This year, I am sharing five not-to-be-missed picture books on the first of each month. This project — and this year — are flying by. It’s July 1st already, folks! With July 4th just around the corner, it is fortuitous that two of the books that I have to share with you today are about marching bands: Max Found Two Sticks and Olivia Forms a Band.
Here is the complete list of 60 Not-to-be-Missed Picture Books.
Mr. Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham. A delightful story about an amiable man named Mr. Gumpy who agrees to take two children and a slew of animals on a boat ride. While the outcome of the boat trip is predictable, my 2-year-old son is superbly entertained each time we read about Mr. Gumpy’s boat tipping. John Burningham’s illustrations are rich, textured and beautiful. Ages 1+
Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney. A story about a boy Max who imitates the sounds he hears in his neighborhood by hitting a variety of objects with his two sticks. A lovely story about music found and made everywhere. Max Found Two Sticks is well paced and fun to read aloud. Ages 2+
Olivia Forms a Band by Ian Falconer. My view of this book is colored by the fact that it is my husband’s favorite book. My husband and children have a lot of fun laughing at Olivia’s efforts to imitate an entire marching band. This is one in a series of books about Olivia — a spunky character who Ian Falconer brings to life with his fantastic illustrations. Ages 4+
The Subway Mouse by Barbara Reid. An adventure story about a subway mouse who sets off one day in search of a mysterious world that he has heard exists outside the subway system. While The Subway Mouse lacks a strong arch of a storyline, it draws readers into a convincingly rendered underground world. Barbara Reid’s illustrations made of plasticine and found objects are impressive. Ages 5+
Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin. I laughed out loud reading Diary of the Worm for the first time…and the second…and the third. Diary of a Worm is a series of jokes told in the form of a diary written by a worm. This is a very fun book to read aloud to a group of 7 to 9-year-old kids. Ages 6+