Sunday, September 1, 2013
Top 10 Books for September
This month I decided to ask my kids (they are now 17 and 19) what picture books they remember fondly from when they were little. I was surprised by many of the ones they picked and when I asked them why they remembered them they responded that it was the illustrations that they remembered the most. A couple of the books were remembered because they were books that we read together at bedtime, and others were because they remembered something from the story. So without further ado, here are the top 10 books my kids loved the most when they were little.
The Teacher from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler was the first book picked by my youngest - she loved the entire series. She can barely remember the stories but she loved the illustrations. This child had a very active imagination and the illustrations just captured
The Dumb Bunnies' Easter (and all The Dumb Bunnies books) by Sue Denim was another of her picks. She has fond memories of her first grade teacher reading these books as well as the books being a hot commodity in the classroom. Whenever the kids were able to pick their own books, these were always the first to go.
Madison also loved all the Berenstain Bears books. One of her favorites was New Baby. We got this book for my oldest daughter when we were getting ready to have Madison. This book has always been on our bookshelf and Madison always picked this book to read. She not only loved the illustrations, but the story.
Madison had a little lovey named BunBun. It came in her very first Easter Basket and from that moment on BunBun was a constant companion. Madison was not very happy when she had to leave BunBun in bed when she started school. When Madison first had this story, Owen by Kevin Henkes, read to her, there was an instant connection. Unfortunately for Madison we could not cut BunBun into little pieces for her to carry around, that would have been too traumatic for her as well as BunBun- she could barely handle BunBun being put in the washing machine.
Madison chose Ribbon Rescue by Robert Munsch because of the illustrations. She loved all of the ribbons and where and what they were used for. She also loved the bride and her wedding dress and how her hair was done. She would study the illustrations of the ribbons and at home she would use ribbons all around the house to make things pretty.
Dandelion by Don Freeman was chosen by my oldest daughter. She picked this book because of the illustrations and because she loved the lesson Dandelion learned, it is better to be yourself. She loved seeing how he changed and how no one was impressed, they liked him better they way he was.
Kelsey picked Ferdinand by Munro Leaf because of the simple black and white illustrations. She loved to draw and color when she was little (she is a great artists still) and these illustrations helped her with her early story telling. She would pick this story all the time for bedtime, and many times she would tell the story just by the illustrations.
Imogene's Antlers by David Small was picked by Kelsey as well. Not only did she love the illustrations but she loved how Imogene just made the best of the situation. Imogene was not sad or upset that she had antlers, she was happy. Kelsey really liked how the illustrations showed how Imogen handled having antlers.
Jamberry by Bruce Degen was at small board book that we had a home. Because it was a board book Kelsey would carry this around with her all the time. The bright illustrations and rhythm and rhyme of the story had her wandering around the house singing this story. To this day, when she sees this book she immediately smiles.
The last book Kelsey chose was Professor Wormbog in Search for the Zipperump-a-Zoo by Merer Mayer. This book was a very special book, it was mine when I was a kid and it was one of my favorites. We would read it at night before bed and we would have to be very careful with it. The illustrations are amazing in this story and both my girls would spend lots of time studying the pages of this story. They would always find something new in the pages and be so excited to share it.
I know this is probably not the list you were hoping for, but I really had a great time talking with my girls about these books and why they remembered them. If you have older kids, take a minute or two and ask them what books they remember fondly from their childhood and why. The most interesting thing that I got out of this is that the illustrations and the bedtime ritual were more important to my kids when they were younger than the story itself.