My youngest son is very found of birds. Ponds full of ducks make him very happy. If some of the ducks are on land, he heads straight over in hope of picking one up. Once they (inevitably) retreat to the water, he perches on the nearest rock and happily quacks at them (although he points out wistfully that, as yet, no ducks have quacked back to him).
My mother is also very found of ducks and she read me this book many, many times. The pictures are great and it is fun read-aloud, particularly once the ducklings (Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack) make their entrance. Speaking of grandparents, this is one of the only books on this blog that is older than all of my sons’ grandparents (The Little House and The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes are the others).
Author: Robert McCloskey
Illustrator: Robert McCloskey
Long ago there were no colors in the world at all.
Almost everything was grey,
and what was not grey was black or white.
It was a time that was called The Great Greyness.
Every morning a Wizard who lived
during the time of The Great Greyness
would open his window to look out at the wide land.
“Something is very wrong with the world,” he would say.
“It is hard to tell when the rainy days stop
and the sunny days begin.”
When the dissatisfied Wizard eventually makes a color (blue), everyone is thrilled. They paint everything blue and The Great Blueness begins. But soon people begin to grow sad. So the Wizard tries again. And again. And again. Until, “[a]t last, the world was too beautiful ever to be changed again.”
This is a fun story with beautiful pictures. It subtly teaches about primary and secondary colors (like The Color Kittens). It also demonstrates the perils of too much of a good thing (like Bread and Jam for Frances).
Author: Arnold Lobel
Illustrator: Arnold Lobel
I wish we could do what they do in Katroo.
They sure know how to say “Happy Birthday to You!”
In Katroo, every year, on the day you were born
They start the day right in the bright early morn
When the Birthday Honk-Honker hikes high up Mt. Zorn
And lets loose a big blast on the big Birthday Horn.
And the voice of the horn calls out loud as it plays:
“Wake Up! For today is your Day of all Days!”
The perfect book for a birthday tradition.
Author: Dr. Seuss
Illustrator: Dr. Seuss
Visualizing a million, billion, or trillion (or other concepts like compound interest and the metric system) isn’t easy, unless you read this fun series of books.
For example, a tank big enough to hold a million goldfish would be big enough to hold a whale. A tank big enough to hold a billion goldfish would be as big as a stadium. And a tank big enough to hold a trillion goldfish would be as big as a city harbor. (Keeping in mind a tank should hold one gallon of water for every one inch goldfish!)
Steven Kellogg’s cheerful illustrations keep things light, bright, and engaging. How Much is a Million? is our favorite of the series.
Author: David M. Schwartz
Illustrator: Steven Kellogg
Posted in Non-fiction, Picture Books
Tagged A Reading Rainbow Selection, Animals, David M. Schwartz, Diverse Books, How Much is a Million?, I read this as a kid, If You Made a Million, Millions to Measure, science, series, Steven Kellogg
Once upon a time
there was a Little House
way out in the country.
She was a pretty Little House
and she was strong and well built.
The man who built her so well said,
“This Little House shall never be sold
for gold or silver and she will live to see
great-great-grandchildren living in her.”
This is a seemingly simple story of one Little House, but there is a lot going on. The sun, moon, and stars go by. Seasons change. Children grow up. A city moves in. A house moves out. Curiosity is satisfied and a happy ending is finally reached.
The pictures are so beautiful and so very peaceful. I remember looking through it as a kid over and over again and am happy the boys really like it too.
Author: Virginia Lee Burton
Illustrator: Virginia Lee Burton
“Don’t you think there’s such a thing as
enough?” Mr. Midas persisted. “Don’t you
think that things are best in their places? I
mean, don’t you think there’s a time for
spaghetti and a time for roast beef and even a
time for pickled herring and garlic toast, as
well as a time for chocolate? Or would you
rather have chocolate all the time?”
“Chocolate all the time,” John replied
emphatically. “Chocolate’s best, that’s all.
Other things are just food. But chocolate’s
“I think I understand,” Mr. Midas broke in
You’ve heard of King Midas’s golden touch? This book is a fun (relatively) contemporary update, the story of a schoolboy (John Midas) who has the bad luck of actually getting what he most wishes for.
If you’re looking for the original, golden, version of the story, we quite like the picture book by Charlotte and Kinuko Y. Craft.
Author: Patrick Skene Catling
Illustrator: Margot Apple
Harry, a white dog with black spots, hates baths. But he loves exploring and getting dirty. After becoming a black dog with white spots (that his family doesn’t recognize), bathing suddenly becomes more appealing.
We enjoyed the Scholastic Video version of this simple, cute book a great deal when the boys were younger.
Author: Gene Zion
Illustrator: Margaret Bloy Graham
This is a tale of wild, imagined adventures; practicing leaving home behind; and of family. (It reminds me a lot of Where the Wild Things Are.) The boys like how Little Fox’s imagined journey to the End of the World unfolds–the creative perils and solutions are a huge part of the fun (and the pictures–get the version of the book with these out-of-print pictures, if possible).
Author: Ann Tompert
Illustrator: John Wallner
Once there were two color kittens with
green eyes, Brush and Hush. They liked to
mix and make colors by splashing one color
into another. They had buckets and buckets
and buckets and buckets of color to splash
around with. Out of these colors they would
make all the colors in the world.
I loved to look at these pictures when I was small and this story is great to read aloud. The boys don’t mind it, but they don’t reach for it either. Perhaps it is too dreamlike for now.
Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrators: Alice and Martin Provensen
Expecting her baby to arrive soon, a mother bird leaves her nest and egg to gather food. When the baby hatches ahead of schedule, he goes out to search for her (without having any idea what to look for). After much confusion, there is a joyful reunion.
The language here is basic. Prosaic, even. But the pictures are great and the concept reliably amuses (my mother used to read it to me).
Author: P.D. Eastman
Illustrator: P.D. Eastman