Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas gift idea for the kids.

Got young kids to buy for? You're welcome. I found this book when I was in Trinity College with my friends Hannah and Stan came to visit me. (Okay, they weren't here to visit me, they were here to travel. But they did stay with me.) Trinity College is the famous university here in Dublin that houses the Book of Kells.

Book of Kells? Anyone? Look it up.

Anyway, Hannah was looking for a children's book to buy for her mother, who is an elementary school librarian, and we stumbled across this one. I can't tell you how cute it is. It's called The Comical Celtic Cat by Norah Golden. It's the story of a fat cat who belongs to a monk named Matt. Who lives in Kells, the town of the bells. As you might have guessed, it's written in a simple, catchy rhyme.

Matt happens to be one of the monks working on the Book of Kells, which famously used animals as inspiration in its beautiful and intricate letterings and illustrations. Example:

The illustrations in this book are brighter, simplified versions of these originals in the Book of Kells, making a beautiful piece of western culture accessible to kids. I couldn't find any online pictures of the inside, sadly.

You will love this book. You will love to tell your kids about the monks hundreds and hundreds of years ago who made a beautiful book by hand, now one of the most famous books in the world. More than that, you will love reading it to them because of the chirpy pace and the adorably funny story. Hannah and I giggled and giggled in the library gift shop as we read it--aloud. You can't help but read it aloud! It's as addictive to adults as it is for littl'uns. It's like when you buy your kids a Fun Dip and can't resist a lick yourself.
The Comical Celtic Cat, by Norah Golden. Amazon, $16.95

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