My ultimate goal is to write pitaya bowl books. Yep, that's what I call them - after the rare food that my kids are I are both *equally* excited about them eating.
For some reason I've always thought about books in nutrient metaphors. You have your glittery, gimmicky books with undeniable (though manipulative) kid appeal but no literary/nutritional value. We'll call those the Dippin' Dots of books. Then you have didactic books that are like wheatgrass shots, or worse: medicine that's been spiked with sugar to mask its taste.
The vast majority of books we read are somewhere in between- they might not do all that much for me but my kids ask for them over and over again, and I'm fine with them (chicken finger books?). Or the many lovely, nuanced, important award winning books that I adore- and that my kids will sit through but don't get too excited about.
And then there are pitaya bowls & their books. They exist in that magical zone where kid appeal and literary/nutritional value are both maxed out. Pitaya bowls are as much of a treat for my kids as ice cream- nothing is prettier than that crazy vibrant color. They're also totally natural, and extremely fortifying.
In our house, Candace Fleming's Giant Squid, Cori Doerrfeld's The Rabbit Listened, Dan Santat's After The Fall, Ryan T. Higgins' We Don't Eat Our Classmates, and Samantha Berger's What If... are all pitaya bowl books. Of course the titles will be different in every family, based on everyone's interests, values, and tastes. But my dream is to bring books into the world that exist in that same magic zone for some families out there!
I'd love to hear which books are like this for you and yours...