: How cool would it be to have board books for Bella with a selection of good fine art images of Christ, Mary and the saints? I’ve been showing her the pictures and statues in church, of course, and we have quite a few Madonnas hanging around the house; but I’d love to have a board book that I could read with her and which she could page through on her own.
She loves carrying around her books and frequently sits down and flips through them, looking at the pictures and chattering to herself. She especially loves one book that has a photo of a dog in it. She picks it up, opens it to the dog and then begins making her doggie noise: “uffh, uffh, uffh.” Wouldn’t it be neat to see her getting as excited over pictures of Mary and Baby Jesus?
I do have a couple of fine art picture books, A Child’s Book of Prayer in Art, and a Nativity story with images from the Metropolitan Museum. But I don’t let her carry around the picture books for obvious reasons; they’d be confetti by the end of the day.
Given the popularity of educational books and toys for the toddler set, I can’t help but feel there’s a market here waiting to be exploited. If only I knew someone in Catholic publishing so I could drop a bug into their ear. This is a great project because it wouldn’t cost much. It wouldn’t need a writer, just an editor to select a few pictures. And I bet with the entire history of great Catholic art to choose from you could find some photos that weren’t too terribly expensive.
Anyway, that’s my brilliant idea for the day. Just thought I’d share. Because in the world of blogging, you never know who’s reading.