This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about the visual, so I decided to talk about a few of my favorite picture books! These range from newer to more classic, but they are all in my arsenal of go-to reads for the nieces and nephews. In fact, I asked my 2-year-old nephew for his favorite picture books too, so stay tuned for those!
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri
A New York Times bestselling phenomenon, this deliciously funny read-aloud from the creators of Robo-Sauce and Secret Pizza Party will make you laugh until spicy salsa comes out of your nose.
Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You’re in red-hot trouble.
The award-winning team of Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri has created an unforgettable tale of new friends and the perfect snack.
Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
Officer Buckle knows more about safety than anyone in the town of Napville. But whenever he tries to share his safety tips, nobody listens.Until, that is, the Napville Police Department buys a police dog named Gloria.
Unbeknownst to Officer Buckle, Gloria has her own way of demonstrating safety tips–one that makes Napville sit up and take notice! Suddenly, everybody wants to hear Officer Buckle’s safety speech. “And please” people say, “bring along that police dog.”
When Officer Buckle discovers he’s been upstaged, he vows to give up safety tips once and for all. Can Gloria convince her friend to return to the job he loves, or is Napville about to have its worst accident ever?
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes, the nationally bestselling and celebrated creator of Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Owen, and Kitten’s First Full Moon, Chrysanthemum is a funny and honest school story about teasing, self-esteem, and acceptance to share all year round.
Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let’s smell her,” says Jo.
Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again?
This popular picture book has sold more than a million copies and was named a Notable Book for Children by the American Library Association.
Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman & Stephen Gammell
Bespectacled, exuberant Grandpa is every child’s wish come true. In this tender story, three children visiting their grandfather learn about the good old days before people sat for hours in front of the television. The attic is overflowing with memories from Grandpa’s days as a vaudeville song and dance man.
Song-and-Dance man Grandpa can do it all, proving the well-worn adage that you’re only as old as you feel. He taps out a variety of steps, sings, plays the banjo, performs magic tricks, tells jokes, and gets the children laughing so hard they all get hiccups. When the children recover, Grandpa regales them with a fantastic finale, and the children beg for more.
Told from the children’s point of view, the text is understated and charming, with a true admiration for the older generation. The superbly rendered illustrations won artist Stephen Gammell a Caldecott Medal; his soft, colored-pencil drawings explode with affection and nostalgia, and are full of an apt vitality that seems to dance right off the page. This story is sure to enlarge the most devout television-watcher’s idea of entertainment.
Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran & Barbara Cooney
Marian called it Roxaboxen. (She always knew the name of everything.) There across the road, it looked like any rocky hill — nothing but sand and rocks, some old wooden boxes, cactus and greasewood and thorny ocotillo — but it was a special place: a sparkling world of jeweled homes, streets edged with the whitest stones, and two ice cream shops. Come with us there, where all you need to gallop fast and free is a long stick and a soaring imagination.
In glowing desert hues, artist Barbara Cooney has caught the magic of Alice McLerran’s treasured land of Roxaboxen — a place that really was, and, once you’ve been there, always is.
I Love You Through and Through by
A rhyming story of unconditional love and adorable illustrations of a toddler and a teddy bear who declare “I love you through and through!”
I love your hair and eyes,
Your giggles and cries…
A toddler and his teddy bear illustrate a young child’s happy side, sad side, silly side, mad side, and more! Babies and toddlers will feel loved all over when they hear this declaration of adoration and affection!
Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco
After being initiated into a neighbor’s family by a solemn backyard ceremony, a young Russian American girl and her African American brothers’ determine to buy their gramma Eula a beautiful Easter hat. But their good intentions are misunderstood, until they discover just the right way to pay for the hat that Eula’s had her eye on. A loving family story woven from the author’s childhood.
“Polacco has outdone herself with these joyful, energetic illustrations, her vibrant colors even richer and more intense than usual, while authentic details enhance the interest. A unique piece of Americana.” —Kirkus Reviews, pointer review
“In this moving picture book, the hatred sometimes engendered by racial and religious differences is overpowered by the love of people who recognize their common humanity.” —Booklist, starred, boxed review
So then I asked my nearly-2-year-old nephew (who loves to read) for a few of HIS fave picture books. (Ok, I asked his parents. But they have the inside scoop.)
Hand Hand Fingers Thumb by Al Perkins & Eric Gurney
A madcap band of dancing, prancing monkeys explain hands, fingers, and thumbs to beginning readers.
One thumbDrumming on a drum
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss
Kids will love this noise-filled Bright and Early Book classic from the one and only Dr. Seuss! Mr. Brown is a sound-making wonder! He can hoo hoo like an owl and buzz buzz like a bee. It is so much fun to make noises that you hear every day, like moo and tick-tock. But stranger sounds are fun to make, too . . . like the pip of a goldfish kiss and the grum grum of a hippo chewing gum. Encouraging imaginative play while learning to read, Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? will keep kids laughing (when they’re not tick-tocking).
Combining brief and funny stories, easy words, catchy rhythm, and lively illustrations, Bright and Early Books are an ideal way to introduce the joys of reading to children.
And of course I have to include these two picture books, one by my husband and one by his cousin.
Clarissa Fell into the Water! by E. Townsend Schmidt
“Has anyone seen Clarissa?” Clarissa is a sheep with a big red bow who can’t help but get into trouble. When the yummy flowers and grass start to disappear, Clarissa thinks the Shepherd doesn’t care! When she sees a better field across the Big River, she falls bow-first into the chilly fast water. Can Clarissa get out? Does the Shepherd know where she is?
Based off the Parable of the Lost Sheep, “Clarissa Fell into the Water!” is a story that can be used to teach patience, trust, love, repentance and forgiveness.
Counting with Robots by Brian M. White
Counting with Robots is a fun way to get your toddler to count to ten using robots.
You can count the different pieces and parts of the robots as you read!
Bright and cheery with fun hand-drawn illustrations.
Fun for both boys and girls.
What about you? What are some of your fave picture books?