So here are my all time favorite picture books:
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. 64 p. HarperCollins Publisher, January, 1958. 9780060229368. (Own.)
Even though this could've been a favorite from my own childhood, I did not become aware of it until the early 1990's. I don't remember how, but it was an early favorite of #4 son's. I had to read Harold, and two other books every single night for quite a few years. I think, if pressed, I could probably recite most of it. I know that he could recite it from memory by age 2. I thought I had a video to prove it, but discovered a year or so later that the sound had quit on my camcorder. (face hits desk)
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. unpgd. Random House Inc., 1978. 0394884663. (Own.)
Even thought this wordless wonder was originally published in the US in 1978, I did not discover it until the late 80's. It was a favorite of my last three sons. They absolutely adored poring over the pictures.
Up and Up by Shirley Hughes.
This one is sadly out of print. The cover image that I found is not the same as the book I own. I may have ordered my copy from England and I just realized that I have mislaid the book! I brought it to a workshop that I was presenting at and it doesn't seem to have made it back home! Oh no! I will be so sad if I've lost it. It was a favorite of two of my sons when they were small. We somehow discovered Shirley Hughes and ended up reading many of her wonderful works.
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann. 32 p. Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, April, 1994. 039922359.
Oh did # 3 ana #4 sons love this one! One enterprising gorilla steals the keys of one clueless zookeeper in this adorable anti-bedtime book.
The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real by Margery Williams. Illustrated by Michael Green. 48 p. Running Press Deluxe Edition, September, 1981. 089471127X.
This one has been around since 1922. I did not become aware of it until I found a Rabbit Ears Production of the story narrated by Meryl Streep. The audio and later, video, was a favorite of my sons in the nineties. At some point, I went in search of the book and found the above edition. Later, when seeking out more books illustrated by Michael Hague, I found this one:
The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco. 32 p. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1988. 0671649639.
The boys and I brought our copy of The Keeping Quilt to a book signing by Patricia Polacco in 1990. I had bought it at the store previously and picked up Thunder Cake, the book that she was touring to publicize. Not many people showed for the signing, so the small group had a great view of Polacco's presentation. Wish I had thought to bring a camera. Of course, Patricia Polacco signings are quite the event now.
The Tub Grandfather by Pam Conrad. Illustrated by Richard Egielski. A Laura Gering Book/ HarperCollins Publishers, 1993. 0060228954.
I bought this book because my boys just loved bath-time and had a ton of toys lined up on the edge of the tub. But, I will admit to being a bit creeped out by it on the first read through. I thought that they, at 7 and 4 and 1 would be afraid to take baths. No worries. They just loved it and I grew to love it more with each rereading. (Sadly, this appears to be out of print.)
The Boy Who Ate Around by Henrik Drescher. 32 p. Hyperion Books for Children, October, 1994. 0786800143.
"There was once a boy named Mo who had to eat his dinner even though he didn't like it one little bit." This one just tickled #3 son to no end. He just love the fact that Mo was about it throw his dinner of lizard guts and bullfrog heads right up on the dinner table, but didn't because he was polite. Another treasure that is sadly out of print.
Monster Mama by Liz Rosenberg. Illustrated by Stephen Gammell. 32 p. Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, March, 1993. 0399219897.
Patrick Edward's mama is a real monster. Everyone in town knows that, but to Patrick Edward, she is the best. One day he is sent to the store to pick out "something lovely" for dessert and, on the way back home, three bullies beat him up. But monster mama will not stand for this. My boys just loved this one. I had totally forgotten that my husband had bought it for me for our 8th wedding anniversary and inscribed it thusly: " If I could not see all sides of you, how could I love you in so many ways, for so many reasons?" Blub, blub, blub. He always inscribes the books that he gives as gifts. I had better not lose this one. Again, another gem that is out of print.
The last nine were favorites of my sons from their childhood. My favorite from my own childhood, the book I rooted through my mother's basement for is this:
Five O'Clock Charlie by Marguerite Henry. Illustrated by Wesley Dennis. Rand McNally & Company, 1962.
Oh how I read my Weekly Reader Book Club copy to tatters! The spine broke and the cover is held on with wide tape. Each page threatens to crumble. It smells slightly of mildew from the cellar. I love this book. I love it so much that when it was weeded from my sons' school library collection for not circulating, I took the library binding edition home. Sadly, it did not have the same appeal to the boys when I shared it with them.
Oh how I adore picture books!