Britta’s post (and the subsequent replies) got me thinking about children’s books. I don’t remember too many from my childhood, though i know i read thousands. I can remember a lot of the chapter books -- many of which i still have -- but for picture books it’s a different story.
I’m trying to compile a list. I feel a little like i’m cheating, because some of them are ones i discovered as a teenager and they’re really more sophisticated than your basic Goodnight Moon (which is a wonderful book, don’t get me wrong). I should reread the picture books we still have (like The Story About Ping). It’s interesting; some stuff i remember from my childhood i go back to and don’t like anymore (like The Giving Tree, actually), but other stuff i still adore.
So here’s an off-the-top-of-my-head list of favorite picture books:
- The Blue Faience Hippopotamus (Joan Marshall Grant)
- The Goodnight Circle (Carolyn Lesser)
- Horton Hatches The Egg (Dr. Seuss)
- Oh, The Places You’ll Go (Dr. Seuss)
- Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters (John Steptoe)
- Rumpelstiltskin’s Daughter (Diane Stanley)
- these 2 beautiful wordless books the names of which i can't think of for the life of me though i would swear they are in my bookcase somewhere -- one is the girl getting ready for bed, she has a bath with a boat whose sail is a napkin, and the other one is the same girl getting ready for school, and her mommy is sleepy like my mommy and she has this rag doll that she has to leave at home. They're probably from the 80s. They're odd shaped books, much longer than they are tall. I think they just had one word titles, like "Evening" and "Morning" or something. Amazon was not helpful. Must scour bookcases. [edit: I broke down and looked through amazon's 212 item list of "morning" children's books. #137 was an out-of-print hardcover, Sunrise. I think that's the morning book, though i'm still not sure what the nighttime book is titled. I hate when wonderful books like that (and The Blue Faience Hippopotamus and The Goodnight Circle are out of print.)]
- Goodnight Moon (Margaret Wise Brown)
And of course when i was on amazon looking up who the authors to all these were, i saw lots of books i couldn’t believe i’d forgotten
- Harold and the Purple Crayon (Crockett Johnson)
- If You Give a Pig a Pancake (Laura Numeroff)
- The Little Engine That Could (Watty Piper)
- The Story of Ferdinand (Munroe Leaf)
- The Velveteen Rabbit (Margery Williams)
- a boxed set of 4 small Maurice Sendak books (The Nutshell Library) i still have on my bookcase: Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months, Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue, One Was Johnny: A Counting Book, Alligators All Around: An Alphabet
- Make Way For Ducklings
and lots of books i should reread because i remember loving them but i can’t remember them well enough to know if i would still like them
- The Runaway Bunny (Margaret Wise Brown)
- Perfect the Pig (Susan Jeschke)
- Harry the Dirty Dog (Gene Zion)
- Are You My Mother? (P. D. Eastman
- Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (Judi Barrett)
- Corduroy (Don Freeman)
Library errands tonight now definitely include much picture-book-ing.
And i need to ask the children’s department about a book. We got it out from Norwood, i know we did. I can’t for the life of me remember the name of it, though. It’s a picture book, and all i remember is there’s this bit where the narrator says “And then the great baby... ME... arrived!” and there’s this picture of a little boy in a cowboy hat and spurs and a diaper nearly leaping off the page. It’s terribly cute, and i really want to find it again.