Yikes! In the rush of morning preparations that precede a school visit, I forgot that today was March 10, the day of Megan Bickel’s Favorite Picture Book Blogfest! As I was second on the list of participants (right after Megan herself!) I really can’t let this one slide under the rug. Besides, as you might have guessed by my blog and the books I write myself, I LOVE picture books 🙂
I love them so much that picking one is simply impossible. I will try very hard to confine myself to 3. But I could probably choose 100 pretty easily!
Someone already mentioned The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf – the hazard of coming late to the party. That is certainly one of my all time favorites. But since someone else did it, that one doesn’t count for me 🙂
|Bread and Jam for Frances|
Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban
I love all the Frances books, but this one is my favorite. Frances is cute and lovable and so delightfully determined to eat nothing but bread and jam. I had a picky eater in my house, so I understand both the child’s desire to stay with what’s known and loved, and the mom’s frustration that she won’t try something new. Frances’s mom is a wise badger, though, and pretty soon frances comes to realize on her own that food can be delicious even if it isn’t at first familiar. The story, like all of Russell Hoban’s writing, has a wonderful rhythm for read-aloud, and the art is simple but engaging.
Next up, a story that would probably never have been published today due to its extensive word count – Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton. I loved this book as a child, and all of my children, regardless of gender, loved it as well many years later. I love how Mike refuses to abandon his beloved Mary Anne, how he takes such good care of her that she can still shovel more in a day than a hundred men could dig in a week. I love the rhythm of the language… “They crawled along slowly up the hills and down the hills till they came to the little town of Popperville…” and “Now the girl who answers the telephone called up the next towns of Bangerville and Bopperville and Kipperville and Kopperville and told them what was happening in Popperville.” And I love the inventive solution that makes everyone happy and still useful.
Third, I would choose The Camel Who Took A Walk by Jack Tworkov, a lovely, quiet story that would never have sold today because it’s too quiet, but which again has such a wonderful rhythm to the language that it’s a joy to read aloud. The pictures are very simple, done is shades of blue for the forest before the sun comes up, and then in pink and gold for the beautiful camel, who “turns her pretty head this way and that.” Alas, this one is out of print, but we still love it.
So those are the three I said I would contain myself to, and I’ll only quickly mention Make Way for Ducklings, Guess How Much I Love You, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Where The Wild Things Are (which was also previously mentioned by another blogger), The Kissing Hand, To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, Madeline, the original Curious George…. OK, I’ll stop 🙂