As a kid, Each Peach Pear Plum was one of the first picture books that I read in Kindergarten. It was a favorite of mine at the time, but for some reason it isn’t particularly memorable in my internal catalog of awesome children’s picture books. BUT, each time I happen to pass by a copy at the library my heart does a little leap for joy as I am reminded “Oh yeah, this one!” I’m pretty confident that Each Peach Pear Plum is one of the books that everyone in my generation read in preschool and kindy. It brings back feelings of nostalgia and the pure joy of reading for fun we all felt as kids. I adore books that rhyme and that invite active reader participation so the thought of getting to search through the beautiful illustrations to play a game of “I spy” while reading the sing-song verse will always give me butterflies..that is, if I happen to pass a copy.
No Matter What written by Debi Gliori is the very FIRST picture book on this blog to receive a 10/10 rating. I make it a habit to review books that I read and loved as a child, or that I have discovered with my children however this book was first brought to my attention by my darling 4 year old niece. As she tromped down the stairs to our reading corner at grandma’s house, carrying an armful of books, she sat down beside me, shuffled through them and demanded we read this one first. Yes ma’am! I was blown away by the simple message of unconditional love shared between Large Fox and Small Fox. The verbiage is simple and funny, rhyming where appropriate. In combination with the bright, well done illustrations and the memories of my niece giggling with glee at the story, this is currently my favorite lap reader. Every child I know will be receiving their very own copies for the foreseeable holiday future. I recommend this book for ages 1 through 1st grade.
This bedtime (or anytime) book is a perfect lap reader for little ones and has been read hundreds of times in my home to the little people I love. The rhyming verse is so memorable that after a few reads little’s and big’s alike will have it memorized. The illustrations done by Caroline Jayne Church feature recycled paper backgrounds and a pre-k little boy along his partner-in-crime, a teddy bear. This book makes a wonderful baby shower or holiday gift and will without a doubt become a classic treasured part of any little’s library, just as our own copy has. I recommend this board book for children ages 9 months through 1st grade (or older if you can still convince them to snuggle).
An interesting mute little girl with long snowy white braids is the newest addition to the curious troupe of orphaned children at Oddfellow’s Orphanage. Oddfellow, a distant relative of a viciously notorious pirate Bluebird, made it his life’s mission to create a family for himself by taking in cast off children. This gentle read includes nostalgic scenes from just about everyone’s magical childhood imaginations, including plenty of stargazing, circus animals and cryptozoological creatures. This great chapter book offers simple yet charming illustrations and uncomplicated language. I recommend it for emerging readers in grades 1-4.
We all have grumpy days. Even the grooviest of cats can come down with a ho-hum case of the blue cat blues. In this uplifting story, Pete, Grumpy Toad, Wise Old Owl and their gang of critter pals show us how to notice the good in every day. There is magic in looking on the bright side and a small change in perspective can turn almost anything around. Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and can’t find your own cool blue sunglasses to see things differently? Hang upside down if you have to, or simply ready this book and it’ll have you smiling and singing along. “The birds are singing, the sky is bright, the sun is shining, I’m feeling alright!” FAR OUT!
This dreamy bedtime story is gorgeously illustrated by Alison Jay using an oil paint and crackle finish technique showing a little boy’s adventures exploring the peaceful country side after dark. While the illustrations are gorgeous, the verse is not to be ignored, as Carolyn Curtis displays her talent with using fresh uncommon language while making it rhyme elegantly. This book invites the reader to enjoy the moon as a nighttime companion and observe the serenity of nightfall. I Took the Moon for a Walk has become a pre-bed favorite for our family and will continue to be loved. This book is also available as a board book and will be most loved as a read aloud, by both adults and children ages 3 through 8.
Sure to become a classic, Emily’s gentle singsong rhyme delivers a sweet reminder that we can all be quite wonderful. Her charming illustrations pull the reader in and invite them to explore their imaginations and appreciate individuality. The Wonderful Things You Will be by Emily Winfield Martin encourages bravery, cleverness and kindness in children. To the adult reader, it serves as a reminder of our past playful aspirations and nudges us towards acceptance and celebration of them, even if they’re a bit odd. This book makes an excellent lap reader for the pre-school and younger crowd.
How to Eat Fried Worms, first published in 1973, is Thomas Rockwell’s most popular middle reader for good reason. The main character, Billy, accepts a wager from his friend Alan that he can’t eat 15 worms in 15 days. They shake on the terms and the hilarity ensues. Alan doesn’t want to have to pay up but Billy refuses to concede – after all, when he wins that $50 bet, he’ll be able to buy his very own motorbike! Who knew there were so many tasty ways to eat a worm? This disgustingly humorous read will have little boys gagging on giggles for days.