It seems that America has settled on calling those who play bicycle polo or knit doilies around parking meters “hipsters.” But really, there are plenty of folks who fall under that umbrella term: Those who don’t drink coffee unless it’s shade-grown. Those who won’t drink beer unless it has 3-digit IBUs. Those with sleeve tattoos and dress like they raided Deadwood‘s wardrobe department.
But for all the easy sniping about the hipster, they do create some pretty cool art, have wild imaginations, and an amusing sense of perpetual adolescence. So how about your give that guy with a handle-bar mustache a break (and no offense if you are that guy)? Let little Horatio’s dad make soap in his basement on the weekends. Because all the square dads in the world could stand a little hipness in their bedtime story routine.
Future Little Hipster
There’s only one review for this book on Amazon, so it’s clearly the best book ever made. Each page features an illustration of some hipster trope and the corresponding text. Microbrewing, fixies, vintage clothes, and organic food are all represented. It’s definitely a goofy novelty item trying to make a buck mocking hipsterdom. But you’ll enjoy it ironically. Just be aware that when you bust it out at a play date, Thelonius and Addison’s parents are definitely going to say they heard of it years ago. Ages: AdultsFuture Little Hipster by Simon Zingerman ($11)
Vegetables in Underwear
Thanks to this book your kid will never think they’re too cool for a pair of undies. Author Jared Chapman brings up 3 subtle, yet important, points. First, vegetables are pretty alright guys. They can hang out and some taste just fine. Second, there are no Fruit Of The Loom jokes in here, which you figured would be obvious. And third, vegetables wearing underwear underlines the absurdity of a pair of Underoos. Ages: 2 – 5Vegetables in Underwear by Jared Chapman ($12)
My Dad Used To Be Cool
Dads don’t become uncool, they just start to care less about selvedge denim from Japan and perfectly groomed facial hair. In My Dad Used To Be Cool, the titular father gets all nostalgic about his badassery before his was a father. As he pokes around, the kid in the story slowly finds out just what a rad dad he has. Of course, there’s such a thing as discovering too much about your dad. That’s for the follow up — My Dad Used To Be A Dungeon Master.Ages: 3 – 5My Dad Used to Be Cool by Keith Negley ($11)
Tell Me A Tattoo Story
The point of raising a kid is so they don’t make the same mistakes as you did. If you’re not going to do that, you may as well let the wolves have them. In this tale of a son and his inked father, the dad walks his kid through the stories behind each of dad’s tattoos. One of them involves the longest trip he took. One of them involves a pretty lady (spoiler, it’s the mom) he met at a very Parisian-looking cafe near what appears to be a sort of whimsical carnival town. And one was just because of Jagermeister. Ages: 2 – 5Tell Me a Tattoo Story by Alison McGhee ($12)
Mo Willem’s first book introduces characters drawn over black and white stills of city streetscapes. Actually, it’s more like some part of gentrified Brooklyn. Bougie-details aside, the real plot is about how a girl named Trixie’s simple trip to the laundromat with her dad turn into a psychotic episode over a missing stuffed animal. Hapless dad, alert. But Mo more than made up for it in his later works about pigeons driving busses and eating hot dogs. Ages: 3 – 6Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems ($12)
From the humble cookie dusters to the mighty flavor savors, the World Beard And Moustache Championships in Anchorage, Alaska had them all. And photographer Matthew Rainwaters captures all the bristley glory of the most impressive facial hair on the planet. From respectably stylish to wildly absurd, the portraits within this book are extreme hirsute. Be prepared to deflect questions about why Santa looks like he’s been taking biker meth all night. Ages: AllBeard by Matthew Rainwaters ($13)
Wolfie The Bunny
Wolfie The Bunny isn’t just about a family of rabbits takes a baby wolf left on their doorstep and raises them as their own. It also teaches your kid what happens when you have a little faith in people (or predators). Also, who are you to say this didn’t happen at least once in nature? Of course things get heated when the bunny family’s daughter, Dot, thinks they’ve all gone mad and are doomed to get eaten. But Dot also thinks that the wolves are coming to take away their bunny guns and bunny jobs. Ages: 3 – 6Wolfie The Bunny by Ame Dykman ($12)
A Is For Awesome
Alphabet books can get pretty dry, but author Dallas Clayton has done his part to awesome-ify (patent pending) this artisanal book of letters. Each page is full of randomly sketched objects from everyday life that also start with the corresponding letter. Are the objects awesome? They are if you’re 4 or definition includes toast popping up from the toaster. Sure, the pictures are whimsical and the hand-drawn fonts are artistic, but your children will appreciate this book, because they’re not a cynical asshole like you. Ages: 3 – 7A Is For Awesome by Dallas Clayton ($14)
Warhol didn’t live long enough to see the first Where’s Waldo published. But if he did, he would probably say it needed more nudity and day-glo paint. Track down the eccentric and iconic artist in varying scenes from Yves Klein at the Kodokan Judo Institute to the beheading of Marie Antoinette. While a lot of the imagery will go over your kid’s head (also: who are you kidding?), this book is an educational alternative to hunting down that nerdy longshoreman in pom-pom hat. Ages: AllWhere’s Warhol by Catherine Ingram and Andrew Rae ($12)
This Moose Belongs To Me
This irreverent tale comes to you courtesy of Oliver Jeffers, the patron saint of quirky picture books. In this book, Jeffers works his illustrative voodoo and brings to light a strange relationship between a boy who really wants a pet and a moose who doesn’t really care. But as long as there’s apples, the moose abides, man. Ages 3 – 7This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers ($11)
What Is Punk?
Remember punk? You were skanking around the pits, piercing things that shouldn’t be pierced. Well, you can’t go home again, but you can introduce the next generation to clay renderings of some of The Clash, the Ramones and the Misfits. Now go forth with the assurance that you’ll never have to worry about them picking up a Blink 182 album. Ages: 3 – 7What is Punk? By Eric Morse and Anny Yi ($12)