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2000-2009: What Were the BEST Picture Books?

Posted by Ann on January 2, 2010 at 12:08 PM in Picture BooksRecommendations
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My "job" at Booklights was originally supposed to be writing an end-of-the-month wrap-up. So as December ended, I thought about responding to this month's posts OR writing an end-of-the-YEAR (well, since April when Booklights began!) summary. I have spent the past few days re-reading our posts, clicking on the wonderful links, and reflecting on the great suggestions for bringing children and books together.

Decisions, decisions......I could easily do my "job" and summarize our December posts. For example, I could suggest that you heed Pam's and Jen's and Terry's advice to provide children with a model of at least one grown-up who enjoys reading a good book. If I took that route, I could mention how wonderful the conversations we have with children about our own reading tend to be.

Or, just as the media always does at this time of the year, I could certainly go back to the "Best of 2009," and re-direct you to some of the Booklights highlights. Should I do that, I'd need to talk more about Gina's September 22 Show and Tale, Susan's August 19 posting about reading the classics, Susan T.'s November 17 suggestions that started us talking about gift books, and Jen's Growing a Book Worm series that began on November 2.

But, I have been influenced by the hype about the end of the decade. We tend to want to think back over the last 10 years and how those years have changed our lives. From international events, to political activities, to the impact of cell phones and electronics, reflection on these years makes for lively discussion.

So how about thinking about the best picture books that were published over the past decade? What were your favorites? What were the favorites of your children who were born during the decade or as the last millennium ended?

To prompt your thoughts on the questions, you might want to return to the Booklights posts where we listed some of our favorites. Pam included How to Heal a Broken Wing, Susan mentioned Zen Shorts, and Jen listed Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.....all published in the last decade. And my list of favorites? Unfortunately, they were all published pre-2000!

So this month I resolve to come up with a list of the Ten Best Picture Books from the last decade. At this point, I suspect it will likely include Ian Falconer's Olivia, David Wiesner's The Three Pigs, Jack Prelutsky's If Not for the Cat, and Jerry Pinkney's The Lion and the Mouse.

Let me know what you'd like to see included!

Happy Reading and Happy New Year, Ann


Little Willow writes...

Olivia is sweet. I like that series, and I like the Wombat books by Charles Fuge and Vicki Churchill as well.

A lot of people love Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems, which I think is cute.

I Know a Rhino by Charles Fuge is adorable.

Clara and Asha by Eric Rothmann has beautiful, beautiful illustrations.

Ann writes...

Thanks, Little Willow, for reminding me of Eric Rohmann's beautiful art. One of my favorites is The Cinder-Eyed Cats....but it was published in the 1990s! Also, thanks for the introduction to I Know a Rhino.

So many books, so little time!

Miranda writes...

My son really enjoys the Skippyjon Jones series, by Judy Schachner, and all of the "If You Give..." books by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond. Both of these series are wonderfully illustrated and inspire his imagination!

Rebecca writes...

Oh my gosh, this list must include Laurie Keller's "Arnie the Doughnut".

Pam writes...

I'd definitely say Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, because it's wonderful and it's Mo Willems who drove this decade in picture books.

Alos How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight by Jane Yolen, wonderful concept, story, and illustrations.

Maggi writes...

David Shannon's "No, David!" continues to be the most popular picture book at my elementary school, 11 years later, but unfortunately that is LAST decade. =)

I think Knuffle Bunny could give the Pigeon a run for its money, but Mo Willems as a whole is absolutely this decade's most successful picture book illustrator.

Rebecca, I am right behind you about Arnie the Doughnut -- an oft overlooked gem!

Bridget writes...

My pick is Spoon, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. The day after reading it to my four year old, I found him at the dining room table playing with a family of spoons. I used to do the same thing as a kid! I guess the nostalgia got to me, and I'll never forget that book. Not to mention it's a beautiful little story.

Ann writes...

Great suggestions! And Bridget, SPOON is so much fun. I have hopes that it will be acknowledged with an award or recognition of some sort this year. And, in this cold January, I am a bit jealous of the spoon relaxing in a hot cup of tea!

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