Phaidon, Assouline and Taschen offer up the créme de la créme of coffee table books but take a closer look at your kids’ library. It’s stocked with artful and inspiring pictures and prose grown-ups can appreciate too. Here are the children’s books we think will enrapture shi-shi guests (even those without kids) and wildly deserve a spot in your collection of chicer-than-thou tomes (yeah, we have a copy of The Fashion Book too).
The Best Children’s Books for Your Coffee Table
She’s French, she’s a graphic designer, she lives in Paris and graduated from the National School of Fine Arts in the city of light. Naturally she would make an alphabet book wherein each letter pops-up in a fashionable palette (red, white and black). Minimal yet bold, it’ll rest nicely on your Goyard vintage steamer trunk that doubles as your coffee table.
Mid-century modern junkies, this one’s for you. Anne was a protégé of Mies van der Rohe and Ingrid is a painter and professor emeritus of architecture at NTNU Norway along with being the co-author of A Pattern Language (it’s just considered one of the most influential books in architecture and planning, so no biggie). Together they explore the power of shapes to morph into wherever your imagination takes too. Consider it seriously high-end doodling.
Have you been watching Stranger Things? Then tune into this page-turner. Published in 1978, every image was created by Count Ulderico Gropplero di Troppenburg, no less. Born in Italy, trained in Munich and currently living in France, he was also a creative force behind the vision of classic 80s flick, The Neverending Story. More Grimm brothers than feel-good, the story unfolds as blooms and goblins battle it out for possession of a rainbow.
Loosely based on the relationship between Virginia Woolf and her sister (and painter) Vanessa Bell, this story explores how a little girl uses art to uplift her siblings’s bad case of the blues (it’s well-documented that Woolf struggled with her mental health). The book ends on a lovely note with whimsical illustrations by Isabelle, a homegrown talent who lives in Montreal and has been feted by The Governor General’s Award and The New York Times, and thanks to an imaginary place called Bloomsberry that Vanessa lovingly paints for her sister.
Oliver‘s growing catalogue of children’s classics has made him a modern day Seuss (he also happens to be workspace neighbours with blogger Joanna Goddard). Now he’s teamed up with Sam Winston, a fine artist who’s catalogued in places like The Tate Britain and the MOMA. However, don’t mistake this for a hipster book by an Irish-guy-living-in-Brooklyn and his brit-bro. It’s hip for sure, but so beautiful, it makes your heart ache for more.