Books We Love - Anniversary Edition
We LOVE children's books. (Are you following us on Goodreads?) They are our go-to place to prepare for an adventure, to investigate an interest further, or simply enjoy. There are books in every room of our house and we read throughout the day. It is impossible for me to pick a favorite book, but here are some books I've discovered recently that I love. We are starting a new series - Books We Love - that will highlight books currently on our shelves that we love. In the past I have waited to share books on the blog until they fit with what we were learning, but I hate waiting and that isn't how we really read. We do pick books specific to topics we are studying, but we also simply surround ourselves with fantastic books of all kinds of topic and genre. Here are some children's awesome books that we've discovered and loved in the past year.
Have You Seen My Dragon? By Steve Light
This is the perfect combination of a counting book, picture seeking, and stunning pen and ink illustrations. Steve Light, author and illustration of Zephyr Takes Flight, has a masterpiece on his hands. A small boy asks a simple question that leads him on an adventure throughout the city. Past taxis and buses, hot dog stands and fire hydrants the little boy searching for his dragon. The reader will delight at finding the dragon on each page hiding within each drawings. To me, this book is perfection. Wonderful concept, fun integration of topics, meticulously detailed illustrations with careful pops of color.
This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
I love books where the illustrations are crucial to understanding the story. Think ROSIE'S WALK or LITTLE MOUSE, THE RED RIPE STRAWBERRY, AND THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR. There are many beautifully illustrated books that I love, but when the illustrations are tied into the reader's full comprehension magic can be created. Jon Klassen's Caldecott Winner is just that. This is a story told from the point of view of a very small fish that steals a hat from a very large fish. He explains to the reader his genius plan to get away with this by out running and hiding from the large fish. The words are brief and perfect for a read aloud, but it is their pairing with delightful illustrations that had me laughing out loud. Just the image of the very large fish with the ridiculously small hat is amusing enough, but the perfect interplay between the small fish's description to the reader and the large fish's actions illustrated on the page make for a tense, beautiful, and funny book that would tickle any young listener.
It's A Book by Lane Smith
Lane Smith, illustrator of THE STINKY CHEESE MAN and THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS, is at his finest with this delightful book about a book. Monkey is reading a book. Jackass has apparently never seen a book before. He is trying to understand the idea of a book and has lots of questions. "Can it text? Tweet? Wi-Fi?" and does not understand why books are interesting. Then he tries reading the book. This book is perfectly written for the preschool audience who will laugh out loud at the donkey's confusion. Hysterical reminder about why books truly are such a wonderful thing.
Journey by Aaron Becker
Stunning doesn't come close to describing this imaginative tale. This is a spectacular wordless book about a lonely girl who draws a magic door and steps through to begin an adventure. Red marker in hand, her limitless imagination carries her through the story, much as Harold's purple crayon did years ago. However, it is Aaron Becker's unparalleled detail and artistic vision that carry this story away. His illustrations of a forest aglow or the multi-layered kingdom enchant you to look closer. This book will be captivating toddlers through adults for years to come.
Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier
This is such a cool book. There are many wonderful, truly spectacular children's books, but to find one with a unique concept is rare. This is all of those things. It is wonderful, spectacular, and so unique. It is a book inside a book, inside a book, inside a book... Klausmeier has built in color names, a lesson in sizes, and some fine motor skill building just for fun. There is something mesmerizing to toddlers about opening and closing these little books. Suzy Lee, one of my favorite illustrators, created the playful and charming illustrations. If you have a toddler - find this book. They will love it.
Books Listed Below
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