- Can You Count? – Gyo Fujikawa
- My First ABC – Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Poems for the Very Young – Eloise Wilkins
- All the World – Liz Garton Scanlon, illlustrated by Marla Frazee
A recent Caldecott Honor Book. ‘Nuff said.
- Bear That Heard Crying – Natalie Kinsey Warnock, illustrated by Ted Rand
This the the TRUE story of a small girl who was protected by a bear when she was lost in the woods for three days as the extended community banded together to search for her. Kids love this book!
- Big Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook – Joyce Lankester Brisley, illustrated by Clara Vulliamy
Written in 1925, these simple stories were accompanied by black-and-white line drawings from the author’s pen. Here, Clara Vulliamy’s sweet illustrations are faithful to the intent of the originals, even as they offer a bit more. You’ll adore sweet and enthusiastic Milly-Molly-Mandy and find her adventures entertaining, and can find even more stories in the original two volumes.
- Everywhere Babies – Susan Myers, illustrated by Marla Frazee
With illustrations that are worthy of being pored over again and again, this is a vibrant celebration of humanity that speaks to the need for understanding and appreciation of the many different ways we live our lives–all different kinds of babies, doing all different kinds of things, but all LOVED for being just as they are.
- Eyelike Seasons – Play Bac Publishing
This beautifully photographed book chronicles all the reasons behind the seasons, the perfect introduction to the cycles of change each year brings.
- Fanny’s Dream – Caralyn Buehner
A Cinderella tale with a twist — her fairy godmother is years late in showing up, but when she finally does Fanny decides that her life has turned out pretty well in the mean time. Heber is not particularly handsome and does not exactly sweep Fanny off her feet, but he is a good man who loves her and they create a full life togehter. Isn’t this really all we want for our daughters?
- Gyo Fujikawa’s A to Z Picture Book – Gyo Fujikawa
Similar to Richard Scarry’s beloved busy books, this full-to-the-brim vintage volume will beg for countless hours of scrutiny – so much to see!
- Hello Baby! – Mem Fox, illustrated by Steve Jenkins
The inimitable Mem Fox has done it again, tendering a clever conceit wrapped in richly worded rhetorical questions, and sure to delight your treasure – er, child!
- How Rocket Learned to Read – Tad Hills
“And when they were done, they read it again. And again. And A-G-A-I-N.” And, I daresay, so will you and yours!
- I Am A Bunny – Ole Risom, illustrated by Richard Scarry
A simple narrative chronicles this engaging bunny’s delight in the changing seasons. The illustrations are straightforward enough for the youngest listener to appreciate, but have details as well that provide opportunities to expand on the text when reading to the older child.
- I Love You the Purplest – Barbara M. Joosse, illustrated by Mary Whyte
A gorgeously illustrated answer to that eternal question, “Who do you love the best?” This wise and patient Mama deftly reassures mercurial Max (her “red” boy) and thoughtful Julian (her “blue” boy) that each is loved completely in his own way. Beautifully written but not overly sentimental, this book is a real gem.
- It’s My Birthday – Helen Oxenbury
In this twist on the Little Red Hen story everybody helps, and everybody gets to eat cake. A perfect gift book for a just-turning-two child, who’ll want to hear it read again and again.
- Lion and the Little Red Bird – Elisa Kleven
An enchanting tale of friendship between a curious bird and an artistic lion. The illustrations are stunning collages, full of details to appreciate.
- Oh, What a Busy Day – Gyo Fujikawa
It is such a delight to discover this book back in print! Like the A to Z Picture Book (see above) this is a book that will be revisited again and again.
- Push Button – Aliki
The rollicking text and vibrant illustrations make fine partners in the celebration of the exploits of one very busy boy – phew!
- Time For Bed – Mem Fox, illustrated by Jane Dyer
That Fox is an author who is passionate about language is evident in this soothing volume. Though this is available as a board book, the larger picture book format allows for more of a “fall- into-them” experience with the illustrations–treat yourself!
- Waiting Out the Storm — JoAnn Early Macken
This beautifully illustrated book evokes perfectly the moods and mysteries of the natural world, while the lyrical cadence of the text is a soothing lullaby — and ultimately, a reassurance of the warmth and safety of home.
- Animal Crackers – Jane Dyer
Subtitled “A Delectable Collection of Pictures, Poems, and Lullabies for the Very Young,” and it is! This book would make a wonderful First Birthday gift.
- Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes – Salley Mavor
Mavor is a master of fiber arts and her three-dimensional interpretations of favorite nursery ryhmes fairly leap off the page. Besides her needle and thread, Mavor has made apt use of buttons, beads, acorns, and shells, and the rich details beg for close scrutiny and invite repeated musings.
- A Toad for Tuesday – Russell Erickson, illustrated by Lawrence DiFiori
A charming tale of bravery and friendship. When Warton the toad sets out on an ill-advised journey to deliver beetle brittle to his Aunt Toolia, no one ever would have imagined that he might eventually rescue an owl from certain death — an owl who had planned on dining on toad in celebration of his Tuesday birthday. Breathless moments are translated into sheer joy by the end of this heart-warming story.
- ‘B’ is for Betsy – Carolyn Haywood
The first in a long and varied series of wonderful books written in the 1940’s and 50’s. Radiating sweetness and innocence, these stories treat the reader to a glimpse of a kinder, gentler time. Other titles in the series have male main characters.
