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I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Favorite Picture Books

Okay. I promised many months ago to give you a list of some of my favorite picture books, so here you go. Basically, I love a sweet story with beautiful artwork and probably whatever I’m reading to my children is my favorite at any given moment. These do, however represent a few of my “keep-coming-back-to” favorites. Hopefully there will be a few that are new to you. Check your library. Picture books are fun no matter your age.

A Bad Case of Strips by David Shannon: My children just roll on the floor laughing about poor Camilla’s predicament, but the get the overall message, too. You, just the way you are, is okay. It’s not okay to pretend to be something your not just because others may want you to be different. Incidentally, you can have it read aloud to you by Sean Astin (the actor who plays Sam in the Lord of the Rings movies) at Story Line Online. There are lots of fun titles on the site. Be sure to check it out. (Just click through “more stories” until it pops up)

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss: Some people have a problem with Dr. Seuss. Personally, I love him. The Cat in the Hat is one of my favorites because I love the lesson it teaches about the atonement. Really. Go read it and see if you can figure out what it is.

Children Just Like Me: A unique celebration of children around the world from Unicef: This beautiful book is full of awesome images and sweet portrayals of children all over the world.

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson: This was a favorite from both mine and my husband’s childhood. My own children think Harold is pretty awesome, too. But I do wait until they’re past the natural tendencies to color on walls before introducing them to Harold. If not, the results could be disastrous. By the way, I remember that I used to watch a similar show on PBS when I was little. It wasn’t Harold because the little boy had a piece of chalk instead of a purple crayon and there was a bad guy he was always trying to outwit. It seems like he colored on wooden fences a lot. Anybody know what show I’m talking about?

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, Illustrated by Sheila McGraw: I’ve blogged about this one before. Love the message.

Lucy Steps Through the Wardrobeadapted from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Illustrated by Debra Maze: This beautiful set of picture books divided the story of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe into 4 books just right for introducing the young fantasy lover to some of the best literature you can get your hands on. It look me a while to find copies of all the books that I could afford but it was totally worth it to have the collection. The images are beautiful and really let the younger child experience the best of what Narnia is all about.

Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig: What fun! This book reminds me of all that’s best about being parent and bringing a child’s imagination to life. This was the first book my children took and figured out they could act out and bring to life. I found little bits of “cheese” and “pepperoni” all over the house for days afterward but their giggles made it completely worth it.

Sacrament Time by Kathleen H. Barnes and Virginia H. Pearce, Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh: I love the clear message about what the sacrament is all about that even the youngest can understand and try to follow.

Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw: Fun images and fun sing-song text that my children loved to use as one of their first independent reads as well as a frequent read aloud by mom.

Weslandia by Paul Fleischman, Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes: I stumbled on this title by accident but loved the message so much I had to buy my own copy. The boy in the story, Wesley is smart and imaginative and doesn’t fit in at all. No matter, he creates his own world then suddenly everybody wants to be just like him. Very fun.

You Are Special by Max Lucado, Illustrated by Sergio Martinez: I pretty much love any picture book by Lucado—he’s got quite a few books for adults that are awesome as well.

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