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Exceptional Picture Books

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to put together an extensive list of high quality picture books for children birth-??. I certainly don't want to do anything academic with my little guys (ages 31 months and 10 months) for years yet, but I do want to read good books to them to expose them to a variety of things and to spark their interests. I'm finding that the books we're picking out at the library aren't exactly my idea of high quality literature. We have a rather large library, so I know we have lots of great books available.....I'm just missing them in the overflowing shelves!

Any help in finding quality books on a variety of topics would be fabulous. I'll be sure to post the list when it's complete, or maybe I can get a webpage or blog going so it's always available. (Thinking outloud here.)
post #2 of 17
If you are looking for visually appealing books then I would look at Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhardt Pop-Up books. I doubt you will find then in the library though. They are too delicate. They have Alice and Wonderland, Wizard of Oz, sharks, dinosaurs, etc. Great books that really hold the kids interest. They are REALLY COOL!!!
post #3 of 17
It might help to start with a reference for you - do you know about the Read Aloud Handbook, by Jim Trelease? It gives you lists of titles by age and subject, but more helpfully, it gives you the tools to quickly evaluate new books you run across yourself. Here's a link to it on Amazon (although I'm pretty sure I did the link wrong! You'll probably have to cut and paste.)

post #4 of 17
What a fun thread!! I could about this for hours. Here are a few of our favorites (mostly copied from my website):

Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor
Perhaps my favorite picture book. A girl presents her ten rules for finding a rock. The simple, sweet text, combined with Peter Parnall's graceful, flowing illustrations add up to a beautiful book that is much more than the sum of it's parts. Gorgeous.

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg by D. B. Johnson
From Johnson's website: "Inspired by a passage from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, this wonderfully appealing story follows two friends who have very different approaches to life. When the two agree to meet one evening in Fitchburg, which is thirty miles away, Henry decides to walk while his friend plans to work all day to earn the fare for the train. Playful pictures follow the progress of each, whether through a bustling small town or a countryside alive with curiosities for an inquisitive bear." Who are Henry's friend's employers? Mrs. Alcott, Mr. Hawthorne, Mr. Emerson, and Mrs. Thoreau. The illustrations are just superb! The best part about this book? Each bear is respectful of the other's choice. A beautiful picture book. Followed by Henry Builds a Cabin, Henry Climbs a Mountain, and Henry Works.

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat
by Simms Taback
Filled with gorgeous, colorful illustrations, this book tells the story of Joseph and his overcoat. After his overcoat becomes "old and worn," Joseph makes it into jacket, then into a vest, and eventually, into a button. What does he do when he loses the button? This book is cheerful and energetic, and a family favorite.

Oh, and Fairy Tales by Berlie Doherty and illustrated by Jane Ray.

We also love anything by Ezra Jack Keats.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm going to bid on a copy of the Read-Aloud Handbook right now. Thanks obiandelismom! ETA: I couldn't wait for a newer copy so I bought the 1995 edition "buy it now" for $5.74 including shipping.

Shana, those look perfect!

Oh~and I'm not looking for visually appealling books really, although that is always nice. What I hope to find is books full of rich language and engaging stories.
post #6 of 17
There are good booklists on the net as well. The before Five in a row list for 2-4 years http://www.fiveinarow.com/before/booklist.html
The Charlotte mason Ambleside booklist 3/4 to 6 years
Or just google good books for toddlers, there are lots of sites like this -http://www.madison.k12.wi.us/tnl/lil/families/good_books_infants.html
post #7 of 17
I'm not sure if these are considered "picture books" as they do have stroies-but we love
"Children of the Forest" by Elsa Beskov
"The Sun Egg" by Elsa Beskov
"Grandfather twilight" by Barbara Berger
post #8 of 17
post #9 of 17
The Moon Flute

All I see is Part of Me

Old Turtle

The Prince Who Ran Away

Possums Harvest Moon
post #10 of 17
I'll add All the Places to Love, Brother Eagle, Sister Sky and The Seven Silly Eaters.
post #11 of 17
Some of my favorites:
Half a Moon and One Whole Star - Crescent Dragonwagon
Little Fur Family - Margaret Wise Brown
The Princess in the Kitchen Garden - Annemie and Margriet Heymans
Rain Talk - Mary Serfozo
A Pocketful of Cricket - Rebecca Caudill
The Maggie B. - Irene Haas
Jack in the Bush - Barbara Giles
The Table Where Rich People Sit - Byrd Baylor
anything by Russell Hoban
post #12 of 17

The Magic Nesting Doll

I think my favorite picture book is The Magic Nesting Doll by Jacqueline K. Ogburn with Laurel Long (Illustrator). Long's illustrations are always stunning, and I think this is her best ever. The story is also excellent. It's Sleeping Beauty, but in this version, the prince is under a spell, and the girl has to save him.
post #13 of 17
How about
I love you Stinky Face ?




Where the Wild Things Are

GoodNight Moon

Owl Moon

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening


How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
(thanks to this book my children knew exactly where Sri Lanka was when the tsumani hit ...when kids twice thier age didn't know)

Five in a Row has some excellent story books even if you don't follow thier curriuclum.
post #14 of 17
My personal faves are...
Shadow of the Dinosaurs-dennis Nolan
Ship of Dreams- Dean Morrissey
and for pure prose delight?
The Pelican chorus and other Nonsense By Edward Lear,ill. by Fred Marcellino
this book has 3 stories... I could go on and on, just go to any library, and start pulling beautiful books off shelves....mmmm...
post #15 of 17
Here's a few of our favorite ones:

Hug by Jez Alborough
Mama, Do You Love Me by Barbara Joosse
Goodnight Moon by
Bunny Bungalow by Cynthia Rylant
Gossie by Olivier Dunrea (there's a series of these)
So Many Bunnies Board Book : A Bedtime ABC and Counting Book by Rick Walton
Daddy Makes the Best Spaghetti by Anna Grossnickle Hines
Round Is a Pancake by Joan Sullivan Baranski

Some of the book lists mentioned above are great! I've found more books by searching for a book and then using the "listmania" feature on amazon.com.
post #16 of 17
Gifts, by Jo Ellen Bogart, Illustrated by Barbara Reid
(anything illustrated by Barbara Reid)

Rain, illustrated by Manja Stojic
Snow, illustrated by Manja Sojic

And If the Moon Could Talk by, by Kate Bangs

William and the Night Train, by Mij Kelly, illustrated by Alison Jay

Picture This, illustrated by Alison Jay
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you all! I'm so excited to get to the library now.
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