Okay, I have to admit that the 10 for 10 Picture Books event also had something to do with starting a blog. Cathy from the blog Reflect and Refine and Mandy from the blog Embrace Learning want to know which ten picture books we cannot live without. I started thinking about my list about a week ago and it keeps changing. It is quite a challenge to narrow the list down to just 10 because there are so many fabulous books for children, but I will give it a shot.
1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle - this book is the earliest book I can remember as a child. It seems to delight children over and over again. With the little holes to play with and the bright beautiful illustrations, this book is always a winner.
2. The Happy Hocky Family by Lane Smith - no matter how many times I read this book, I howl and so do the kids. Lane Smith's humor is quite cracked and sometimes I am not even sure why we are rolling on the floor, but there we are.
3. Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton - who can resist this great competition between these tough guys?
4. Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell - this biography is fantastic. The illustrations are gentle like Jane and the mix of real drawing and photographs with the illustrator's work is perfect.
5. Here's a Little Poem by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters - it is stretching definitions to consider this a picture book since it has a few too many pages, but I just wouldn't survive without some poetry. Children love the No-No Bird (a child stomping his feet and throwing a tantrum) because they have all seen or done the very same thing and the poem about ice cream is a winner too.
6. Sitti's Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye - is a truly beautiful story of family and place. This explores the relationship of a young girl with her Palestinian grandmother. They don't speak the same verbal language, but the language of love does the job.
7. No David! by David Shannon - absolutely hilarious - enough said.
8. We are in a Book! by Mo Willems - Elephant and Piggie may be simple characters, but they are sly and silly too. I love this book about books and reading and so does almost every child that has the good fortune to meet this book.
9. Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco - we have a heartwarming and beautiful tearjerker here. It is a great way to see some parallels with the Jewish and African American experiences. Beyond that, it is a fantastic example of community.
10. My People by Langston Hughes and Charles R. Smith Jr. - the photographs are fantastic and of course the poetry is too. I love seeing the beauty and joy in the faces of his people. You can't help but smile in response.