Could you choose ten favorite picture books? Just ten? I took up that challenge as part of the August Picture Book 10 for 10 blog event sponsored for the fourth year by Cathy at Reflect & Refine: Building a Learning Community and Mandy at Enjoy and Embrace Learning.
In past years, participating bloggers have interpreted the top ten challenge in extra-clever ways to share diverse and interesting lists of books. I tried and failed to apply categorization or classification to my list. Ultimately there is no unifying thread other than the fact that I’m head-over-heels in love with them!
The newest title on my top ten for 2013 is Snippet: The Early Riser by Bethanie Deeney Murguia. Snippet is a fresh, cute story with lots of kid appeal and clever illustrations. The link will bring you to a trailer and activities to download.
Look beyond Snippet’s patchwork shell to appreciate and celebrate this strong, beautiful shape in the brilliant nature observations from Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman.
From snail to reptile, the classic Crictor by Tomi Ungerer has been a favorite of mine since childhood. Such an endearing boa and doting owner – in Paris! Oo la la.
Snakes not your speed? Perhaps you’d prefer a more traditional pet like Won Ton: A Cat Tale in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw. The wonderful, much-lauded tale of a shelter cat finding home will warm your heart through and through.
Once you have savored those luscious feline haiku, turn to the rollicking rhymes of The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz. This is a super fun read-aloud storytime book featuring a strong girl pig who knows the value of determination and practice.
Did that put you in the mood for a little more poetry? Wonderful! I’m delighted to recommend one of my favorite poetry collections for kids, A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk by Deborah Ruddell. My review from last year is one of this blog’s most viewed posts!
Perhaps you’d like to read more about animals and their habitats. I love Rain by Manya Stojic for its color soaked illustrations and evocative descriptions of the parched African savannah, transformed in dramatic fashion by a thunderstorm.
Precipitation of a colder persuasion is gorgeously depicted in another long-time favorite, Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, featuring Mary Azarian’s incredible 1999 Caldecott winning woodcuts. This gem has it all: nature, biography, art, history, science and fabulous curriculum resources.
Snow is still falling in my next favorite friendship story, Salina Yoon’s Penguin and Pinecone. Sweet, funny and touching, these unlikely friends don’t let distance become a barrier. Plus – a penguin who knits! I almost tucked Boy + Bot by Ame Dykeman in this slot for its equally lovely emphasis on friendship and communication.
I’m crazy about book ten on my list, the marvelous Exclamation Mark by powerhouse duo Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld. This treasure explores the emotional turmoil of feeling different, then ultimately finding and celebrating your true self. It’s inspiring, compelling, and appealing for kids as well as adults. I smile every time I read it!
It’s not too late to join the fun at August Picture Book 10 for 10. Check the links for participating bloggers, or look on Twitter for posts under #pb10for10. What favorites would you put on your top ten?