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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Monster At The End Of This Book
Grover talking directly to the reader made this book absolute genius.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
Funny, clever, and the perfect read-aloud. Mo-tastic.
- 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.
- 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.