An All-time Great Kid's Book!
OK, maybe it's most ideal for a 4-year-old boy, but "The Sailor Dog" is a masterpiece of art and writing that will appeal to anyone, kid or grownup. The paintings are just over the top perfect and colorful. "Oh, I'm Scuppers the Sailor Dog!"
Painter: Garth Williams
Writer: Margaret Wise Brown
To me, there needs to be a t-shirt made of a Scuppers page-painting. I also find the kind of sailboat depicted and the way of life aboard it to be inspirational for life. (But then I like pictures of animal burrows with armchairs and coathooks, and animal treehouses and such, and get inspired by those, too.)
Of interest is that M. W. Brown's body of work was first rejected, even suppressed, when it came out in the 50's. They were not books for teaching morals to kids but depicted a childlike sense of experience. They were break-thrus. The librarian of New York City rejected her work as strange and unfit for children and declined to support it with reviews in the national journal she edited for the library. It was probably known around town that the stylish Brown was a lesbian. As a result, no one bought the books. But Brown broke thru anyway (due to wealth and connections?) and became known as one of the all-time great children's book writers, with "Goodnight Moon" and "Runaway Bunny," among many others. This was a period of great change in education and psychology and her simple, childlike art was part of it. The main artists she worked with also rose to the level of all-time greats. This was before the period of Dr. Seuss, who also faced resistance against first his silliness then his radicalism.