Monday, January 3, 2011

Picture Books You Must Read!

One of the most common advice given to aspiring writers is to READ, READ, READ!  The best thing you can do to hone your craft is to study the books you want to write.  The genre I want to specialize in are picture books.  I've attended several conferences on picture books and read many how-to books on the topic.  Many of the editors and authors often discuss their favorite picture books and what, about it, appeals to them.   So, I decided to compile a list of MUST READ picture books.  Here is my list:

Harry and Horsie by Katie Van Camp, 2009 Balzer & Bray
Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, 2009 Chronicle books
In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck, 2008 Harcourt, Inc.
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen, 2006 Candlewick Press
All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, 2009 Beach Lane Books
Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell, 1992 Candlewick Press
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff, 1985 Harper & Row
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (If You Give...)

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, 1962 Viking Press
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, 1994 Candlewick Press
Officer Buckle & Gloria by Peggy Rathmann, 1995 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig, 1969 Windmill Books
Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola, 1975 Prentice-Hall
Stone Soup by Marcia Brown, 1947 Scribner
Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, 1941 Viking Press
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, 1963 Harper & Row
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, 1939 Simon & Schuster
Owen by Kevin Henkes, 1993 Greenwillow
Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag, 1928 Coward-McCann
Where the Wild Things Are

Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, 1979 Philomel Books
Freight train by Donald Crews, 1978 Greenwillow
Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang, 1983 Greenwillow
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr., and John Archambault, 1989 Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
I Am a Bunny by Ole Risom, 1963 Golden Books
Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young, 1992 Philomel Books

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Anniversary Edition
Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus1971 Windmill Books
Corduroy by Don Freeman, 1968 Viking Press
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann, 1994 Putnam
Miss Nelson Is Missing! by Harry Allard, 1977 Houghton & Mifflin
Corduroy (40th Anniversary Edition)

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, 1947 Harcourt
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss, 1945 Harper
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton, 1939 Houghton Mifflin
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, 1956 Harper
Goodnight Moon

So there you have it, a list of the MUST READ picture books.  But here's another study tip:  Be sure to read and study the newest picture books in stores today.  That will give you an idea of the types of picture books editors/publishers are looking for these days.  For example, you'll notice that todays picture books have a much lower word count than the classic picture books.  Simple text and illustrations are popular today.

Now go to your nearest library and bookstores and start studying these books.  READ, READ, READ!

If you have other "must read" books you'd like to share with me, please let me know.

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