I read picture books.
There. I said it. I am a grown woman, a health professional, a triathlete, a married mother of two tween boys, and my favorite books are picture books.
After a full day of discussing the cause and effect of bacterial plaque and the prevention of periodontal disease to my patients, running/biking/swimming for an hour or more, chauffeuring my kids here and there, re-learning trigonometry to help with my freshman son's homework...all I want to do at the end of the day is relax with a short, funny book that I can finish in the night without having to fall asleep midway through the first chapter. Picture books.
I love picture books. I write picture books. I read picture books.
It's May and I've already read 113 books this year!
Since I go through picture books like it's candy, I'm going to share with you my favorite[s]. Yes, plural. I have so many favorite picture books that I can't pick just one. So I'm going to share with you my top 10!
Looking at my list, I can tell you that I gravitate towards humorous books that are on the quirky/goofy side, but with heart.
In no particular order:
Planet Kindergarten Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt
PLANET KINDERGARTEN is a fun, engaging story that is told from the unique perspective of a child. The MC imagines his school is in outer space and experiences an exploration of his lifetime. Author Sue Ganz-Schmitt manages to capture the authentic emotions that children experience on their first day of school.
The Monstore by Tara Lazar
What's not to love about a Monstore- a store that sells monsters! Tara Lazar's language and word choice are superb. It makes a fun read aloud. Illustrator, James Burks, did an outstanding job of bringing the characters to life. Kids will have a field day thinking of the monsters they'd like to have.
Prudence wants a pet so badly that she even goes so far as to get one on her own- a branch, a twig, an old shoe, etc. This book is so funny you can't help but laugh out loud. Cathleen Daly did a wonderful of characterizing Prudence as a sweet and clever child that you can't help but empathize and fall in love with her.
Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds
I adore this book! Aaron Reynolds did a fantastic job of instilling in our hearts the importance of self appreciation. I love the message that sometimes others can be misunderstood in a hilarious way.
A small note of warning: Not ideal for the sensitive reader. A few characters do get hurt in the story-telling of this book. On a side note, it makes for good discussion and lesson about ecology and the nature of things.
Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller
A delightful story about a little girl named Sophie who takes a friend, Bernice, wherever she goes. But Bernice happens to be a squash, which makes this story hilarious, yet endearing. Sophie's positiveness is infectious. I also love the subtle lesson on the cycle of life that is intertwined with the story.
Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds
Twilight Zone meets The Shining in this hilarious picture book by Aaron Reynolds. I've always been a fan of the Twilight Zone series so this one grabbed and sustained my attention throughout the reading. In Creepy Carrots, a rabbit fears that his favorite food is after him. You will never look at a carrot the same way again.
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
Mr. Tiger, sporting a top hat, coat and tie, is a proper tiger. Unhappy with his mundane life, he decides to let loose and follow his animal instincts. With sparse text and lovely illustrations, this story conveys the universal message, be yourselves, in a brilliant and humorous way.
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
This is one of those books I wished I could have written. Duncan wants to color, but when he opens his crayon box, he finds letter after letter from each colored crayon protesting about the unfairness that goes on in the coloring box. It is original, clever, fresh, and oh, so FUNNY!
The last two books are not humorous picture books, but they stood out to me as beautifully written picture books that pulled my heart-strings.
City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems
A poignant story of friendship between a dog and a frog written with beautiful language and eloquent style. It is also about loss that is told in a sensitive manner that children can comprehend. The four seasons depicted in the story brilliantly brings us to another emotional level.
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Wow! Picture books are difficult to write, let alone a historical nonfiction story. In a few word, author Andrea Pinkney, writes a powerful poetic story of four college students staging a peaceful protest by sitting at an all-white diner counter. A civil-rights story of courage and equality.
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Again, it was difficult for me to narrow my list to top 10 so I'm going to share with you five more as Honorable Mentions:
This Is a Moose by Richard T. Morris
I Don't Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty
This Orq. by David Elliott
The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz
Hope you get a chance to check out these books. There's nothing like a picture book to melt your stress away.
"Writing is like a vacation. I get to travel anywhere my imagination takes me" ~Romelle Broas
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