Friday, January 11, 2013

My Favorites: Picture Book Edition

I love picture books. Walking into the Children's section of a book store or library is one of my favorite things in the world, just as it was when I was a child. I have three children of my own now, and although two of them wouldn't admit to it, they will all circle around to listen to—and look at— a picture book.

We have definitely developed some favorites over the years. Some of them are classics—or my childhood favorites—and some we've found as the boys grew.

For several years I was the chairperson of the elementary school book fair, and it had a few perks. Book Fair week always ended with a stack of new books for us. What I'm saying is that we have a LOT!!! Here are some of my very favorites.

 All the mice books by Kevin Henkes.

 I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these books. They are cute, witty, and have the most adorable messages involving the most common childhood dilemma's. Fear of starting school, making friends, blankies, being made fun of, and worry are just a few. All told through mice families with the cutest names (Wemberly, Chrysanthemum, Owen, Lily, Chester) and the most perfect illustrations. I could pick these up and read them without my children. And I have! ;)


A classic! One day Sylvester goes on a walk and finds a magic pebble and makes a wish that has devastating consequences.

This book makes me cry, and I love everything about it. I have read that some think this book is too depressing and sad. Well, it is depressing and sad, and these are real emotions that people experience. Even children, and this book shows it in a beautifully illustrated way. The best part is sharing with your child that sometimes things seem hopeless, sometimes your alone and afraid, but there is hope and miracles happen. It almost makes me cry to think about it.

All the Harold Books by Crockett Johnson

These are a favorite from my childhood. I thought Harold adventures were the most magical thing, and I loved his little blue pajamas. I can still remember the illustration of him drawing the boat and climbing in. These are the epitome of childhood fantasy and imagination.

Berenstain Bears by Stan, Jan, and now Mike Berenstain

Who doesn't love these books??? I can't even tell you how many thousands of times I've read a Berenstain Bear book. I have many memories of my father and I lying in bed and reading these. Over and over and over. I still have most of those copies. Some of my very favorites were No Girls Allowed, The Sitter, The Truth, and Messy Room. These are perfect, there is nothing else to say.

PETE THE CAT by James Dean and Eric Litwin

My youngest introduced us to Pete via his Kindergarten teacher. We now all love Pete and his white shoes, buttons and rock and roll. These books are fun and so perfectly marketed for the modern child. Songs, videos, games and apps. I love it. We now even have a Pete doll.

STAND TALL, MOLLY LOU MELON by Patty Lovell and David Catrow

Molly Lou Melon is different, but she doesn't let that stand in her way of being extraordinary. I love the message and I love the illustrations of David Catrow. They are vibrant, unique, and engaging. My boys have always loved this one, even if it's about a girl! ;)

There are a million more great ones, I could never list them all. What are some of your favorites??

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