Last time I talked about my kids’ treasured picture books. Today I’m presenting a short list of my more contemporary favorites and the reasons why I like them.
Flower Garden—Eve Bunting has written many picture books, but this is, I believe, her best and it’s my favorite picture book. The bright, charming illustrations by Kathryn Hewitt blend perfectly with the sparse text, creating the perfect book in this genre. And, it’s a great example of how, with care, a picture book can be done in rhyme!
If you Give a Mouse a Cookie—the first in Laura Joffe Numeroff’s delightful “If you Give…” series with inspired illustrations by Felicia Bond. They are terrific examples of the “full circle” picture book.
Rotten Ralph—This series contains the first books one of my grand-daughters learned to read. The wacky cat created by Jack Gantos and brought to life by Nicole Rubel (he’s red!…and constantly creates turmoil for all around him) never fails to captivate.
The Paper Dragon—Marguerite W. Davol’s wonderful Chinese folk tale is illustrated by Robert Sabuda in the manner of the Chinese narrative scrollmaker’s art. It contains many beautiful fold-outs.
The Holy Twins—Tomie de Paola has written and illustrated many different kinds of picture books, but for this story of medieval saints Benedict and Scholastica, noted writer Kathleen Norris provided the text and de Paola the illustrations. Both are wonderful, and I love everything about this book. I even did a review of it for a leading Catholic magazine!
Linnea in Monet’s Garden—-Writer Christina Bjork and illustrator Lean Anderson introduce readers, in a most captivating way, to the world of fine art, especially Impressionism. I wish I had another daughter so I could name her Linnea!
D is for Drinking Gourd—-This, of course, is written by our own Nancy Sanders and illustrated by E.B. Lewis, and is a great example of a beautiful, informative, and diverse picture book. Nancy has boiled down all of her research and scholarship into nuggets that young readers will enjoy and remember.
Contributed by Marjorie Flathers