Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Picture Book Recommendations

by Christina VanGinkel

Always a fan of reading to babies, I have compiled a new list of must read books to get any reluctant parents and caregivers going on this all-important task. Most are written in rhyme, a favorite genre of mine, and always a favorite for the littlest listeners. The repetition of rhyme is soothing to babies and fun for the reader, so give a few of these titles a try, and you will soon be picking out titles on your own and rereading these as they become top s on your very own favorites list.

On a Wintry Morning by Dori Chaconas, illustrations by Stephen T. Johnson.

Written in beautiful rhymed text, it shares the story of a Daddy and baby heading out to play in the snow.

Bear Snores On, Bear Wants More, and Bear Stays up for Christmas, are a trio of books written by Karma Wilson, and all three are illustrated by Jane Chapman.

This trio tells three stories about bear and his forest friends, including mole, raven, hare, mouse, and several more. Each is written in such a way that children will be reciting them back to you before you know it and asking these to be read repeatedly. The illustrations lend as much to the story as the words, with such vivid colors, and the animals drawn in a way that they are instantly recognizable from book to book. The only problem with these three books is that there are only three!

When Moon Fell Down by Linda Smith, illustrations by Kathryn Brown.

One of my personal favorites, this is the perfect bedtime story. It tells the tale of what might happen if moon came down to earth for a visit one evening, which is of course as silly a tale as they come, yet it is written with such love it makes you wonder if it happened just as it says!

Mrs. Biddlebox, also written by Linda Smith, with illustrations by Marla Frazee, tells the tale of how one enterprising woman deals with waking up into a very bad day. She bakes the whole day into a cake, and eats it!

Where the Wild Things Are, written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, is my all time favorite picture book to read aloud. Not written in rhyme as all the previous recommendations were, it nonetheless has such a flow to it that it is often my first choice when pulling out books to read to my grandson. As it was when I was reading to his mother and uncles. A tale of one little boy who has been naughty and sent to bed without dinner, he travels to the land of Wild Things in his imagination, to only realize that maybe he really wanted to be at home, where dinner was waiting after all.

No, David! Written and illustrated by David Shannon, is another non-rhyming favorite. It is about a young boy constantly being told no for a variety of everyday occurrences. It has a happy conclusion with him getting a hug from the one telling him no throughout the story, his Mother. Fun illustrations make this a sure winner for both the reader and the listener, with oversized pictures, bright colors, and fun throughout the illustrations that depict childhood at its most hilarious.

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