Wednesday, June 27, 2012
All Our Favorites: Picture Books
Two weeks ago (this is a very lazy summer) when I took all the books off the shelf, dusted, and organized I thought I might as well make a list of 25 titles we think ought to be on everyone's shelves. As soon as there is a list, there is an exception or two (or ten). Somebody likes Five Little Monkeys or Froggy. Then I remember Eloise Wilkin and certainly she deserves a mention. Dr. Seuss goes without saying. I could go on with "but" and "what about." Instead, consider this just a starting point. After all, we have over 100 books on that shelf; we dare not mention the "school" shelves and my wish list.
I'll arrange these, very approximately, from short to long. Books for the toddler at the beginning and books for patient listeners at the end. The last books are quite long, even if they are "picture" books. Never be afraid of old books; our tastes, in books as in all else, are cultivated. Cultivate an appreciation for the best.
All our favorites:
1. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Numeroff
Also Moose a Muffin and Pig a Pancake. The library has some of her newer books and we don't care for those quite as well.
2. Corduroy by Freeman
3. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
At eighteen months Kara ran around demanding "nigh, nigh boon." There are so many other good books by this author: Run Away Bunny and another real favorite Big Red Barn.
4. Baa, Baa Black Sheep or I'm a Little Teapot or How Much is That Doggie In the Window or others by Iza Trapani. Be ready to sing.
5. Harry the Dirty Dog (and all the other Harry books) by Zion. Laugh out loud fun.
6. Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Carlstrom. Here is an exception to the general rule: all the other books by this author have proved disappointing.
7. Curious George by H.A. Rey. Please be discerning and only choose the original books by Rey. The books based on the TV series fall short of the originals.
8. Ox Cart Man by Hall. Barabara Cooney's illustrations are wonderful, as always.
9. Caps For Sale by Slobokina
10. The Story About Ping by Flack
11. The Little Engine That Could by Piper. Yes, the original.
12. Peter Rabbit and any others by Beatrix Potter. Buy the little green books, if you can. Accept no so-called "improvements" on the originals!
13. Frog Went A-Courtin' by Langstaff and Rokankovsky. This is a four hundred year old folk song, fun to sing, and silly. Also look for Over In the Meadow.
14. The Biggest Bear by Ward. You'll laugh when the bear is in the kitchen, I promise.
15. Year at Maple Hill Farm and Our Animal Friends by the Provensens
16. A New Coat For Anna by Ziefert
17. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. I admit: I love this book for the illustrations and desperately wish I could grow lupines.
18. Make Way for Ducklings by McCloskey
19. Blueberries for Sal by McCloskey
20. The Little House by Burton
21. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Burton, again
22. Katy and the Big Snow by Burton, again. These receive three separate mentions because we have read these books more than almost any others on our shelves.
23. Seven Silly Eaters by Hoberman. The book flows with rollicking rhyme, but the illustrations are priceless if you love kids and creative chaos. I'm convinced they are homeschoolers, though the book never mentions it.
24. Saint George and the Dragon by Hodges
25. The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship: A Russian Tale by Ransome
*A note on why I don't link to Amazon: Our state passed a sales tax law on internet purchases. Opposed. Amazon retaliated by ending the affiliates program here. Opposed. I never made a penny, but I loved the convenience of linking to Amazon. If another blogger is an affiliate, give them a penny by purchasing through their Amazon link. They will love you for it.