It’s really true. When it comes to being published, you can’t write what you don’t read. Do you long with a passion to write picture books? When you step through the doors of your local bookstore, does the picture book section have a strong magnetic pull on you even though you aren’t wearing metal? Does your husband usually find you sitting at the kids reading table in the back of the store with 5 to 8 year olds? Are you all reading the SAME books? If so, picture books may be your genre! In 2008 the New York Public Library System came up with a list of 100 picture books everyone should read. I’ll admit that I’ve read less than half of the 100. I’ve got some reading to do! Here are the first 40 books on the list:
1. Abuela by Arthur Dorros.
2. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst.
3. Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock by Eric A. Kimmel
4. Andy and the Lion by James Daugherty.
5. Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
6. The Bossy Gallito: A Traditional Cuban Folk Tale retold by Lucia M. Gonzalez
7. Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban
8. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
9. Bruno Munari’s ABC by Bruno Munari
10. Buz by Richared Egielski
11. Caps for Sale; A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina
12. The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
13. A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
14. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
15.Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
16. Come Along, Daisy! by Jane Simmons
17. Corduroy by Don Freeman
18. Curious George by H.A. Rey
19. Dinosaur Roar! by Paul and Henrietta Stickland
20. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
21. Duck on a Bike by David Shannon
22. Fire Truck by Peter Sis
23. Freight Train by Donald Crews
24. Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London
25. The Gardener by Sarah Stewart
26. George and Martha by James Marshall
27. Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley
28. Goin’ Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack
29. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
30. Goodnight Moon by Margaret W. Brown.
31. Gossie by Dunrea Olivier
32. Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say
33. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
34. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
35. Henry Hikes to Fitchburg by D.B Johnson
36. Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
37. How do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen
38. I Kissed the Baby! by Mary Murphy
39. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura J. Numeroff
40. It Could Always be Worse: A Yiddish Folktale retold by Margot Zemach
How many did you check off? Probably not as many as you’d like, right? I don’t know about you, but I can sometimes get caught up in reading more how-to-write for children books, and not enough of what I love to read and write…PICTURE BOOKS! You can’t write what you don’t read.
Well, I’m off to the bookstore. Got to get a place at that little itty-bitty table before it fills up.