I must confess: My house oftentimes resembles the local branch of our town’s public library. This is a happy by-product of my job as a marketing manager for children’s books, but there are books literally everywhere—in the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, the hallway, the bedrooms, the bathroom and the attic. The upside is, my three daughters—ages 13, 10 and 6—are never at a loss for a great book to read!
But which children’s books do I, Mom and Marketing Manager, like to read (other than the ones I have to read for work)? Which books inspire me, make me laugh, make me think?
I recently introduced author and illustrator Suzanne Bloom to my household. Oh! What a Surprise! (Boyds Mills Press, coming this October) is Suzanne’s latest title in the wonderful Goose and Bear series, all of which tackle common childhood problems—friendship, jealousy, sharing, etc. Suzanne’s books are great to look at and fun to read out loud. And I find the dilemmas that Suzanne presents very true-to-life (and sometimes relatable to adulthood!).
When I met author and illustrator Matthew Cordell at the International Reading Association in Chicago this past spring, I immediately liked him. He’s a funny guy, a talented illustrator and a young dad. Matt’s new book, hello! hello! (Hyperion) spoke right to me. This book—which also will be released this October—cleverly skewers the ever-plugged-in-parent (don’t deny it!) while extolling the virtues of nature.
In addition to three daughters, my family also has a “son” —a chocolate Labrador retriever named Sawyer. When I stumbled upon the book Oh No, George! (Chris Houghton, Candlewick Press) a few weeks ago, I thought, “Wow, the title of this book could have easily been Oh No, Sawyer!” It’s about George, a dog who knows he should be good, but can’t because, well, he’s a dog. This is a story that made me laugh and think. As with many children’s books, the title skillfully masks a deeper meaning, which one reviewer pegged as “forgiveness, redemption and restoration.”
So, tell us…what are some of your favorite children’s books? Not just your kids’ or your students’ favorites, but the ones that have stuck with you, either from your own childhood or from reading now to kids of your own?