Picture Book Memories


Yesterday, I was puttering around in the guest room and came across my collection of picture books. I’ve given away most of the books from when my children were small, but I saved some of their (and my) favorites with the hope that I might someday share them with grandchildren. 



Some are favorites because the rhythm makes them wonderful read-aloud stories. My mother volunteered every Saturday at our local library to give a children’s reading time, and I can almost hear her voice reading, “Hundred of cats, Thousands of cats, Millions and billions and trillions of cats,” and the children chanting along with her. Dr. Seuss books always have great rhymes and rhythms as well.



Others are favorites for the pictures, like Jaguarundi, with its beautiful paintings…



And Wednesday is Spaghetti Day, with detailed drawings of cats having fun while their people are away.

Others, like If You Give A Moose A Muffin are just fun stories, but they almost always have something to teach as well.


Seven Blind Mice is a variation on a classic parable. One mouse touches the elephant’s leg and describes him as a pillar. Another touches the trunk and describes him as a snake. The third touches his tusk and says it’s a spear. Each mouse describes only the part they experience and argue with the other mice that they’ve got it all wrong. Finally, the seventh mouse runs up and down and back and forth until she has described the entire elephant.



Picture books still have a lot to teach us, even if we're not preschoolers.

What are your favorite picture books? What do you love about them?

*****

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Comments

  1. Picture books are wonderful! There’s no age limit to their enjoyment either. When I was a teacher-librarian, I could quiet the rowdiest Grade 8 class by reading a really good picture book. Growing up, my faves were the original Mary Poppins (not the Disney version) and one about a small cute rabbit that could fly (!!) called Pookie. I’ve never seen that since and sadly don’t have any from my own childhood. But I’ve collected a few for my granddaughter. Thanks for this trip to my childhood!

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    1. Pookie sounds like a great book! I love the Velveteen Rabbit, too.

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  2. I love them, too. My sister has the original Raggedy Ann & Andy series, and I love them. I also love I'll Love You Forever and a Judith Viorst one--at least I think it was a picture book--called Jonathan Wonathan Higgins McGee. Actually, I could go on for a long time... Thanks for the memories, Beth!

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    1. I'll Love You Forever is a great one for rhythm as well as story. I haven't seen the others, but they sound wonderful.

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  3. I love picture books and can't stand to get rid of any just yet. There are almost too many to list. We recently read and still love HECKEDY PEG and KING BIDGOOD IN THE BATHTUB by Audrey and Don Wood. The illustrations are fabulous and the language is wonderful.

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    1. I don't know either of those, but just from the titles I love them!

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  4. Thanks--love the memories picture books bring--mostly from reading them to my kids. But I remember myself going to back to Millions of Cats as little girl, especially when I could read it myself. My librarian mother had wonderful children's book posters from ALA conventions and library week. She hung them on the walls in her office at home and they were part of what she left to each of her four grandchildren.

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  5. When I was little I loved Captain Kangaroo and especially when he read a story and showed us the pictures. I vividly remember Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and the book Stone Soup. One of my younger sisters loved Clifford the Big Red Dog. She had all of us, her four older sisters, read it so often that at age three she would volunteer to "read" it to us - turning pages appropriately and never missing a word because she had memorized it. It was the gift I gave her when her first son was born.

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  6. Oh, how I forget so many lovely moments of childhood and thank you, Beth for bringing them back. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel! I remember that! I will confess that until I was fourteen I collected every Cinderella picture book I could find. Back then, there were many. I kept them until my sister had a daughter and I gave her all the books. We had the requisite shelves upon shelves with every Golden Book printed. But my father was in love with the new Encyclopedia Britannica he'd bought and that ended the picture books for me. Thanks for this lovely memory!

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