105 Ways to Give a Book

Share a Story, Days 1 and 2

This week Share a Story – Shape a Future is rounding up posts about literacy and reading promotion. The first day was on the topic of Raising Readers. I missed contributing to that day of posts because I spent the day driving back from the beach, taking my Girl Scouts roller skating, and grumbling about my headache while watching Season 4 episodes of Lost. (Almost caught up!). If I had participated, I would have shared a true story about raising readers in my house. It goes like this:
When my oldest daughter was five, she asked me to play house. “I’ll be the mommy and you’ll be the little girl,” she said. I agreed and prepared myself for my role. Meanwhile, she sat down on the couch, opened a book to read, and looking over the top said, “Go play with your sister.”
Never have I felt so much angst and pride at the same time. Of course, my mother guilt kicked in. Did she think that all I did was read? Did she feel so neglected? What kind of mom was I? But at the same time, I felt proud of the lesson she had picked up from me, namely that Moms read and reading is important. That’s how I raised readers.

Today’s topic is Selecting Reading Material, and while I don’t have the perfect post for that topic, I do have a related one. Fuse#8 is working on a very ambitious project of finding the Top 100 Picture Books of All Time. You — and I — can contribute by submitting to her our favorite picture books of all time by March 31, listed in order of preference. When completed, this list will be another incredible resource for parents, teachers, and librarians in selecting reading material.

For my contribution, I looked to books that came top-of-mind quickly. Each also represents a connection to my life when I first read the book. So I have my own favorites as a child, my first favorites to read to my kids, and my first favorites as a librarian. There are hundreds of picture books I have loved and do love, but these are the ones that I won’t ever give away from my own collection. So don’t even ask.
  1. The King, by Dick Bruna
    The king was sad because all he wanted was a friend, not a crown. I drew teardrops all over this book, bless my heart.

  2. Bread and Jam for Frances, by Russell Hoban
    Picky eaters unite! I loved all the Frances books and can only choose this as a favorite by a slight margin.

  3. The Monster At The End Of This Book
    Grover talking directly to the reader made this book absolute genius.

  4. The Grouchy Ladybug, by Eric Carle
    It’s hard to pick one Eric Carle book, but I really like doing the grouchy voice while reading this aloud.

  5. On the Day You Were Born, by Debra Frasier
    I never get through this book without tearing up. It’s a great baby shower gift.

  6. Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney
    This book does a wonderful job of reflecting the love and relationship between parent and child.

  7. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin
    If you think this book is fun to read, watch the video or listen to the CD of the music. Catchy.

  8. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
    Funny, clever, and the perfect read-aloud. Mo-tastic.

  9. Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, by Mo Willems
    Again — funny, clever, and the perfect read-aloud, but with the bonus of being feeling familiar to moms and dads.

  10. How to Heal a Broken Wing, by Bob Graham
    This book may be top of my list because I’ve read it recently and can’t get it out of my mind, but I’ll stand by this year’s Cybils winner as being an outstanding book about courage, kindness, and love.
Have you done your list yet? I know that Wagging Tales has.


Kristen M. said...

The Monster at the End of This Book is one of my favorites from my childhood. It was one I definitely knew I had to have on Z's shelves. There was another Sesame Street one that I've never been able to find out what it was but it was also about monsters and it said "monster dinners are really great, we eat the food and then the plate". That cracked me up when I was six!

I think I need to go make that book list ...

Terry Doherty said...

Your story about your daughter made me laugh out loud! I'm having the same problem with Eric Carle books that you had with the Frances books.

Debra Frasier said...

Thank you for including On the Day You Were Born in your list of favorite books--Oddly, the book came from a difficult pregnancy that miraculously produced a gorgeous daughter. My joy taught me that ALL children are ours to welcome--as corny as that sounds, it has become more profoundly true as I age.

I will check out your movies on your list as many of mine match yours--Thanks again, Debra Frasier, Author & Illustrator

Mary Ann Scheuer said...

Thank you for making me laugh out loud today, with your "Go and play with your sister" story. As the mother of 3 young girls (5, 7 & 10), I can completely relate. It's kind of like when you get angry and say, "Will you just stop reading and turn off the light!?!" thanks again -

Candace Ryan said...

I loved hearing about the teardrops you drew all over your favorite Dick Bruna book.

I made story-based drawings on the endpapers of my childhood favorites, as well.

Lynn said...

Loved your story about playing house! I need to learn to work in reading time when our little guy is awake. He thinks every book is his. :) I too loved the Monster at the End of This Book. Harold and the Purple Crayon was also a favorite, as was Danny and the Dinosaur (but I've yet to reread as an adult). I enjoyed reading your list for new ideas for our son.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I was happy to see BREAD AND JAM FOR FRANCES on your list. It was a favorite read-aloud book in my classroom for many years. When I became a school librarian after spending more than 30 years as an elementary teacher, I was disappointed to find that so few children were familar with the "Frances" books by the Hobans. The books have wonderful stories to which young children can truly relate.

MotherReader said...

Thanks for all the comments. I hope you are working on your own top ten lists.

Debra, I'm so thrilled that you stopped by. I've given your book to every pregnant woman I've known - and a few I didn't know. I read it every time I do a Mother's Day storytime. My girls are 12 and 9 and I make them sit through a reading at every birthday (and they both came from difficult pregnancies too). Your comment made my day.

Marjorie said...

Your story is still making e chuckle! Thank you for sharing it. And now I must go and make my list...

Anonymous said...

I love Bread and Jam for Frances!

Making of top ten list was good fun. I can't wait to see the final 100.