Part of the impetus for this blog was the nagging thought that there are many amazing picture books in the world that I do not want to miss sharing with my children. This thought has reared its head again and spurred me to come up with a list of 60 books that I absolutely do not want to miss sharing with my children. These 60 books are books that I hope my children will read repeatedly and remember fondly as part of their childhood.
Why 60? I was aiming for my top 50 picture books, but 50 felt a little too restrictive and is not divisible by 12.
Why divisible by 12? While I could simply share my Top 60 list with you today, I thought it would be more helpful and exciting to reveal five not-to-be-missed picture books on the first of each of the 12 months of the year.
You are invited to read these books along with us! Feel free to read all five books or only those that look interesting to you each month. This will be most fun if you stop back after you have read the books and let us know what you think.
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Without further ado, here are the first 5 of my 60 not-to-be-missed picture books…
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. A young boy named Peter explores and frolics in the snow. The Snowy Day features lovely illustrations, with lots of texture. Ages 1+
Crictor by Tomi Ungerer. “Once upon a time in a little French town…” Madame Louise Bodot received a boa constrictor in the mail. She named the boa constrictor Crictor, and it became her pet. So begins Crictor, a delightfully apsurd exposition about what it might be like to have a boa constrictor as a pet. Ages 3+
Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan and Sophie Blackall. A story of sibling rivalry that feels authentic, with a satisfying good ending. The big red lollipop on the front cover does not hurt this book’s chances of appealing to kids. Ages 4+
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig. The heart-wrenching tale of a donkey who discovers a magic red pebble and unwittlingly turns into a rock. This miserable plot is tempered by William Steig’s wit and is the perfect set-up for a well-delivered message about being thankful for what you have. Ages 4+
Art & Max by David Wiesner. An energetic, imaginative tale that only David Wiesner has the artistic skills to pull off. I could have selected any one of Wiesner’s three Caldecott-award-winning picture books for this list — Flotsam, The Three Pigs, or Tuesday. All three are super innovative, artistic masterpieces. Art & Max is pure, unadulterated fun. Ages 4+
- Which of these books is your favorite, and why?
- How have children you have shared these books with reacted?
- Is there another book by one of these authors — Ezra Jack Keats, Tomi Ungerer, Rukhsana Khan, William Steig, or David Wiesner — that you particularly like?
I look forward to hearing from you!