Last year, I resolved to read every fiction picture book in my local library to my son, Michael Jr. (better known as Bubba). At the time, he was one year old, and I estimated our journey would take more than two years. He’s now two years old and we’re about half way through our journey. As we’ve read book after book, I’ve found some that really stand out among the crowd. I’ve written about some of them below. Enjoy!
My Precious Little Bear by Claire Freedman
The rhythm and rhyme in this bedtime story are absolutely spot-on. I’ve probably read My Precious Little Bear to Bubba a couple hundred times, and neither of us are sick of it yet. When Bubba was a baby, he (like most babies) was easily captivated by any book that had colorful illustrations, rhythm, and rhyme. This book (like so many others) meets all three qualifications, but it’s one of the few that have held up over time! Personally, I change the words “Mom” and “Mommy” to “Dad” and “Daddy,” but no matter how you read it, I’m sure your child will love My Precious Little Bear!
Press Here by Herve Tullet
Press Here is such a simple book that it makes you think anybody could have written it… but that’s the genius of Tullet. He gives the reader a set of instructions like, “Rub the dot on the left,” and “Try shaking the book,” and your child does it. Each time your child performs these actions, he gets rewarded with some sort of change on the following page. In the end, Tullet turns the reading of his book into an interactive activity (rather than the passive experience that most authors provide), and Bubba can’t get enough of it!
Imogene’s Last Stand by Candace Fleming
Not many kids love history the way Imogene does; her first words as a baby were, “Four score and seven years ago!” So when her beloved historical society is going to be torn down to make way for a shoelace factory, Imogene refuses to let it happen. Throughout the book, Imogene is determined to preserve her local history and quotes the “immortal words” of numerous historical figures, so as a history lover, I couldn’t help but enjoy this book. Not only is Imogene fun and easy to read, but it can also serve as an opportunity to dig deeper and research historical people and events with your child. I plan to read Imogene’s Last Stand to Bubba again when he gets older because I want him to be as passionate about history as Imogene!
Rain Brings Frogs: A Little Book of Hope by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Rain Brings Frogs is a one of those quick and easy bedtime stories that’s great for both parent and child. It’s about a boy (Nate) who always keeps a positive attitude – no matter the situation. If Nate loses a race, he’s happy that he finished. If it’s raining, he’s happy that rain brings frogs. The message is simple, but it’s one that we all could stand to hear again and again – especially as this unusually frigid winter drags on!
One by Kathryn Otoshi
One is all about bullying, but Kathryn Otoshi approaches the subject like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Her illustrations are simple because she uses colors and numbers as the main characters. I think this approach allows children to use their imagination even more, and that makes the story much more powerful. While the idea of bullying is not even close to being on Bubba’s radar right now, little Ones like him can use the book as a way to learn their numbers and colors. As he gets older, he can grow into the more complicated subject matter.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://theomnibuspublishing.com/wp-content/uploads/Michael-Carton.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Michael Carton is a 1st grade teacher in Rock Island, Illinois. In his free time, he blogs about reading with his son at http://michaelsreadthelibrary.wordpress.com. You can follow him on Twitter, where he is @michaeltcarton. [/author_info] [/author]