As you know, we at Nerdy With Children are devoted to finding cool, unique and awesome things that we think parents should be aware of. As a result of that, we discovered the people at Home Grown Books a while back and have proudly featured their products before.
Why should you know about Home Grown? Well to start, their philosophy is centered on creating early reading materials that are visually stimulating, respectful of young readers’ intelligence, and are also engaging for parents. Add to this that they take an eco-friendly and sustainable approach to all of their products, incorporating vegetable inks, recycled paper, and wind power in their printing processes. Further, they use artists and small businesses in the United States and fair trade collectives abroad on their products, so it goes without saying that Home Grown Books is exactly the type of company we love talking about.
With all that in mind, when we heard about The Adventuring Set collection, we were very, very excited to get our hands on a copy and give it a look. Needless to say, it exceeded our already elevated expectations from a Home Grown Books product.
This set is a collection of 7 small books for ages 3 and up, each with a different topic that both educates and inspires a child’s imagination through various adventure and fantasy themes. The watercolor artwork provided by Case Jernigan in each book is truly exceptional, with imagery that evokes an old-world style (think 1700’s cartography, Medieval art, Jules Verne, & da Vinci sketches) and will elevate your little one’s sense of wonder in ways that just don’t seem as likely from other reading materials.
On the page opposite each piece of artwork is a short, but descriptive phrase for you to read with your children. Not only will you be sending them on an imaginative adventure, but you’ll be teaching them words that they may not otherwise find themselves exposed to until much later like “Pagoda” and “Schooner”. I can already hear them kicking the other kids’ butts at Words With Friends.
Here’s a quick look and overview of each book of the set in no particular order. As mentioned, there are 7 books, and each book has 7 pictures. The numerical symmetry is just a bonus in this collection that is fabulous all the way through.
How often does children’s literature feature maps of great cities like Florence, Rome, Paris and New York?
Finding the green trees along the Seine or the blue elephant near Union Square will be a delight for your future cosmopolite, and these maps remind us of the comforting days when you couldn’t simply drill down on any given house via Google street view.
This book takes children through the adventure of flying, and figuring out the steps on just how to do it all the way from dressing the part through invention and on to soaring above the clouds. Man’s historical fascination with the concept of flight is beautifully revisited in these pages and just may help remind us all that flying used to be a magical, incredible goal of ours rather than the unpleasant headache it has so often become.
A Collection of Characters
This one may be my personal favorite of the 7 as my own childhood was filled with lots of make believe time as a knight, or a viking with improvised costumes and weaponry. I ruled a vast empire, encompassing all territory from my bed to my door, and if hostile tribes (parents) were quiet, it very well might have swelled out into the hallway.
Such conquering characters are delightfully represented herein, but there are other less intimidating individuals such as inventors and acrobats in this book to marvel at as well.
A Place To Live
What could be more fun than living in a pagoda across a bridge, a castle in a cloud, or on a camel under the sky? It’s nice to dream about where you might one day live long before PMI and HOA dues factor into the equation.
Prior to space, the ocean represented the greatest symbol of man’s desire for adventure. Shipwrecks, giant sea creatures, and exotic lands lie within its grasp, and it’s there waiting to be to set upon and observed from above and below. This book presents the delight of ocean exploration in a way that would make Captain Nemo and Jacques Cousteau satisfied with their legacy.
Let’s Play a Game
If you’re reading this site, there’s a very, very good chance you know your way around a board game or two. So you won’t be disappointed to see that in addition to all the other things that make this book set great is the fact that there is an entire book devoted to playing a board game.
Nerd cred, solidified. Artist Case Jernigan has been a lifelong board game fan, capturing the fantasy and enjoyment of them perfectly in the pages for you to explore with your future roller of 20’s.
What Comes Next
This book excites us with the possibilities of where else we might go, and on what type of vessel. For me, it would be the Viking ship (hello), but the ferry or submarine wouldn’t be bad options either. Each page carries with it different possibilities limited only by the imagination and you’ll definitely love asking your little one where they’d go and what mode of transportation they’d prefer (hopefully the Viking ship).
Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about The Adventuring Set. On a material level, the paper stock is high quality and they’ll withstand your desire to flip through the pages time and again, a clear benefit of their reliance on American businesses and responsible printing techniques. Content wise, this is truly a one of a kind book set that combines amazing artwork, and a focus on adventure & imagination with the opportunity to combine it with some cool early vocabulary lessons.
Getting lost in your head and indulging in daydreams of adventure & wonder are things we tend to grow out of a little too soon, but you’ll absolutely enjoy revisiting those days in the pages of these books and delight in seeing where your child’s imagination goes as you comb through each page together.
The Adventuring Set is available for purchase at Home Grown Books’ Website here. Use the discount code “nerdywithchildren” to save 15% site wide through the month of December.
If you’d prefer to support a local business because doing so is awesome, Home Grown also has a tool that can help you locate a retailer available here.