Today's post idea brought to you by the lovely Alice Bradley whose blog, Finslippy, is an example of everything that is right with the world.
Obviously, my kids are way past the picture book phase. Annelise is already past the Twilight series and laughing at David Sedaris. Alex has read everything written by Jonathan Tropper, and Mario...well I'm influencing his reading choices, he recently enjoyed Tuesdays With Morrie.
Whenever someone I know has a baby, I like to give them a children's book or two as a present. Books really are the gifts that keep on giving. A well crafted tome will be read over and over, first when the parent reads it to a child, again as the child begins to exercise his own reading skills.
Alex's very favorite book, the one he could recite word for word by the time he was two, was The Escape of Marvin the Ape by Mark and Caralyn Buehner. The Buehners authored several books, and what makes their creations even more special is the hidden animals in each color plate. Half the fun of "Marvin" is finding all the creatures hidden in the illustrations. The zippy dialogue that expands little minds was my favorite part. Alex loved one line in particular and walked around the house quoting it, "The sea spray was exhilarating." Look for other titles from the Buehners both individually and together.
Any and every one of Mercer Mayer's "Little Critter" books. Look for Little Critter's friends mouse, grasshopper and spider, in the illustrations. Alex also loved the PC game when he was a little older.
Any book by Janell Cannon . As much as I loved Verdi and Stellaluna, I almost dreaded reading them at night. They're a little longer than most children's books and when the twins were babies, I could barely stay awake to finish the story. I think Mario's love of mangoes started after I brought some home when the children wanted to eat Stellaluna's favorite fruit.
In the Night Kitchen by the incomparable Maurice Sendak. If the wear and tear on a book is any indication of how well loved it is, then this one must have been the kids' favorite, because it was wrecked by the time the twins entered kindergarten.
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel was one of the first books I ever read, and I couldn't wait to share it with my children. First published in 1939, it's certainly a little dated mechanically, but Virginia Lee Burton's message is timeless. At 44 pages, this is another tough one to finish at bedtime for parents struggling to stay awake.