Friday, February 10, 2012

Just Enough

Today I wanted to share one of our favorite books with you: Just Enough, by Terri Daniels, illustrated by Harley Jessup. You may not have heard of it. I had never heard of it, either. My ex-husband's family knows the illustrator, and that is how I first came to know about this precious picture book. Just Enough follows a young boy through his day as he discovers all the things that he is old enough to do by himself. This book reminds me so much of my life with my children at home: simple, quiet, unseen, and oh, so rich with everyday experiences.

First of all, I love the illustrations. I love the bright colors, and the wonderful, warm feel of the setting: The handmade quilt, the braided rug, the boy's artwork on the walls....The details in this book are extraordinary. Every time we read it, we find something new. I love the flow of the pictures, and how the scale of the artwork emphasizes the words. I love the sense of movement, and wonder, and whimsy. One of my favorite pictures is of the little boy pounding away at the pizza dough. Just like a little boy-- full of exuberance!

And then, there is the simplest, sweetest story, told through a series of poetic vignettes. I love the sound of the words together as I read them aloud. I love the activities of the day: feeding the fish, eating breakfast, swinging high to the sky, chasing fireflies, splashing in the tub...All the usual adventures of a young boy home for the day with Mommy and Daddy.

It's a shame that this delightful book is out of print. It's work seeking out, though, and you can still find copies easily on Amazon. I can't recommend it enough. It's one of our favorites.

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