Thursday, May 28, 2009


No one at our house is immune to the disease of needing to read. It is a need and a disease.
I didn't set up the picture above--it was "captured"--but you probably knew that. :)

Here's a list of some of our favorites that might be lesser known:
(I've "linked" you to Amazon so you can see the art if you're interested or even curious)

Slow Train to Oxmox by Kurt Cyrus
Mowgli loves the train and all the messy things the train gets into and my favorite line is “Young Man, you’re a genius.” “Actually, I’m a mechanical engineer”. How can you not love something like that?!

Blueberries for Sal (Picture Puffins) by Robert McCloskey
("Kerplink, Kerplank, Kerpluk" go those blue berries)
I didn't think this book was lesser known, but in talking with other moms, many haven't heard of it, so I'm sharing it. I love that it's in Maine, there's blueberries, bears and kids. I love the blue ink illustrations. I especially love the end pages of the canning at home. Mowgli loves (and calls it) the kerplink, kerplunk book.

Halloween Pie by Michael O. Tunnell and Kevin O'Malley
I don't love the art in this book, but we get a lot of mileage out “Give me some Pie!” A witch bakes a pie and places a spell on it so only SHE can eat it. The ghouls, goblins, etc., from the graveyard come and eat it. They become ingredients for the pie and are released in the steam when the new pie is found. Lots of fun to read aloud and there's a pumpkin pie recipe at the end.

Mailing May by Michael O. Tunnell and Ted Rand

This book is about a little girl that gets "mailed" to her grandma since her parents can't afford to send her by train. Ted Rand illustrated this one with watercolor (I think) and I have loved it since I first saw it. Imagine my delight when it became a repeat favorite of my kidlin.

Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild! by Mem Fox and Marla Frazee
Sometimes things happen just like that–milk gets spilled, pillows are emptied of the feathers, Mom’s even yell sometimes even though they don’t want to. Great reminder for parents that forgiveness and frustration are part of parenting and being a kid too.

The Happy Hedgehog Band by Martin Waddell and Jill Barton
Lots of fun noise making–rat-a-tat-tat and everyone in the forest gets involved in the humming and drumming. Oh and "the dog that was lost in the woods just danced."

Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin
I’ve loved this one forever and for some reason Mowgli picked it up out of our home library and loves it too. It might be the ink drawings that show up the autumn trees in their leafless state. It might be that there's a recipe for Cranberry bread at the back. It might be that justice is served by the smelly Mr. Whiskers (of whom Grandmother doesn't approve). It might also be that a measure of mercy is expressed by the same Mr. Whiskers. It might be too that it's set in Maine on a cranberry farm. :)

Counting Our Way to Maine by Maggie Smith
Fantastic counting book forward (and backward if you want) to 20. First they pack one baby–and that is SO funny! Then it goes the distance to Maine and through their vacation, counting lobster traps, bug bites, clams, slugs on the porch, blueberry pies, boats, etc. I love the illustrations and activities that are counted. In any case, it's very fun. I must make a note here now that you might have noticed a number of "Maine" books. One of my dreams in life is to travel to Maine, as it sounds like where I grew up with less rain. It's a completely romantic notion, but what is life without romance?

Bunny's Numbers by Dick McCue and Lisa McCue
A fun count to 10 with garden produce: watermelon, tomatos, carrots, even daffodils. Good garden counting fun in rhyme. I love the art in it as well.

The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman and Marla Frazee
We love this book on so many levels. The art work is fantastic (and very supportive of the text), the rhyming fun. The specific foods each child will eat get combined into a wonderful one meal for the whole family. Happy Birthday Mom! You see the home progress from a family with one child to a family with 7. More laundry, more mess. It's just fun--Oh and Mrs. Peters plays the cello--when she can. :) Did I mention that I want to live in thier house? At least in theory.

The Duchess Bakes a Cake by Virginia Kahl
This one is a fun rhyming book, "lovely light lucious delectable cake" The dutchess takes time out from reading and writing to bake--how can you not like that? It's one I might not have pulled off a shelf, but someone down the street was giving them away and we couldn't resist. Such delightful fun for all of us. She bakes a cake and gets stuck up on top of it and they have to figure out a way to get her down.

This is just a fun exchange of socks for food that comes full circle. A poor man and his wife tire of just turnips for supper. They figure out a way to trade what little they do have for some cheese and milk. In the end they get back what they've traded.

Block City by Rovert Louis Stevenson illustrated by Ashley Wolff (sorry no amazon link)
Little man loves this "Town by the sea" book. Ashley Wolff does a fantastic job of illustrating it.

Barn Dance! (Reading Rainbow) by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault, and Ted Rand
Some of the rhythm of this book catches me short every time, but on the whole very fun to read aloud. Lots of room of vocal acting. :) (What is that really called?!)

Are you still with me? That's all for now! Some other day I may give you a list of our (or is it MY?) favorite Alaska Books.

What are some of your favorite picture books?


SHAKS Watts said...

I agree, it is WAY too hard to choose just one book. And part of the joy of the book is our kids' reactions to the book. But here are some of our favs:

Dog Breath!: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis
by Dav Pilkey
(Avy is doing a book report on this today and made a sweet little diarama of Hally's breath.)

Come along, Daisy!
by Jane Simmons

Snuggle Puppy: A Little Love Song (and the sweet little song!)
by Sandra Boynton

ANY book by David Shannon
No, David!
How I Became a Pirate
Duck on Bike
Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving

Wemberly Worried
by Kevin Henkes

by David Wiesner

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale
by Mo Willems

The Dot
by Peter H. Reynolds

The Black Book of Colors
by Menena Cottin, Rosana Faria (Illustrator) , Elisa Amado (Translator)

Marsupial Sue (and song!!)
by John Lithgow

Araboolies of Liberty Street
by Sam Swope

Thank You, Mr. Falker
by Patricia Polacco

Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day
by Jamie Lee Curtis

Yo! Yes?
by Chris Raschka

Not in Room 204
by Shannon Riggs

Jess said...

I am going to add all of these to my Amazon wish list. I've never not loved a book you've recommended!

Chiska said...

Thanks for your ideas and comments guys!