Thursday, 7 March 2013

33 Great Picture Books for Young Readers

It's absolutely no secret that I am a book freak! I simply adore everything about books; from their look, to their feel in my hands, to their smell, to their way of carrying me off to a far distant land where adventure and thrills await! Books are part of my DNA!

Enter motherhood and you get one mother who gets very excited when in the kids section of the local bookstore! I love reading and it's a desire that I really want my own children to grab hold of in their lives and reap as much enjoyment from this amazing pastime as I have! I think it's a famous quote, or maybe something that I've heard along the grape vine, that 'you teach a child to read, you can teach a child anything'. This speaks volumes to me.

Reading to my children has always been something that I love to do, I don't do it every day or night or sometimes even as often as I'd like (I'd much prefer to hibernate with a book then iron clothes ... oh hang on! I don't iron!), but I know that they have caught on to the value of reading. This excites me!

We started our love of reading 'journey' with our kids while they were very young. I say journey because some children don't have a natural love of reading, some struggle with reading; and this is all OK., and is where lots of positive encouragement is given when difficulties are over-come and small progresses made. I have one child at this stage who doesn't particularly 'care for' reading by herself, but will be the first to listen eagerly if I'm reading out loud.

Each child will develop a love in their own time, by no means am I saying that reading should be forced harshly on a child where they believe themselves to be 'less-than' because they aren't readers. Each child is unique, but most can gently be lead towards an appreciation of good quality literature, that will enrich their lives.

We began by reading what is classically known as a 'picture book'. A hold in your small hand, not too many words to a page, not too many pages long, brightly illustrated picture book. I have put together a list of the 33 picture books (I told you I get excited in bookstores!) that are on our shelf and are returned to quite regularly, some of them so much so that I could recite the entire book to you from memory! (I'm sure we've all read a certain 'favourite' a quad zillion times!)

So, here's the list for you, with some links to browse or purchase them from amazon, enjoy! ...

  • Who Sank the Boat? - Pamella Allen
  • Little Owl - Piers Harper
  • Time for Bed - Mem Fox
  • A Long Way From Home - Elizabeth Baguley
  • Hello, Goodbye - David Lloyd
  • Rosie's Babies - Martin Waddell (this one is the absolute favourite of my girls ... a beautiful read with stunning illustrations by the talented Penny Dale)
  • Floss - Kim Lewis (beautiful illustrations)
  • The Long Journey Home - David Bedford
  • Grandad - Rachel Elliot
  • The Best Gift of All - Jonathon Emmett
  • A Lion in the Night - Pamella Allen
  • Hairy Maclary - Shoo - Lynley Dodd
  • Possum Magic - Mem Fox (a classic that was a beautiful part of my childhood ... oh darn, now I feel like a lamington!)
  • Handa's Surprise - Eileen Browne
  • Silly Goose - Marni McGee
  • Belinda - Pamela Allen
  • Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! - Mo Willems (this one is just great for a laugh! funny, bizarre plot ... probably why the kids love it!)
  • Hurry! Hurry! - Eve Bunting
  • Hairy Maclary - Hat Tricks - Lynley Dodd (what an incredible author this beautiful lady is! Her works are some of my all-time favourites ... Schnitzel von Krumm with a very low tum!)
  • Muddy Paws - Moira Butterfield
  • The Flea's Sneeze - Lynn Downey (It is simply not possible to read this book without using extremely exaggerated sound-effects! Very funny book!)
  • Big Brother Little Brother - Penny Dale (The hands-down favourite of my boys ... they have read and re-read this so many times. My 11 year old loves reading it to my nearly 4 year old in the morning)
  • Guess how much I love you - Sam McBratney
  • Just you and Me - Sam McBratney
  • What Will I do Without You? - Sally Grindley
  • While You Were Sleeping - John Butler (The illustrations in this are stunning and this book also develops great counting skills)
  • Me and My Dad! - Alison Ritchie
  • I Love My Mummy - Sebastien Braun
  • Wilfred Gordan McDonald Partridge - Mem Fox (Very sweet story)
  • Clippity-Clop - Pamella Allen
  • The Boy on the Bus - Penny Dale (Do you notice the trend here? I think I like Penny Dale's Work!)
  • Alexander's Outing - Pamella Allen
I hope that you enjoy looking through this list as much as I thoroughly enjoyed creating it, and that you are encouraged to take the time to nurture a love of reading in your children. Not only will they benefit intellectually from such well-chosen, sound written works, they will also be spending some beautiful irreplaceable time with who they love the most ... and that's you!
What are some of the most favourite books that are read over and over in your house? Who can add some more classics to this list? Can we reach 50 great picture books for young readers? I'm keen to give it a go, are you?!
Happy Reading!

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