Friday, January 31, 2014

Our 10 Favorite Picture Books

We have a LOT of books in our house.  Tony and I both came into our marriage with boxes and boxes of books of our own.  Add to that 15 years worth of children's books plus 10 years worth of homeschool books, plus the just-because-I-want-to-read-it books, and....well, yes, we have a lot.

I really believe that a love of reading begins early on, and so we have always read to our little ones from the time they were old enough to prop up in the crook of our arms and be read to.

I wanted to share with you some of our very favorite picture books for the 0 -3 crowd.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Eric Carle
Little ones love the colorful illustrations and turning the different sized pages to see what the caterpillar ate each day.  A classic that is still loved at our house!

The Babies on the Bus
by Karen Katz
This adorable little board book by Karen Katz (of Where is Baby's Belly Button? fame) is bright and cheery.  You can't help but sing the song as you read it, joining along with the babies on the bus as they bounce bumpity-bump, cry waah waah waah, and fall fast asleep.

Big Red Barn
by Margaret Wise Brown
illustrated by Felicia Bond
"In the big red barn by the great green field/There was a pink pig who was learning to squeal."
This sweet and simple book by the beloved Margaret Wise Brown starts out sunny and progresses throughout the day on the farm until the last few pages are darker and quieter.  A great bedtime book as the tone of the book calms down page by page.

Storm is Coming
by Heather Tekavec
illustrated by Margaret Spengler
Farmer tells Dog to round up the animals in the barn because "storm is coming."   As Dog gathers all the others up inside the barn, they shiver and shake and speculate about who this "Storm" could he scary?  Mean?  The sounds of the rain and thunder and lightning will surely scare him away!  Adorable illustrations and a sense of excitement (ending with a phew!  everything is OK) make this a favorite everyone needs!

The Pumpkin Patch Parable
by Liz Curtis Higgs
illustrated by Nancy Munger
This sweet and colorful book takes you on a journey from seed to jack-o-lantern with a Christian twist.  The old farmer obviously represents God and the pumpkins that he cares for and cleans out and makes happy represent us!  We ready this every year when October rolls around.

Silly Little Goose
by Nancy Tafuri
This simple book was never one we meant to buy!  Years ago when we belonged to a children's book of the month club, this was their monthly selection one time when we forgot to pick our books!  But it has become a well-loved classic at our house!  That silly goose is looking for a place to build a nest, but she just can't seem to find a good spot...she tries the cat's bed, the chicken coop, the pig pen...finally she finds JUST the right spot and...well, you'll see!

Silly Sally
by Audrey Wood
"Silly Sally went to town, walking backwards upside down."  Silly Sally is super silly and wonderfully funny as she makes her trek into town to get things done.  A short book great for keeping toddlers' attention.

Bunny's Noisy Book
by Margaret Wise Brown
illustrated by Lisa McCue
If every there was a picture book that could be called sweet and quaint, this is it.  Margaret Wise Brown does it again with a simple and endearing story, and the illustrations by Lisa McCue give you a warm and fuzzy feeling.  Join Bunny as he goes through the day hearing noises (and making some!) all around him, from the first flutters of the birds up in the trees to the thump of Mama Rabbit's foot on the ground signalling it's time to come home.
***As I was looking for images of this book to use, Andrew walked up and said, "That's my book!  Want to read it," and went to the bookshelf to find it!

The Very Busy Spider
by Eric Carle
Eric Carle does it again with his very busy spider, who spends all day spinning her web on a fence in a farmyard.  The other animals try to get her to come and play but she's just too busy, and in the end it pays off when she catches that pesky fly!  The "web" is made of tactile material (I'm guessing glue) that little ones love to run their hands over as it gets bigger and bigger with each page.

Down by the Station
by Will Hillenbrand
With a new twist on the classic children's song, this little train travels through a zoo early in the morning, picking up baby animals along the way to the children's zoo (but watch out for the alligators!).  Each animal adds it's own sound to the verses - "Puff puff, toot toot, thrump thrump, mew mew...."  Follow the red balloon floating away through the sky on each page for extra fun!

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