Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Book Week: Day 2, Children's Books

I love children's books. Correction---good children's books. Man, there are a lot of crappy ones out there. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but people, please read the book before you give it to a child as a gift.


To find some way to limit myself, here are the 10  7 ( ran out of time) I'm most grateful for:


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The Little Farm by the Sea by Kay Chorao


I don't want to read it, I want to crawl inside it and live there.  Or at least live nearby and buy fresh eggs there.


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I love the detailed illustrations, the playfulness of the animals set against the labor of the humans, and the narrative of how life on the farm changes with the seasons. Recommended for all ages.


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Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel


Love Frog and Toad. They still make me laugh. My favorite is "The Lost Button." Ages 5 and up. 


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Farmer Will by Jane Cowen-Fletcher


Best for 2 yr olds. Will takes his favorite animal toys outside, where they stretch to real life...


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 and have a great time till his nap beckons.


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Ten Minutes Till Bedtime by Peggy Rathmann


Love Rathmann, and her attention to detail. Dad counts down to bedtime, oblivious to the hamster tour/party taking place, while his son diligently gets ready for bed. Both my boys LOVED Rathmann's Goodnight Gorilla as toddlers, and there are several little nods to its fans (note the familiar gorilla below). Minimal text, but you are guaranteed to notice new details, even on the 101th read.


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The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey and Doug Wood


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Another favorite of our little boys. They love the repetition (one of the first books they "read" to us) and the expressions on the little mouse's face. Aidan finally picked up on the unreliable narrator around age 4, but there is plenty to enjoy even before they get the joke.


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Harry the Dirty Dog by Gary Zion & Margaret Bloy Graham


This was a childhood favorite of mine. Harry runs away to avoid a bath, and returns so dirty that his family no longer recognizes him.


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Bloy Graham uses only orange, green and shades of black to illustrate, and somehow those limits open it up even more to the imagination.


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The Little House by Virgina Lee Burton


Seems like everyone else on the planet already knew this book when I finally discovered it last year. First published in 1943, it is the story of urban sprawl and, yet again, another great depiction of seasonal changes.


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