10 June 2010

Children's Books


Oh man is this topic ever close to my heart.

I was a serious reader as a child.
I read to myself.
I read to my younger siblings.
When I thought I wanted to be a librarian, my dream job was working in youth services.
I took a lot of classes swirling around that, which means that I've had the pleasure of reading children's books with the eye of an adult.
I read to my son.

I'm into children's books, is what I'm trying to say.

Here are my favorites for Gabriel's current age/book range (I'll call it 3.5-5.5ish?).  I've managed to get most of my childhood favorites into our collection, so it's for both of us.

LIST TIME!

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak - obviously
Higgelty Piggelty Pop by Maurice Sendak - I have a seriously serious love affair with this book, and not just cuz the dog's name is Jenny.
Eloise by Kay Thompson (and curiously hard to find on Amazon)- I love this book. Like, really LOVE it.  There are all these nuances to Eloise's home life and backstory and stuff.  And Gabriel adores it too.  He has good taste.
Ping by Marjorie Flack - This books is fabulous and everyone should read it and love it.  I'm a big Marjorie Flack fan, you should also check out Angus and the Ducks. GENIUS.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Mayer - My grandma gave me this book, and my mom got it for Gabriel, and it just hits an absolutely perfect soft spot about kids and their grandparents.
Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban - We used to have this one as a read-aloud tape that I kept in my TMNT lunchbox.  Gabey loves it too.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst - sometimes it feels like this is every day every in our house.
I Can Fly by Ruth Krauss - OMG this is the BEST book EVER. I sometimes think.
Humphrey the Lost Whale by Wendy Tokuda - My grandpa got me this book for Christmas one year.  It's the same copy that I read to Gabriel.
A House Is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman - This book is awesome. And it rhymes, but not in an annoying way.  In a fun way.
The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear - There's nothing like falling in love with classic poetry via children's books.
Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges - This book is actually insanely long and complex and I would THINK it would be a little much for Gabey, but it's by far one of his top picks.
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig - Y'know, donkeys and wishing stones, etc.
The Napping House by Audrey Wood - FAVORITE jump up from rest book.
The Little Mermaid and Other Tales by Hans Christian Andersen - I linked to the very specific copy that I grew up with, that I then happened to find in a thrift center as an adult.  The illustrations are gorgeous, and I love it.  It also includes The Emperor's New Clothes, Simple Simon and It's Absolutely True.
Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall - This book isn't from my childhood, it's from my brothers'.

I really wanted to tell you about my very favorite children's book in the ENTIRE WORLD, which is The Wonderful Tree by Ulf Löfgren.  It was published in 1970ish, and we inherited it from my aunt Rebecca.  And apparently now it's a rare collector's item.  I found a copy on eBay, damaged library copy, for $200, but it sold before I could finish writing this post.  And I found a facebook fanpage. What I can't find?  Any copies of the book itself, or even a picture, so that I might show you the magical illustrations.  Our copy still exists, in tatters, reclaimed by my aunt when she started having kids.  It really is THE BEST book.  SIGH.

Anyhow.

There are many MANY MANY more, but I have to stop somewhere, right?
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UPDATE:  I found The Wonderful Tree via interlibrary loan, and I am SO TOTALLY checking it out.  I'll share pictures and stuff when I get it.