- My Father’s Dragon – Ruth Stiles Gannett, illustrated by Ruth Chrisman Gannett
Another of my favorites as a child, this has been around for a while, with good reason. Elmer Elevator’s ingenuity is sure to enchant your child, and when he finally outwits all of the animals on the island to free the dragon, you’ll be cheering too.
- Sophie series – Dick King-Smith, illustrated by David Parkins
Sophie may be small, but she’s determined, and these books are determinedly amusing. Sophie is a spunky four year old in the first book(Sophie’s Snail) and ages by one year in each of the subsequent five books, but her charm never flags. You’ll read these with a smile on your face!
- Teddy Robinson Storybook – Joan G. Robinson
Not truly a chapter book, but rather a collection fo 15 stories that may be read in any order. Teddy Robinson is an endearing little stuffed bear who belongs to a girl called Deborah. These well-written and amusing stories are full of detail yet remain uncomplicated. This is a perfect book for those listeners who are bridging over from picture books into chapter books.
- N.C. Wyeth’s Pilgrims – Robert San Souci
San Souci’s careful research has yielded a meaty text to accompany reproductions from fourteen murals Wyeth created between 1941 and 1945. A wonderful book to enjoy over many years.
- Samuel Eaton’s Day/Sarah Morton’s Day
Tapenum’s Day/On the Mayflower – Kate Waters, photographed by Russ Kendall
A wonderful glimpse into the past, these books were photographed in historic sites with every attention to authentic detail. Even the language of the text conveys a sense of the dialect.
- The Story of the Pilgrims – Katherine Ross, illustrated by Carolyn Croll
This is not a stop-dead-in-your-tracks, must-have kind of book, but it is a very straightforward and understandable account of who the Pilgrims were and why we celebrate Thanksgiving.
- The Borrowed Hannukah Latkes – Linda Glaser, illustrated by Nancy Cote
This light-hearted story of a young girl and her lonely but stubborn-as-an-ox neighbor comes to a very satisfying conclusion as Mrs. Greenberg finally cannot resist Rachel’s attempts to include her in their celebration.
- A Certain Small Shepherd – Rebecca Caudill, illustrated by William Pene Du Bois
A very moving tale of a young boy, born mute, and the miracle that unfolds one Christmas morning. Caudill’s tender reworking of the Christmas story is sure-footed and enormously appealing.
- Christmas in the Big Woods – Laura Ingalls Wilder (adaptation), illustrated by Renee Graef
Four-year old Laura lives in a little house in the big woods with her Pa, her Ma, her big sister Mary, her little sister Carrie, and their good old bulldog Jack. This adaptation from the first of Ingall’s books manages to hit the high points of the original and is a lovely introduction to the much-beloved Laura. Illustrations are in the style of Garth Williams’ originals..
- The Cobweb Christmas – Shirley Climo
The charming story that explains the possible origin of the custom of hanging tinsel on trees. After years of providing the magic of Christmas for everyone around her, Tante is finally treated to a little Christmas magic of her own by Christkindel, and the rest, as they say, is history.
- The Donkey’s Dream – Barbara Helen Berger
From the book jacket: This brief but poetic retelling from the point of view of the patient donkey is a perfect first introduction to the Christmas story for small children. The rich symbolism and the reverent beauty of the illustrations transcend all age levels, making this a book to be shared by all members of a family, a book to be read and reread, looked at and treasured for many years to come.
- Elijah’s Angel – Michael J. Rosen, illustrated by Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson
A story for Chanukah and Christmas, this vibrantly illustrated story celebrates the friendship and respect that an older black man and a young Jewish boy share for each other. Sensitive and satisfying.
- The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus – Julie Lane, illustrated by Hokie
This is THE book that we still must read every year over a few nights because my children treasure it THAT much. As the quaint chapters unfold we find the explanations of the hows and whys of so much of what we accept as given in Santa lore — how he came to give gifts at Christmas, why we leave stockings for him to fill, why he uses the chimney, how he acquired his reindeer, etc. Be sure to read the last two chapters together, because the death of beloved Nicholas in the penultimate chapter will leave you sad, and you’ll need the lift that the last chapter offers, with its message about believing in the magic of Christmas.
- Night Tree – Eve Bunting, illustrated by Ted Rand
A simple, but satisfying, look at one family’s tradition of decorating a tree in the woods with goodies for the wild animals that live there.
- A Pussycat’s Christmas – Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Anne Mortimer
Lyrical prose describes, in exquisite detail, Christmas Eve from the pussycat’s viewpoint. Mortimer’s incredible watercolors make this an absolute gem.
- Who is Coming to Our House? – Joseph Slate, illustrated by Ashley Wolff
Clean, bold illustrations elucidate the rhyming text, which describes the anticipation by the creatures in the stable of a mysterious arrival as proclaimed by Mouse. A lovely first glimpse at the Christmas story, but one to enjoy for years because it is also powerful on a deeper level.
- Wombat Divine – Mem Fox, illustrated by Kerry Argent
The sweet tale of a somewhat bumbling wombat who just doesn’t seem right for any of the parts in the Christmas pageant. In the end, he falls asleep in the manger as Baby Jesus, and his performance is deemed simply DIVINE.