Monday, March 23, 2009

Top Ten Picture Books

Over at one of my absolute favorite blogs (for both it's hugely informative content regarding all things children's books and it's wonderfully sarcastic author), A Fuse #8 Production, we've been asked to compile our top ten list of all-time favorite picture books, with #1 being our absolute favorite. Though given the "assignment" almost a month ago, this was no easy project to take on, as I love so many different titles and let's face it...I may be young compared to a lot of librarians in this world, but for almost 26 years I've been seeing picture books on a daily basis, making the list to choose from huge!

With only a few days left until the March 31 deadline, I've finally come up with my top ten favorites. Yes, I had to leave some out that I love very much, but these were what I most remember from both my childhood and my current librarian lifestyle...books that I am always recommending and will never stop enjoying. I've included a little blurb about why I truly love that particular book.

I did learn something about myself as I was completeing this list. I am obsessed with books about FOOD!!! I read my husband my list when I was done and he says "I haven't heard of half of those, but I can tell you that you think about food just a bit too much." Red-faced me agreed. Hehe.

Oh how hard this was....

10. Curious George by H.A. Rey
-This one narrowly made it. When I think of Curious George, my favorite books were the titles that came later. Curious George Goes to the Hospital for example. However, I really didn't want to choose between those, so I think it is entirely appropriate to include the book that started it all! These Curious George books spent a lot of time in my household when I was younger and they already have a place on the bookshelf for when my own little one comes along.

9. Little Pea by Amy Krause Rosenthal
-I was ALWAYS recommending this one to parents at the library. When it first came in, I read it to screen for patrons and immediately knew I would be buying a copy for myself. I've since bought probably 10 for various kids and baby's a newer book, but destined to be a classic.

8. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
-I can probably quote this book word for word by now, having read it so many times to children I've babysat and then during storytimes. No matter how many times children (or adults) have heard this one, it is still adorable and still completely giggle-inducing.

7. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
- I knew I had to have a Mo Willems book on this list, but how to choose? I love every single one, so I went with my first experience with the Pigeon titles and that's the bus book. These books never stay on our shelves for very long and I already have multiple copies of each at home, so I can easily lend them out, but never be without them. My husband LOVES these books and when a new one comes out he always has to read it out loud to me first. And if the hubby loves it, we've definitely got a winner on our hands.

6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
-A favorite years and years ago and still a favorite today. I love sharing with kids how the caterpillar eats and eats and finally turns into a beautiful butterfly. Carle's illustrations are always amazing and the education level in this title is definitely top-notch. Love it!

5. Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell and Lillian Hoban
-My mom used to get so mad at me, because we had shelves and shelves filled with books and this is always the one I handed her (until we acquired my #1 title of course). I wasn't a picky eater, maybe that's why I loved reading about one! All the Frances titles were popular in my house, but this was definitely my favorite.

4. Corduroy by Don Freeman
-How could I leave Corduroy off this list? I love the story of the little bear in the department store and it's been reissued so many times other people obviously love it too. I think it's time this bear has his own movie....don't you?

3. The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord
-Until about 6 months ago, I had forgotten about this book. I was browsing shelves, looking for some books to take back to the hospital with me to read to Jacob and just about peed my pants when I saw this one. I LOVED it when I was little and just hadn't seen a copy in years. An absolute classic that will never be forgotten by me again!

2. King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood
-The hubby thinks I'm weird for loving this one as much as I do, but I can't help it. Another that I just thought was fantastic when I was younger and I'm always recommending it now. Not too many people have heard of it anymore, but with the funny story and fabulous illustrations, I'm always happy with recommending it. It's a Caldecott Honor book too, so maybe my posting about it will help some of you that haven't heard about it or just forgotten, run back out to your library and check it out for your kids.

And number one you ask?? My all-time favorite book in the picture book realm???

1. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
-I cannot tell you how incredibly excited I was to hear a movie is being made out of this book. I have read it so many times I have it memorized and am always so disappointed to learn that a library doesn't have it on its shelves. How can you not love a story about food taking over a city?! I am always recommending this and buying it for people and so many have never even heard of it. I'm a fan, a big one.

SO many titles were close to making this list for me. I almost included The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash by Steven Kellogg, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, and A Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel. I felt bad about not including The Pokey Little Puppy and Where the Wild Things Are and I definitely feel like Madeline, Babar, and sooooo many others deserve places in the top 100. Just not my top ten.

This was fun, thanks Fuse!! Leave a comment with your own Top Ten list if you made one! And go HERE to learn how to do it!

To learn more about any of these titles, or to purchase, click on the book covers above to link to Amazon.


Jean Reidy said...

Hi Amanda,
It's so fascinating to read everyone's lists and their reasons behind their rankings. I've also posted my top ten on my blog and it was difficult deciding, to say the least. You and I have only one author in common, but after I read your list I'm feeling the need to post an addendum to mine. I'm looking forward to Elizabeth's final tally.

Charlotte said...

I like your list! Not just because I like some of the books very much too, but I haven't read some of these, and now can go find them...

I have to do my list too...

Kaethe said...

It's hard to say what I'm enjoying more: the books I must read, or the blogs I must subscribe to.