I bought this book for my Juni on his 3rd birthday and it remains one of our favorites. It is Little Smudge by Lionel Le Neouanic. The story is lovely--one about the challenges in making new friends as a child, the courage to be one's self and coming to reocgnize the talents that lie within each of us, no matter how different we may be from others. The story revolves around a black smudge--seen below with his mommy who is comforting him. He attempts to play with colorful shapes who will not accept him because he is different than them. But then he learns a secret about himself which allows him to transform not only himself, but also how he is perceived by others.
And, of course, happiness, harmony and creativity are discovered through his transformation.
But what I love most about this book are the illustrations--so gorgeously artful. Reminiscent of Matisse during the latter part of his life when he was creating art from colorful paper cut-outs.
And I love that it is a story of diversity and accepting others for who they are, presented in the creative format of a black smudge and colorful shapes. I like to believe this is teaching my boy about art, valuing differences, and imagination. And at the very least, mama soaks up the beauty of the illustrations every time she reads it.