Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

National Picture Book Month

November is National Picture Book Month, and I thought I would contribute to the celebration with a list of ten of my favorite picture books. This is by no means a definitive list – I have hundreds of favorites! – but for our family, these books have stood the test of time and continue to delight, even after multiple readings. Many of them also ‘break the rules’ of picture book writing and publishing, and remind us that a unique idea, an original voice or a magical complement of story and art make it possible to venture beyond formulas and create something surprising and enduring:

Bark, George! (Jules Feiffer) – The giddy tale of a puppy who speaks every other animal’s language but his own – with superbly spare text and Feiffer’s brilliant, classic line-drawings.

The Dot (Peter H. Reynolds) – A child who thinks she has no creative talent learns how simple it can be to express oneself creatively and to take pleasure in the ownership of one’s efforts.

Goodnight, Moon (Margaret Wise Brown/Clement Hurd) – A little rabbit preparing for bed says goodnight to everyone and everything in his world. The perfect, classic bedtime story.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (Mo Willems) – A brilliant tribute to the often dramatic and unreasonable behavior of preschoolers, with simple but hilarious illustrations and text.

Harold and the Purple Crayon (Crockett Johnson) – Harold takes a memorable journey with a simple purple crayon… First published in 1955, a tribute to the power and wonder of imagination.

I Stink (Jim and Kate McMullan) – A hilarious ode to the humble garbage truck, reminding us that everyone has value and something to contribute.

Miss Rumphius (Barbara Cooney) – Alice Rumphius has three life quests – to see faraway places, to live by the sea in her old age, and to do something to make the world a more beautiful place.

Olivia (Ian Falconer) – The “Eloise” of pigs! Ian Falconer’s hilarious series about an unforgettable (if a tad precocious) porcine heroine.

Owen (Kevin Henkes) Owen and his beloved blanket are inseparable, until the first day of kindergarten. Can his parents find a solution that suits everyone and helps their son transition?

Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go To Sleep (Joyce Dunbar/Debi Gliori) – A thoughtful bunny calms his younger sister’s nighttime fears by encouraging her to think happy thoughts.

Comments

9 Responses to “National Picture Book Month”
  1. Sheri Larsen says:

    So many fantastic books! My personal favorite is Owen. I know it by heart. 🙂

  2. Hi, I followed your Tweet comment about Picture Book Month and enjoy your list of favorite books! I’m a published author/illustrator of children’s picture books. Planning a book/blog tour to celebrate Picture Book Month. Would you be interested in participating? I think it’s a good way to help promote picture books and love of reading with and for children. Thanks! Jo Ann

  3. Beth says:

    Oh, goodie! A couple of titles I’m not familiar with!

    I love practically everything by Kevin Henkes, and “Owen” is one of my favorites. I think “Ish” is my favorite Reynolds book.

    A picture book that I remember fondly from my childhood is “The Golden Egg” by Margaret Wise Brown. Knowing that a book can stay in someone’s memory for over fifty years shows how important it is to share good picture books with children. The guest post for today on PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) is by Carol Rasco from Reading Is Fundamental, who reminds us that the picture books we write may be the key to unlocking the wonder of reading for a child. There is so much potential — and responsibility — in that.

    Thank you for helping aspiring writers like me to realize their potential, and thank you for sharing some of your family’s favorites, Emma.

  4. Diane says:

    Great list Emma. I love the last one. I have joined an online Picture Book Ideas Month for November. Hoping to accumulate lots of ideas for stories.

  5. Didn’t realize there was a National Picture Book Month — great idea! Love you selections, many I’ve read and loved, others I’m not so familiar with. Think my favorite is “I Stink.”
    Love the action! Will have to check out Miss Rumphius, as it sounds intriguing. I have read so many very good picture books this past year, thanks to you!

  6. Hi, I followed your Tweet comment about Picture Book Month and enjoy your list of favorite books! I’m a published author/illustrator of children’s picture books: storyquestbooks.com (redesigned site should be up any time now). Planning a book/blog tour to celebrate Picture Book Month. Would you be interested in participating? I think it’s a great way to help promote picture books and love of reading with and for children. Thanks! Jo Ann

  7. Emma, thank you so much for participating in Picture Book Month! I’m thrilled to see the celebrations around the world. Perhaps next year, you can be one of our Picture Book Month Champions!

    November is Picture Book Month. Pick up a picture book and join the party. Read * Share * Celebrate!

    Warmly,
    Dianne de Las Casas
    Founder of Picture Book Month

  8. Beth says:

    Today I celebrated Picture Book Month with an author/blog/mentor profile of one Emma Walton Hamilton. You might want to take a look —

    http://elizabethannewrites.com/2011/11/03/emma-walton-hamilton-an-authorblogmentor-profile/

  9. Emma says:

    Oh my goodness, Beth! I am truly touched by your words, and your extraordinary support. Thank you, thank you!

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