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Pam: April 2009 Archives

Pam

Favorite Picture Books: Pam

Posted by Pam on April 27, 2009 at 10:02 AM in Picture Books
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One of my BBF's - Best Blog Friends - Fuse#8, has put together an incredible list of the Top 100 Picture Books based on the votes of other children's book bloggers.

For my contribution, I looked to books that came top-of-mind quickly. Each also represents a connection to my life when I first read the book. So I have my own favorites as a child, my first favorites to read to my kids, and my first favorites as a librarian. There are hundreds of picture books I have loved and do love, but these are the ones that I won't ever give away from my own collection. So don't even ask. I'm going with countdown style with my favorite book listed last. It's also pretty close to the reverse chronological order of the books' publishing years.

  • The King, by Dick Bruna
    The king was sad because all he wanted was a friend, not a crown. I drew teardrops all over this book, bless my heart.
  • Bread and Jam for Frances, by Russell Hoban
    Picky eaters unite! I loved all the Frances books and can only choose this as a favorite by a slight margin.
  • The Monster At The End Of This Book
    Grover talking directly to the reader made this book absolute genius.
  • The Grouchy Ladybug, by Eric Carle
    It’s hard to pick one Eric Carle book, but I really like doing the grouchy voice while reading this aloud.
  • On the Day You Were Born, by Debra Frasier
    I never get through this book without tearing up. It’s a great baby shower gift.
  • Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney
    This book does a wonderful job of reflecting the love and relationship between parent and child.
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin
    If you think this book is fun to read, watch the video or listen to the CD of the music. Catchy.
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
    Funny, clever, and the perfect read-aloud. Mo-tastic.
  • Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, by Mo Willems
    Again — funny, clever, and the perfect read-aloud, but with the bonus of being feeling familiar to moms and dads.
  • How to Heal a Broken Wing, by Bob Graham
    This book may be top of my list because I’ve read it recently and can’t get it out of my mind, but I’ll stand by this year’s Cybils winner as being an outstanding book about courage, kindness, and love.

What are your favorite picture books?

Pam

Introduction: Pam

Posted by Pam on April 26, 2009 at 8:13 PM in Introductions
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I was so excited to be part of the Booklights blog that I was determined to write a hilarious introductory post. Unfortunately, this week I was plagued by planning my seventh-grade Girl Scout troop's camping trip, along with hosting their movie night on Friday and coordinating the "first aid challenge" for the area troops. It also became hard to concentrate on writing once the dishwasher started leaking water out the back of the house. Yes, it surprised me too, as it did the plumber who had to be called in to check it out, confirming that I would need a new dishwasher, but also that it was lucky the water had followed the slight slant toward the outside wall instead of the kitchen, where it would have ruined the whole floor. I've kept this good news in mind as I washed dishes by hand, since I don't have the time or energy to buy a new dishwasher yet -- not with the Girl Scouts, the fourth grader's dance and drama classes, and my work at the public library.

But Saturday, I was definitely going to write something funny and telling about me as a person, mother, and book reviewer. Taking my fourth-grade daughter to her Girl Scout field trip to explore a farm here in the Washington suburbs shouldn't have been an obstacle, but the unseasonable heat (how does it go from 50 to 90 in just two days?) wiped us out, leaving me with just enough energy to fast-forward through the commercials of our previously-recorded American Idol. By dinnertime I felt human again, and was certain I'd hit the computer after washing dishes and whip out something funny -- because I'm an optimist. So the subsequent eight-hour power outage was a bit of a setback. Of course, the tropical climate in our house made it hard to sleep, and meant that I woke up much later than I'd planned on Sunday --especially considering that my seventh grader's school project was going to take up four peak hours and completely occupy my husband. That might not have been a problem, except that my father was coming to visit with his wife, and someone had to make an effort to clean up.

So here I am now, explaining why I couldn't come up with something clever to introduce myself. I guess I'm a busy mom like many of you, trying to do the best by my kids, whether that involves their schoolwork, activities, friendships, or books. I've been reading to my kids for thirteen years, and I've worked in the children's department of a public library for nine years. For three years I've run a blog about children's books and also worked with the online book award, the Cybils, focusing on the picture book awards. I recently started a new website called KidLitosphere Central, its goal being to make the rich resources of children's book blogs more accessible to teachers, librarians, and parents. Each week at Booklights, I'll be sharing a few quick book suggestions for your library visits, reading times, and bookstore shopping.

By the way, my name is Pam -- or if you prefer, you can call me by my blog name, MotherReader. Nice to meet you.

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