Did you know that November has been declared Picture Book Month? This is great news here in the Children’s Room because we love picture books of all types. Here are a few of my personal favorites—feel free to chime in with yours!
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina: A peddler walks down the road with hits caps piled on top of his head. When he stops to take a nap, a bunch of monkeys steal the cap and the peddler has to get them back. This is an older book, but it was one of my family’s favorites growing up and it’s a fun read-aloud since you can act out the part of the peddler and the monkeys. With colorful illustrations and lots of detail for children to find, this is a great classic.
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey: Speaking of classics, you don’t get much better than the story of Sal and her mother who go picking blueberries on a hill. But on the other side is a mother bear and her baby. When a mix-up occurs, it’s quite a shock for everyone! The illustrations for this story are really funny and there are lots of sound effects for the kids to echo.
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney: All right, one more classic. I grew up on the story of Alice, the Lupine Lady, who wants to go to faraway places, to live by the sea, and to make the world more beautiful. When she has worked in a library, traveled the world, and settled by the sea, she goes around scattering lupine seeds so that the ground is covered with blue and purple and rose-colored flowers. Without being preachy, this story has a great message.
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen: When Annabelle finds a box filled with yarn of every color, she begins knitting with it. She has some extra yarn, so she keeps knitting. And then she covers her cold little town in yarn of every color. I love the deceptively simple illustrations and the slightly humorous tone of the story that at the same time inspires me to make the world a more beautiful place.
Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) by Mac Barnett and Dan Santat: “Oh no…Oh man…I knew it. I never should have built a robot for the science fair.” So says our narrator at the beginning of the book. Then she has to deal with the fact that her giant science fair robot has gotten out and is busy destroying the world. Her solution is creative…maybe a bit TOO creative!
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen: Fair warning—don’t read this book with those who are especially tender-hearted when it comes to animals. However, for those of us who are a little more thick-skinned, this story of a bear who has lost his hat is absolutely hilarious. There are wonderful little jokes between the story and the pictures
Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems: Okay, basically, I love anything by Mo Willems. But lots of people know about the Pigeon books and Knuffle Bunny. Leonardo, the Terrible monster is also delightful and not so well known. Leonardo is a terrible monster. He can’t scare anyone. He doesn’t have scary teeth, he’s not big, or just plain weird. Then he decides to find the most scaredy-cat kid in the whole world and scare the tuna salad out of them. As usual, Willems’ illustrations are fun, with lots of expression on the different characters.
Flotsam by David Wiesner: A wordless picture book. At the beginning, a boy finds a camera washed up on a beach. When he looks at the film, he discovers a magical underwater world of mechanical fish, cozy living rooms where octopuses read to their young, and mermaids wave to squid. An enchanting book for the imaginative reader, with always a little more to find in each picture.
Vampirina Ballerina by Anne Marie Pace and LeUyen Pham: A little vampire dreams of becoming a ballerina, but it’s not easy when you have cold feet, or when your smile scares the other dances, or when you’re liable to turn into a bat when embarrassed. This is such a cute book, full of funny little details and a heartwarming story. Great for the ballet enthusiast at any time of the year.