Mid-Century for the Kids in your life

Visiting my friend Malea last weekend, I took a chance to peruse her amazing collection of children’s books.  I was reminded how very traditional the architecture shown in most children’s books is … and how much it doesn’t have to be.  These would make a great gift list if you were looking to hook any kids or young-at-heart friends on Mid-Century Modern this Christmas.

Here are three great kids books that show off the exuberance of Mid Mod.

This might be a classic but actually its new: part of a huge serious of alphabet board books by written and illustrated by Greg Paprocki.  It features some interesting updates and improvements on the picturesque past – a dad in pink apron illustrating K is for Kitchen, happily integrated families of color living next door in N is for Neighbors.  I’m not sure if its revisionist history or just modeling good behavior for kids but … I love the design.  I wish it were mine!

Ada Twist, Scientist is not only delightfully STEM oriented, girl powered, POC focused, and hilarious, but it features lovely illustrations of a girl living amid mid-century splendor with Eames chairs, hairpin legged dressers and exuberant international modern neighborhood houses.  Everyone should own this. Written by Andrea Beaty, and illustrated by David Roberts.

50 cities shows of the best of Mid-century graphic design – bold shapes, icons and a fantastic color scheme.  I wish they’d picked Madison instead of Milwaukee but … I can’t have everything.  Its a lovely object full of fun info. Written by Gabrielle Balkan, and illustrated by Sol Linero.

I should note that Malea has two fantastic kids aged 1 and 3 but the book collection is all her own; it long predates the tots.   I’ve always envied her library!  Malea blogs about all things Indiana at her site, the Chaos is Ongoing.

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