Friday, 10 August 2012


Picture Book 10 for 10 challenge

“This post is for #PB10for10 which was started by @mandyrobek and @CathyMere three years ago to share picture book resources.”

I thought that this year I would give this a go. Thanks to Patty, who set up a blog for this sole purpose : )  Easier said than done.  I have 10 for when my growns were littles.  I have 10 that touch me as a grown up, and 10 that send 5 year olds into conniptions. I have 10 for older kids, and ten for my grandkids, when they come.  

I have over 2000 children’s books in my library.  And I know that there are books in that collection that will move me, delight me, teach me, and calm me when I am 90 years old.  As they have always done. 

So for this moment in time? #Pb10for10

1. Frog belly Rat Bone, by  Timothy Basil Ering

A one of a kind story about the earth, bad guys who see the light, the power of teamwork, and the wonder of treasure in a bleak world.

2. The Bike Lesson, by Stan Berenstain

This is for nostalgia, but kids still love it. I remember reading it as a child - I still have the very much worse-for-wear copy.  Papa Bear just keeps on showing Brother Bear how it is done - such a great lesson in the Art of Butting Out and Letting Kids Shine : ) 

3. Toad, by Ruth Brown 

Gritty, mucky, sloppy, gloomy with prose to die for and a sunshine moment like no other.  Read it.  

4. Jamberry, By  Bruce Degen

“One Berry, Two Berry, Pick me a Blueberry
Hat berry, Shoe Berry in my Canoe Berry”  
My family can recite this book years later. We all have our own copy. 

5a. Granny is a Darling   and   5.b The PIcnic,  by   Kady MacDonald Denton

Ok, Of course I am cheating by putting in two.  But seriously.  The Picnic follows two children who want to picnic with their respective parents but they are too busy. As children cannot cross the street on their own, they devise a way to do just that : )  This is now out of print, but Granny is another gem by an author who I was lucky enough to meet when she flew into our remote school 25 years ago for her first Author’s Visit to a school.  As she is also the illustrator, we saw the paint process from idea to published format.  

6. King Bidgood's in the Bathtub, by  Audrey Wood.

Stunningly detailed illustrations with a very playful text absolutely entice kids to look at this book over and over and over.  And the king’s face is priceless. 

7. Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, by  Mo Willems

Ok. We all love Mo Willems, but this book is fantastic on so many levels.  Besides, it has the word ‘naked’ right in it : )  Plus, the message is powerful.  And simple. 

8. Big Pumpkin, by Erica Silverman

I hate to but in a theme one - this is Halloween, but my kids loved it, my students love it, and I love it.  We actually had this on tape years ago, and chunks of the book are sung, so now it is my go-to, sing it, do the voices, love it story.  Plus we make a wicked story bag to take home instead of junky candy, so it is all good,  baby.  

With that quote I should mention the Pete the Cat books.  But I won’t : ) (pssssssst! they are STUPID awesome! You should get all of them right now.) 

9. Balloon Farm, by Jerdine Nolen

I read this many times to my own children, but rarely to my own students. I need to fix that.  I once found myself in a library with very young ‘uns draped on me when one brought this book over.  I knew it well, and was surprised it got picked. We had very little time, so I just flipped pages and we talked through it.  The librarian later said that book got signed out to tatters : )** Bah. I just see now that it has been made into a movie.  Full disclosure - haven’t seen it, might be good, but I tend to get a little cranky when books are movietized. 

This one just bumped a bunch of contenders as the last pick in as it popped into my head.  An other oldie. Another no-longer-in-print paperback that I originally found in a gonna toss it bin.   Beautiful rhyme, a lesson in persistence, imagination, and wonder.  I love it for lots of reasons, but I love it best as it brings me to the memory of a moment curled up on a sofa whispering it to a boy feeling left out in a world of cousins, family, and crazy.   In a top ten of Picture books, this time, the words were enough. 

So. I could have picked 10 others.  Another day I might have. But as I look this over, I am happy.  It helps me to see that it is not the book but the relationship we have with it.  And for some books, it is Love at First Sight.  Others grow on you.  And others sneak up and poke at you till you notice them.  

I might still be reading this week’s top novel when I am 90.  I might still be reading magazines, tweets, or articles.  I might still be reading non-fiction.  I might be teleporting in a hovercar to the latest author’s opening.  I might be doing that.  But what I know for sure is that I will be looking at my Picture Books.  I will not be dusting them off.  They will have worn pages and loved bindings.  Because powerful writing, deep themes, and complex ideas are found in a great Picture Book.  


  1. Toad is a fantastic book which I recommend to student teachers all the time. The text and illustrations are terrific for highlighting two storylines that are connected. It has a great ending to boot.
    Apples with Many Seeds

  2. I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information.