Tuesday, August 10, 2010

10 favorite picture books on Aug. 10, 2010

Since I became a mom, two years ago. My home has become my classroom. In the past, I have taught first grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade. I am a reading specialist and was a reading recovery teacher. Now that I stay at home, I still consider myself a teacher. I only have two students (my two boys) and I don't get a paycheck, but I use books to teach every day.
Today, Cathy at Reflect and Refine is hosting a blog jog today. For the blog jog, she posed the question, If you were stranded on an island and had to teach, what 10 picture books would you hope to have in your bag? Whew, it's hard to pick 10! I would probably swim off the island just to get more books for my boys! But here is my list! I think these are must-haves for any nursery. (As well as about 100 more!)
On the Night You Were BornOn the Night you Were Born By Nancy Tillman A book to celebrate the birth of your child. In this story, a baby is born and the whole world celebrates. The polar bears dance and  the geese fly home as the news travels through all of creation. The author pauses in the story to address the child and incorporate movement with lines such as "In fact I think I'll count to three so you can wiggle your toes for me." This book teaches an important message- that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.Hopefully that message will  follow your child through the rest of life!

Tomie's Little Mother GooseTomie's Little Mother Goose By Tomie dePaola Every nursery should be equipped with at least one nursery rhyme book. This is one of our favorites. Classic nursery rhymes are illustrated by one of my favorite illustrators, Tomie dePaola. Many of the rhymes are shortened to just one stanza which matches a baby's short attention span.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? [BROWN BEAR BROWN BEAR-BOARD BK]Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you See? By Bill Martin Jr. Although Bill Martin Jr. has written many animals books that follow this text format. Brown Bear, Brown Bear is still our favorite. Each page is filled with a large colorful animal and the repetative text Brown bear, Brown Bear what do you see? I see a red bird looking at me. It was through this book that my son learned his colors, animal names, and animal sounds! He has also been chanting along with the text since he was about 20 months old!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Lap EditionChicka, Chicka Boom Boom By Bill Martin Jr. Another great read by Bill Martin Jr. This book was a favorite of the first grade class that I taught when I was pregnant with Logan. Logan must have heard it so many times when I was pregnant that I think he came out knowing it! I would recite this book to him while he was nursing and it would help him latch on! It is still one of his favorites. Now it is memorized and he has made up his own actions to it. He loves the flyleafs of the book which are filled with large colorful alphabet letters. He will spend a long time on those pages naming all of the letters.
Baby Danced the Polka (Ala Notable Children's Books. Younger Readers (Awards))Baby Danced the Polka by Karen Beaumont This book has everything you could ask for in a toddler book. It has a jingling rhyme. It has flaps that can be lifted. It has silliness. In this story, Mama and Papa keep putting baby down for a nap and baby keeps escaping. Each escape is accompanined by a dance: the polka, the cha-cha, or he shooby doobies. Each time the reader has to guess which animal is joining in on the dance. Readers can use rhyming cues to help. For example: While Papa shaved his whiskers, and mama washed her wig, baby shooby doobied with the polka dotted... pig." This is great for building phonemic awareness. Another book that uses this skill is The Magic Hat by Mem Fox. (I know, I know, I'm sneaking an extra book into my list
Moo Baa La La LaMoo, Baa, La la la by Sandra Boynton A book that teaches animal sounds with a little silliness thrown in. "A cow says Moo. A sheep says baa. Three singing pigs say la, la, la." My son loves to quote the next page, "NO, NO. That isn't right. The Pigs say oink." What kid doesn't love to tell mom, "No."
Good Night, Gorilla   [GOOD NIGHT GORILLA-BOARD] [Board Books]Good Night, Gorilla By Peggy Rathmann The unobservant zoo keeper moves through the zoo saying goodnight to all of the animals. He doesn't notice that the gorilla is letting all of the animals out to follow him home. This book helps us wind down at the end of the day. There is very little text which allows for mommy or daddy to create a bedtime story. The repetative good nights in the book are fun for your little one to chime in.
Clap Your Hands (Paperstar Book)Clap Your Hands By Lorinda Bryan Cauley Adorable animals instruct your child to clap, stomp, shake, roar, find something yellow, and wave bye-bye. Action books are very important for surviving time with my wiggly two year old. This book is a good mix of reading and playtime.

Sleepytime Rhyme by Remy Charlip The first words of this book will warm your heart, "I love you. I think you're grand. There's none like you in all the land." The book moves through each part of baby's body softly exclaiming a parent's love for eyes, ears, nose, and all 10 toes. The text of this book fits well to the tune of "Twinkle, twinkle little star" I have often sung a baby to sleep with this sweet book.
Goodnight, My DucklingGoodnight my Duckling by Nancy Tafuri is a great goodnight book. Mother duck swims through the pond with her little ducklings. Each of the pond animals says goodnight to the little ducklings. One little duckling gets lost on his journey home. A helpful turtle gives the lost little duckling a ride home to his brothers and sisters and mom. At the end, all of the ducklings are safe as mother duck tells them goodnight.
 I can not wait to read all of the 10 on 10 lists! I'll be visiting our library a lot I'm sure after I read all of these lists. Many of the lists have been created by teachers so this would be a great back to school stop!


  1. Great list. I would definitely take a lot of nursery rhymes and absolutely Big Book of Poetry edited by Bill Martin Jr. We love that book.

  2. Very cool to do a top ten from a baby's home library perspective! GOOD NIGHT GORILLA and BROWN BEAR are two of my favorites, too. And VERY cute picture. :-) Thanks for sharing...

  3. How many times I read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! I still love it. Fun reading!

  4. Thank you for your wonderful list = happy to see Sandra Boynton on your list - My family loved her when my boys were young!

  5. Thanks for sharing! I love Chicka Chicka Boom Boom too! My students would even join in. I also like Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

  6. Isn't it hard so hard to pick just 10 books! When I did the post on "How to Pick Books for Preschoolers" it was hard to narrow down the authors I wanted to highlight!

    Great list you've put together. Wish every child had these in their home library! :)

  7. Jackie, This week we have a FREE printable book about a day at the river. It reminded me of your day with the boys at the lake. :)

  8. Thanks for taking the time to share! Enjoy reading and learning with your adorable sons!

  9. I loved your ideas here! I will be able to purchase more excellent picture books for my library based on this and the lists of others in the August 10 for 10.

    I am a new follower!

    Let's share ideas.
    I'd love to have you visit my blog at www.readerbuzz.blogspot.com.

  10. I think this is a great list too. Both of my kids loved "Chicka Chicka Boom "and "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" (Kellen also loves "Polar Bear, Polar Bear" because it's what do you "hear" and he loves the sounds we make.) They both still love just about every Sandra Boynton book there is.

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