Luckily, all our kids love reading time as well, and I am grateful to have books that can stand up to their "loving" ways. My older two are pretty calm with books; they have learned over time that tearing pages out means the book doesn't read the same. But our sweet baby is too young to understand that tearing pages out of books ruins them, and so we hide the paperback books on the top shelf (where the older kids can reach them) and leave her the cardboard books. But even cardboard books can get their illustrations ripped away by a determined kiddo.
These amazing books are "Chew Proof, Rip proof, Non-Toxic, and 100% Washable." Buzzfeed even included Indestructibles in their list of brilliant baby things you need. They were created with babies in mind, and they are meant to be grabbed, chewed, sucked on, and bent. I also appreciate the series' intent to have no words in the books. This allows parents to create the story as they watch their babies point to pictures in the book, or the reader can make up another story. Every Indestructibles book is beautifully illustrated too.
Today I am happy to introduce you to one of the illustrators for the Indestructibles books, Jonas Sickler. He was the artist for the Nursery Rhyme series. He reached out to me to share some exclusive sketches, his background preparation, and his own personal love for the Indestructibles books. After hearing from Jonas himself, I purchased a nursery rhyme set for my kids, and they have loved reading new books. The Nursery Rhyme set includes:
Jonas illustrated each book in a different multicultural setting, so his art takes your family around the world with each nursery rhyme. I think he's a genius for drawing Humpty Dumpty on the Great Wall of China, and there couldn't be a better place for Hickory Dickory Dock than on the famous Big Ben clock in London. Perfect, right?
Frere Jacques is dreaming about gingerbread in Paris.
Some original sketch work from Hey Diddle Diddle. Can you guess which city is featured?
Hey Diddle Diddle celebrates New Orleans. How many changes do you see between the sketch and the final print?
The iconic Big Ben sets the stage for Hickory Dickory Dock.
Humpty Dumpty is perched atop the Great Wall of China.
Mary and her lamb are featured in Africa with meerkats and ducks.
Based on the sketch, can you guess where Old MacDonald had his farm?
Old MacDonald's farm is in Bolivia, with a cow, condor, goat, and chinchilla!
I am so grateful that Jonas shared his early sketches with me, and there is even more to share with you! On his own blog, he shares some background information about each book. For example, did you know he listened to African tribal spirit music as he illustrated Mary Had a Little Lamb? He even wrote a sample text for parents to help tell the story, if they wanted to go further than singing the traditional song. What a dedicated author!
So, now that you know the illustrations are beautiful and well-planned in every detail, how do they stand up to babies "loving" ways? They are indestructible.
I watched Ruby chew on them, sit on them, slobber on them, and eat with them. We let the kids take them into the bathtub and lug them around the house. The books looked like new after each trial. They also eventually un-bend themselves back into their original shape after getting squished. Super cool! Jonas said they even go into the dishwasher! Here's a quick video to demonstrate the toughness of Indestructibles too.
If you need a Christmas present that will last for years, give some Indestructibles books to your loved ones. From babies to school-age, children will love these books, and your story-telling will grow with them. We received our first Indestructibles book a few years ago, when Grace was a baby. She loved it then, and she loves the nursery ones now.
Do you have any Indestructibles books? How have they held up to your children?