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Favorite Picture Books: Jen

Posted by Jen Robinson on April 24, 2009 at 2:13 AM in Picture BooksRecommendations
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200px-Where_The_Wild_Things_Are.jpgRecently, fellow blogger Betsy Bird (aka A Fuse #8 Production) asked a variety of children's book fans to each share their top 10 picture books of all time. Betsy has compiled those lists to come up with a Top 100 Picture Books list (starting here). Here is my personal top 10 list, not previously shared anywhere else. I tried to keep it a mix of older and newer titles.

  1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Where the Wild Things Are is a true classic, the ultimate tale of the strength of the imagination. Plus the illustrations are amazing! This was my favorite book as a child, and it holds up well.
  2. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. This choice is a nod to my childhood in Boston. The ducklings are part of many people's cultural heritage. They deserve a place on my list.
  3. A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker (ill. Kady Macdonald Denton). My review. A Visitor for Bear is a book that simply cries out to be read aloud. It is pitch-perfect for toddlers, and my favorite new picture book in years.
  4. Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst (ill. Ray Cruz). This book captures essential truths about life, in a humorous package, and is unforgettable.
  5. The House Takes a Vacation by Jacqueline Davies (ill. Lee White). My review. This book has gorgeous illustrations, and spot-on humor for preschoolers. It offers new tidbits on every re-read.
  6. Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt. My review. Scaredy Squirrel is a fabulous character - the books are funny and creative, and validating for young readers nervous about the world around them.
  7. Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin (ill. Betsy Lewin). This is one of my favorite gift books for computer-savvy parents - a reminder to celebrate the ridiculous.
  8. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin (ill. Eric Carle). Brown Bear is a book that toddlers want to have read read and re-read. The rhythm is excellent for read-aloud.
  9. Duck and Goose by Tad Hills. This is a modern favorite, with gentle humor, bright illustrations, and engaging characters. A must-have for any preschooler's library.
  10. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems. What can I say that hasn't already been said? The Pigeon, though relatively young, is already a cultural icon. Kids LOVE these books.

978076145331402.jpgOf course I can name lots of other wonderful books, and even now I'm tempted to replace some of these with other favorites. But these are all books that have stood, or that I feel will stand, the test of time.

How about you? What are your favorite picture books?


Dawn writes...

I love so many of these books, too. I still have a beautiful picture of my daughter's own version of a "Wild Thing" watercolor/drawing from when she took an art class a few years ago. It's so gorgeous that it's hanging up in my dining room.

Picture books make it so easy to connect books and life with art. That's one of the reasons I love them so much.

I especially love Leo Lionni's books and illustrations. They're all so unique and special that I'll never stop reading them!

Jen RobinsonAuthor Profile Page writes...

Thanks for sharing, Dawn! The "Wild Thing" watercolor sounds lovely. I'm sure that you'll keep it forever. I like Leo Lionni's books, too, especially Fish is Fish. There are so many amazing books to choose from.

sally apokedak writes...

I adored A Visit for Bear. And Wild Things, of course. I've not read many of the others. Thanks for the list. I look forward to them.

My favorite PB didn't make any of the lists--The Musical Life of Gustav Mole.

Jen RobinsonAuthor Profile Page writes...

A Visitor for Bear is definitely a new classic, Sally. Well, I think so, anyway. I was happy to see it on Susan's list, too. I'm afraid that I don't know The Musical Life of Gustav Mole. But I think that it's fascinating to get a window into what books different people select.

My not-so-secret belief is that Wild Things will end up at the top of Betsy's picture book poll. But we'll have to wait and see...

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