May 13-19 is Children’s Book Week. Per the Book Week Online website, “Brian Selznick – Caldecott winner, 2012 Children’s Choice Book Awards Illustrator of the Year, and creator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck – has created a commemorative masterpiece that beautifully illustrates the idea that books can take you anywhere. The poster pays homage to two of children’s literature’s legends: Remy Charlip, author and illustrator of more than 38 books, including modern classics like Hooray for Me, I Love You, Arm in Arm, Mother Mother I Feel Sick, A Perfect Day, and Fortunately, the latter of which has been in print continuously for over 48 years; and Maurice Sendak, Caldecott Medal winner for Where the Wild Things Are, creator of children’s classics including In the Night Kitchen, Chicken Soup with Rice, Alligators All Around, and illustrator of the Little Bear books.”
So, what are some of my favorites? There are Rocks in My Socks Said the Ox to the Fox by Patricia Thomas definitely heads the list. As I’ve said before, Lisa, Abbe and I each have our own copy. Her Stand Back, Said the Elephant, I’m Going to Sneeze! is a close runner up. Senkak’s Night Kitchen is a winner. I even have a poster of it in my kitchen. The classic Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown has been a favorite since I was reading picture books to the kids. I still thrill when I find the mouse. Jamie Lee Curtis’ books line my library shelves. (I do have an autographed copy of one.) And Herb the Vegetarian Dragon by Jules Bass holds a special place in my heart. It was picked out by Lisa on one of our picture book shopping sprees. Madlenka by Peter Sis was a recent purchase and well worth it. And finally, Leave Your Sleep by Natalie Merchant, is a charming compendium of older poems for children with Barbara McClintock’s wonderful artwork.
No children’s booklist should exclude Shel Silverstein’s wonderful poems and artwork. Lauren Oliver’s The Spindlers, a new addition to great children’s books, is a thrill. Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz was an Abbe recommendation and was fun. And I’ll close with Brian Selznick’s Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck. The artwork will blow you away.
So, now that I’ve bored you to death, let me say that you’re never too old to read and enjoy children’s books. It’s only been the last dozen years, when I began library school, that I read them as part of my normal reading. If you don’t have a child to read to, don’t be ashamed to read them to yourself. You’ll enjoy the trip.
Monologue over. Get reading. Let me know what are some of your favorite children’s books. My niece has already chimed in with Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett.