I've been wanting to figure out a way to share some of our favorite children's books here on the blog.
If you ask me, good children's picture books make the world a happier place.
I really enjoy them a lot.
A good picture book stimulates creativity.
A good picture book begins to show a child how to use words to express thought. To express emotion. To recount events.
A good picture book invites a child to imagine a different part of the world. Or a different time in history.
A good picture book challenges a child to look at a familiar situation from a new & different perspective.
A good picture book has wonderful illustrations to accompany the words.
Yes, reading a good picture book is a wonderful way to pass the time.
But it's also more than that.
Somehow, mysteriously, it also strengthens the bonds between the people who are reading together.
When I sit on the couch and read books with my family, I can almost feel the invisible knitting needles busy at work. They work with precious, invisible yarn. They knit our hearts together as we cuddle & enjoy the pictures and the words.
My dream job (besides my current dream mommy job) would somehow involve the combination of children and picture books.
It would be fun to be a librarian in a fantastic children's library.
Or maybe I could have a job like Meg Ryan had in You've Got Mail. What a cool bookstore that was.
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I'm starting a new post category called "Book Rex."
(This phrase is short for "Book Recommendations"......"Rex" seemed like an abbreviation that would appeal to a child, so that's what I'm going with.)
The first book I'd like to recommend is The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig, by Eugene Trivizas.
Here's the thing: You spend the first four years or so of a child's life reading to them our culture's storybook standards. (Three Little Pigs, Little Red Hen, Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood, etc....)
Then, there comes a point when you can check out a book like The Three Little Wolves & the Big Bad Pig. This book turns the traditional story on its head, which is guaranteed to crack your child up.
(If you read this to a child who is too young, he/she might very well stare at you with a blank expression upon his/her face.)
(On that note, have you ever tried to read an Amelia Bedelia book to a child who is too young to understand the figures of speech which are mentioned in the book?? I have. Can be tedious.)
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In this book, there are three "cuddly little wolves with soft fur and fluffy tails" who are ready to strike out into the world on their own.
They gather materials to build their house, only to be bothered soon thereafter by---you guessed it---the Big Bad Pig.
The pig goes on to bother the wolves several more times, of course.
Happily, the book concludes with a peaceful, reconciliatory, flower-power ending.
You and your children are guaranteed to smile as you read this book.
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As a sidenote, I'd like to mention that Brooke Reynolds, who authors a lovely blog called Inchmark, has periodically featured favorite picture books in her posts over recent months. I really like how she features one book at a time, and I like getting to see the cover plus a quick peek inside.
Thanks, Brooke, for all of the great suggestions.
Here are a few of her book posts which I've enjoyed:
A Tree is Nice (by Udry) : We love this book.
The Incredible Book Eating Boy (by Jeffers) : We haven't read this one yet. We've requested it at our library. Looks like a great one! (and I so related to Brooke's comment about loving paper--lined paper, unlined paper, grid paper...etc. I'm looking forward to enjoying the design of this particular book.)
When You Were Small (by O'Leary) : We have this one checked out right now. So sweet. Every child loves to hear stories about "when I was little." This book is a clever take on that commonality in parent-child conversations.
The Leaf Men (by Joyce) : We haven't checked this one out yet...oh, how Superboy is going to love it.
Cinderella (illustrated by Craft) : Can't wait to check this one out.....oh, how Pumpkin is going to swoon over these incredible illustrations.