Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Picture Book Book List

I can't help myself.  
I LOVE books.
I especially love "good" children's books.  
I especially, especially love searching for new "good" books - the thrill of the hunt, the surge of adrenaline when you pounce, the smug satisfaction as you sit to enjoy your hard-won reward.

Ok, don't be scared off!  I'm not really a weirdo who actually channels this savage-like prehistoric hunter gatherer persona as I prowl through the library.  But I do tend to click many an afternoon away through blog book lists, library catalogs, and Amazon's "you may also like" recommendations. I just love reading to my children and have made it a much-enjoyed part of my mom mission to find good stuff to read with them. 

I recently wrote out my first ever book list - my personal Tomie DePaola favorites/recommendations for Catholic families.  Since then, I've had it in mind to make another list of favorite picture books - so of course I was ecstatic to come across this link-up at California to Korea.  (go check it out!)  I already love book lists, but to find a whole lot of lists linked together?!?! (insert angelic choirs singing!)

*Warning *  This list got pretty long pretty fast!  (I really struggle with brevity and tend toward long-windedness)  But I stand by all my recommendations!

I'm trying to keep my list to things that you don't typically find on every other book list.  (For example, we really do like Goodnight Moon, Blueberries for Sal, Dr. Seuss, and Eric Carle, but you can get that stuff on lots of other lists.)  This is primarily a list of unexpected finds.  It's also a list of books that suit my three oldest children - age 3 to nearly-7 - so I guess the average age for this book list is 4 1/2 ish??? I don't really pay attention to recommended ages too much because my 3 year old is used to "big kid" books, and the older boys are happy to sit for picture books during the day and wait for their Narnia (or other "big big kid" books) fix in the evening.  (hmmm, that's actually a mark of a good children's book - it can hold the attention of all ages, and is even pleasant for the adults to read!)  Finally, this is a list of books that we read exclusively for fun.  I've chosen not to include the (equally fabulous) picture books we read for lessons (art, music, religion, history, science, etc...) - because then I've got some awesome reads stored up for future lists!

I tried to link to Amazon so you could take a peak inside before you rushed out to the library :)  
So, in no particular order...

Library Lion, by Michelle Knudsen
"One day, a lion came into the library.  He walked right past
the circulation desk and up into the stacks..."  Your kids will be hooked!
He becomes a much-loved and very helpful regular at the library,
until one day when he breaks the library rules.

Mike Fink by Steven Kellog
We like most of Kellog's Tall Tales, but this was the book that first got us hooked!

Dinosaur Beach, by Liza Donnelly
A dinosaur-loving kid gets to meet some of the prehistoric sea-dwellers he
 knows so much about!  This book is funny.
(more for younger kids, ages 2-4?)

Erandi's Braids, by Antonio Hernandez Madrigal

Humphrey The Lost Whale, by Wendy Tokuda and Richard Hall
(true story!)
Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport, by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
(I love to stockpile the old Reading Rainbow books!)

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain, by Alice Dalgliesh


Beaver Pond, Moose Pond, by Jim Arnosky
(we love tons of Arnosky books, but this is one of the favorites.
Tip - some Arnosky books can be used as easy "readers."  Example, my first grader
can independently read Rabbits and Raindrops and Watching Foxes.  Tip on the tip -
have your first grader read these books to the littler kids as a "Science Lesson."  It works!)

Tiki Tiki Tembo, by Arlene Mosel

Ox Cart Man, by Donald Hall

Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney

These next three are all true stories... really great stories, especially because they're true!

Baby in a Basket, by Gloria Rand
a mother and her two children are leaving Alaska for a warmer climate,
the carriage is overturned and the baby goes missing in a blizzard.
*caution* it's pretty intense and scary when the baby is missing, but... they find her!
The Glorious Flight, by Alice and Martin Provensen
account of the first flight across the English Chanel

Marven of the Great North Woods,  by Kathryn Lasky
about  boy who is sent away from the city to avoid the Influenza of 1918,
goes to live at a logging camp and learns the ways of the lumberjacks

These books, all by Brian Wildsmith
(an author/illustrator we love! - I mean we REALLY love his illustrations.  They're brilliant.)
Python's Party
The Owl and the Woodpecker
ABC's, Amazing Animal Alphabet, Zoo Animals, Animal Gallery
also check out his lives of Jesus, Mary, and St. Francis, and his various Easter and Christmas stories  - all very beautiful!

These books, all by Dahlov Ipcar
(another author/illustrator we've glommed onto)
Lobsterman (a delightful story which also teaches a great deal about lobster fishing)
One Horse Farm
Cat At Night
Hardscrabble Harvest (I personally find the rhyming text lacking here, but love the illustrations)

Everything on my previously published Tomie DePaola book list :)  of course!

Ok, this is crazy... I could go on and on.  Thanks for all the other recommendations I got from the links at California to Korea!  We've already been able to order and read some of them!  (I LOVE libraries!)
Hope you get to check out some of my faves curl up on the couch soon for some old fashioned cozy book time!  There's nothing like a great book recommendation - I love to peruse other's lists, and I'm happy to share mine!

1 comment:

  1. Theresa! What an incredible list! I'm so so happy you linked-up, and I can't WAIT to find some of these books (and explore your blog more, too)!

    Thank you!


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