Thursday, May 16, 2013

It's Children's Book Week!

According to their website

Established in 1919, Children's Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, commemorative events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes -- wherever young readers and books connect! 
Children's Book Week is administered by Every Child A Reader, a 501(c)(3) literacy organization dedicated to instilling a lifelong love of reading in children. The Children's Book Council, the national non-profit trade association for children's book publishers, is an anchor sponsor.

I'm celebrating this fabulous week by listing my top ten 
children's books.

1. Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon: This book is the first one that comes to mind when I think "favorite picture book."  It has everything a great story needs; a fabulous heroine, a big challenge to overcome, a kind and loving mentor and a great twist to provide a satisfying ending.  Moreover, it's a story about a seemingly powerless person triumphing over a bully.

2. The Recess Queen: This story is about bullying too but it's done in rhyme and includes a dash of madness in the illustrations and interactions between characters.  It invites a bit more joy into a topic often fraught with anything but fun.

3. Knuffle Bunny: Mo Willems used to be a stand up comic and, if you look at the mastery in punch lines throughout his work, it shows.  This book resonated with children and parents because it hit a perfect balance between the exhaustion of parenting and the longing children feel when separated from their favorite object of love.

4. This is Just to Say: I loved this one so much that I ended up adapting it for the stage!  What is beautiful about this book, aside from the lovely poetry, are the stories of apology and forgiveness.

5. How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight: Everything by Jane Yolen is wonderful but this one is particularly good.  Pairing clever rhyme with gorgeous illustration, the reader takes a romp towards bedtime with a series of lovable, relatable dinosaur kids.

6. Sam's Sister: This is total self promotion but why shouldn't one of my favorite picture books be one that I wrote?  The book is about the pain and beauty of open adoption.

7. The Wednesday Surprise: This book is such a lovely gift in children's stories.  It shows a powerful bond between child and adult and gives the reader the ultimate, satisfying ending.

8. When Mama Comes Home Tonight: When my first child was born, I had to go back to work full time and the separation was hard on both of us.  This book was a comfort during a difficult life transition.  It still brings tears to my eyes!

9. Seven Silly Eaters: Another rhyming book, this one joyfully celebrates a mother who tries to cater to every one of her children's picky preferences for eating. 

10. Sheep in a Jeep: Huh, I really like rhyming books... You always hear that editors hate them but they are such a pleasure to read aloud to kids!  This one is a quick and funny bedtime romp.

What are your favorite children's books?


  1. Such a long list I have so I will narrow it down to top 10 books by Michigan Authors:
    Emma Kate by Patricia Polacco
    The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
    Woolbur by Leslie Helakoski
    The Bravest of the Brave by Shutta Crum
    Arnei the Doughnut by Laurie Keller
    The Jacket I wear in the snow by Shirley Neitzel
    Cesar Takes a Break by Susan Collins Thoms
    One Dark Night by Lisa Wheeler
    Bed Hogs by Kelly DiPucchio
    The New Girl by Jacqui Robbins

    1. I don't know ANY of those. Time to hit the library...

  2. Some great choices! I haven't read Seven Silly Eaters, but it sounds as though it could have been written about me & my six siblings. I'll have to look for it.

  3. Great list of books. I'd put up my but it'd go on forever ;)