Today I'm bringing you a little something different. Still celebrating my 100th post, I thought I would present a list of some of my favorite picture books. To add a little challenge to my list, it's alphabetical. Although if I'm honest, I must admit I've never read my selection for X. I may do this again another time since the possibilities are practically endless.
The ABC’s of Picture Books
A is for Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
B is for Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban
C is for Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
D is for Dog Blue by Polly Dunbar
E is for An Elephant in the Backyard by Richard Sobol
F is for Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss
G is for Goin’ Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack
H is for The Hungry Thing by Jan Slepian
I is for If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Numeroff
J is for Just for You by Mercer Mayer
K is for The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
L is for Lon Po Po by Ed Young
M is for Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco
N is for Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaola
O is for Once There Were Giants by Martin Waddell
P is for The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy
Q is for Quick As A Cricket by Audrey Wood
R is for The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin
S is for A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson
T is for The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
U is for Umbrella by Taro Yashima
V is for The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
W is for Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
X is for Xavier and the Letter X by Cynthia Fitterer Klingel*
Y is for You Read To Me, I’ll Read To You by Mary Ann Hoberman
Z is for Zoom by Robert Munsch
About the Authors:
Judith Viorst is the author of several works of fiction and non-fiction for children as well as adults. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, her most famous children's book, was first published in 1972 and has since sold over two million copies.
Russell Hoban, an illustrator and would-be artist, was decorated for bravery against the Nazis. After returning to New York he found success with stories for children. Bedtime for Frances was first published in 1960. It is the first in the Frances series. Others include: A Baby Sister for Frances (1964), A Birthday for Frances (1968), Best Friends for Frances (1969), A Bargain for Frances (1970) and Bread and Jam for Frances (year?)
Doreen Cronin is a popular children's book author. Her picture books include Click Clack Moo, Cows That Type; Giggle, Giggle, Quack; Duck for President; Click Clack Quackity Quack; Click Clack Splish Splash; Dooby Dooby Moo; Diary of A Spider; Diary of A Worm; Diary of A Fly; and Wiggle.
Polly Dunbar is both a writer and an illustrator. Her books include Dog Blue and Flyaway Katie. She has also illustrated Shoe Baby, Looking After Louis, and A Saucepan on His Head. She lives in London, and her website says that her favorite things to do besides drawing are: "eating chocolate with coffee, singing along to the Beatles, stroking cats, and blue shoes."
Richard Sobol is a photographer who also writes picture books (nonfiction picture books) for children.
Dr. Seuss needs no introduction from me!
Patricia C. and Fredrick L. McKissack have written over one hundred books about the African-American experience. They have won countless awards and received much critical acclaim, all the while bringing enjoyment and information to young readers.
Scholastic's Patricia McKissack's page
Jan Slepian began her writing career when she and a colleague, Dr. Ann Seidler, wrote a series of articles devoted to common speech problems. "We wrote about ten of these and sent them off to a syndicated newspaper column called 'Parents Ask.' To our delighted surprise, they were accepted and published.: Thereafter, Slepian and Seidler, collaborated on a a series of picture books called The Listen-Hear Books, all dealing with some aspect of speech. The Hungry Thing from this series, and its sequels, The Hungry Thing Returns and The Hungry Thing Goes to a Restaurant remain popular favorites.
Penguin Group: Author Biography
Laura Numeroff is a prolific writer. From her website: "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie was the tenth book I wrote. The idea came to me on a long, boring car trip. On the way from San Francisco to Oregon in the car, I tried to make my friend laugh by telling a story about a mouse nibbling on a cookie. “He'd want some milk to go with it. And then he'd probably need a straw. Then he'd want a napkin . . ." and by the time we reached Oregon, I had told the whole story! If You Give a Mouse a Cookie was turned down nine times — but my motto is “never give up.” I continued to submit it to publishers until it found a home at Harper."
Scholastic's Author Page
Mercer Mayer has written many children's books. But my favorite books are from his Little Critter series. From his website: "I began illustrating books in 1966. Since that time I have published over 300 books. Most of my books are about things that happened to me when I was a little kid. Now I'm a big kid and I write about things that happen now, especially with my own children. They always remind me of what it was like."
Penn got the inspiration for The Kissing Hand from something that happened when she was with her daughter in a park near her home, but what's really inspiring is Penn's own story. Working through illness and pain, she has carved out a career for herself as one of our most beloved modern children's book authors while raising three happy, well-adjusted children. Although her own kids are now grown, Penn still sees the world through the eyes of her young readers.
iParenting's article on Audrey Penn
Ed Young is an author and an illustrator. He was the winner of the 1990 Caldecott Medal, and has illustrated over 40 books for children, four of which he has also written. He cites the philosophy of Chinese painting as his inspiration. “A Chinese painting is often accompanied by words,” explainsYoung. “They are complementary. There are things that words do that pictures never can, and likewise, there are images thatwords can never describe.”
Scholastic's Author Page
A prolific children's book writer, Patricia Polacco is an amazing writer. She has written so many wonderful and memorable books such as Thank You Mr. Falker, Pink and Say, Babushka Baba Yaga, Mrs. Katz and Tush, Chicken Sunday, Thunder Cake, and The Keeping Quilt.
Tomie dePaola is another prolific writer and illustrator. He's been published for 40 years and has written and/or illustrated over 200 books, including 26 Fairmount Avenue, Strega Nona, and Meet the Barkers. Tomie dePaola and his work have been recognized with the Caldecott Honor Award, the Newbery Honor Award and the New Hampshire Governor's Arts Award of Living Treasure.
A master storyteller for children, Martin has won the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen award and the Smarties award twice. He is now one of the most prolific and successful of children's writers with well over one hundred books to his name. His books include the popular Little Bear series as well as the unforgettable (at least to me) book When the Teddybears Came.
The Patchwork Quilt was a Reading Rainbow book
A prolific writer, she has written many memorable books such as The Napping House, The Big Hungry Bear, and Silly Sally.
From his site: "Stories in words are among our oldest, most powerful, most mysterious tools. Through mere sounds on the air or squiggles on a page, they give us what no other technology can--ourselves."
Angela Johnson writes picture books, poems, and novels.
Writer of picture books and author of the Time Warp Trio series. His website says: "I write books because I love to make kids laugh."
Scholastic's Author Page
The self-stated theme of his books for children is this: "Let children enjoy living on this earth, let children be strong enough not to be beaten or twisted by evil on this earth."
Brief Biographical Sketch
Another writer who needs no introduction because his works have become classics and his quality is legendary.
Mem Fox is an Australian writer. She has written many memorable picture books including Koala Lou.
Mary Ann Hoberman
Mary Ann Hoberman is a poet and the critically acclaimed author of many books for children, including the beloved A House is a House for Me, winner of a National Book Award. Other popular titles include The Seven Silly Eaters and the You Read to Me, I'll Read to You series. She recently received the 2003 Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, given by the National Council of Teachers of English.
Robert Munsch is a bestselling, much-loved Canadian author perhaps most famous for his book Love You Forever. He has written other equally great books as well. My favorites include Moira's Birthday; Purple, Green and Yellow; Stephanie's Ponytail; and Thomas' Snowsuit.