I thought I might try and read all the books from the Cybils Fiction Picture Book List. As Melissa Wiley (a panelist for the award) noted there are 175 Books but now I am reading Melissa's update (make that 186 books.) Here is a post of the first books I read from the list. Please let me know if you enjoyed any of these. I know this is a long post. Next post, I plan to do 10 books. My original goal for this one was 25 which was way too many. I'm not even sure I can get through all 186 books but we will see. I hope you will find the time to read it to the end. Thanks.
the red shoes reminds the reader of bygone days when shoe shopping was an event, a trip with mama, a sales person, and a "metal monster" to measure the feet. A trip to Woolworth's for a chocolate milkshake would certainly complete such a trip. If you have a little one who likes shoes don't miss this delightful story.
Cat Nights is a favorite of Cate's. Just last night I could hear her reading it aloud. Felicity is a young witch only 263 years old. She's been waiting a long time to use the spell to turn herself into a cat. She loves being a cat. Great illustrations and a cute message about following your bliss.
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes written by the beloved Mem Fox and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. This is a perfect baby book gift. It reminds us that baby's are born all over the world and the love for our children is universal. I love Oxenbury's illustrations and this one is a gem.
I must admit I didn't like A Kitten Tale the first time I read it but rereading it to Cate this evening I found I enjoyed it very much. I think it is her delight in cats that made the book even more fun to read. What I didn't realize in my first hasty reading was the subtle change of seasons in the illustrations. Four kittens who have never seen snow anticipate it's arrival. One kitten is quite eager and the other three are a bit more cautious. In the end they are all rollicking in the snow.
Some of you might remember that I'm not fond of Winter so anything that anticipates Spring is most welcome. How Mama Brought the Spring delivers the hope and warmth of spring with a recipe of imagination and a yummy treat. It also reminds us to be thankful for a full and plentiful pantry. The story has just the right amount of surprise, suspense and playful language to make it immensely enjoyable to read aloud. The illustrations are beautiful and the bits of Russian culture make this book a real winner. Loved it.
If you enjoy The Happiness Tree you will want to purchase it. There is so much to savor in this book, lovely end pages with quotes, (just now I noticed) a list of the State trees, information about each of the ten trees illustrated, and a book full of charming illustrations and thoughtful verse. Here is a review of the book that I enjoyed. This book would make a wonderful gift for an older child who still enjoys picture books.
The character of Willow is a familiar one, girl with spirit inspires an adult to live more fully. I love the name Willow. Can't you imagine a little girl with that name? The illustrations really shine in this book and there are adorable doodles on the end pages. I do love a good end page.
Abe Lincoln Crosses A Creek would make a great read aloud for a 2nd or 3rd grade teacher. The text and the pictures are full of wit, suspense and plain fun. The author delivers a tall tale about Lincoln's life and offers evidence that it true. A Kentucky boyhood friend (Austin Gollaher) of the young Lincoln saves Lincoln's life on day while they are playing. This is a must have according to School Library Journal and many teachers will enjoying reading it. This would be a nice teacher gift this Christmas.
Give a Goat is a perfect piggyback to reading Beatrice's Goat. After a teacher reads Beatrice's Goat, the class decides to raise money so they can donate money for the purchase of a goat. I think this book is best for teachers to share with their students. After reading it to Cate, I sent her to bed with the Heifer International catalog.
Big Bad Bunny reminds the reader of Tippy Tippy Hide. The publisher goes so far as to include the picture of the title under G. Brian Karas name in his biography but it is written by an entirely different author. Franny Billingsley, the author of a very good middle grade fiction book entitled Well Wished, wrote Big Bad Bunny. I'm just not a fan of this type of humor, all the Grrr, Stomp, Roars bore me and seem to be anything but gentle.
Dinosaurs vs. Bedtime is another book that doesn't fit my gentle sensibilities however my rough and tumble son loves this book. We read it only once because I didn't want him to get any more ideas that it was him against bedtime. This is probably great and easy fun for family's who like dinosaurs.
Big Words for Little People, again another book that I didn't love. I've never actually liked the Jamie Lee Curtis books. Perhaps it is my aversion to celebrity children's books. I'm not sure but I also don't like the illustrations. I also think there is a gentler way to introduce children to "big words."
Big Chickens Fly the Coop is cute but a bit difficult to read aloud. It is a story of four chickens wishing to see the big farmhouse but being thwarted in their journey. When they finally find the farmhouse they realize it is right outside the coop. Such a metaphor for life. I always enjoy Henry Cole illustrations.
Angel Girl is a Holocaust story with a happier ending than most. A young boy separated from his mother and sent to a work camp survives because of the kindness of a girl who brings him food (his Angel Girl). In a twist of fate, he meets this same girl in America and they eventually marry. It is a touching true story. It would make a great read along with the study of the Jewish Holocaust.
Dog and Bear Two's Company is a squeal to a favorite book Dog and Bear. The book is in three "chapters." I love this subtle introduction to chapters. If you haven't read Dog and Bear, check them both out at the same time. Two's Company is a little more developed and the stories will flow nicely from the first. I would recommend this set of books as a gift with a soft plush bear.
Max's Dragon was very difficult to follow. I loved the idea of rhyming your desires into existence but I just couldn't follow this one.
Crazy Like a Fox: A Simile Story was OK. Loreen Leedy does a wonderful service in writing and illustrating non-fiction books especially his math books, but this one was difficult to read aloud. It seems to me that the quintessential simile book Quick as a Cricket (one of my all time favorite books) can teach just about any kid the meaning of a simile.
The Boy Who Wouldn't Share is a wonderful story to read aloud and has a great message. Unfortunately, it is illustrated by David Cawrow. His illustrations just don't resonate with me. I find them kind of icky.
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever is a winner! At first I wasn't sure about the boys and their seeming disrespect for nature and the grandfather in the story, but the illustrations by the wonderful Marla Frazee and the darling ending make this book one of the favorites I've read so far.
I read Amandina while waiting impatiently for my dh to arrive home. I had set the book aside to read on my own but Cate brought it to me to read. I didn't think they would like it but much to my surprise they sat (at the very end of the day) with rapt attention. It is a story of a dog filled with desire and passion to perform. She finds a run down theater, cleans it, creates scenery, set and props. She goes to sleep the night before the opening of her performance and has a dream. One that anyone about to perform might have, that no one comes. She performs anyway and then something magical happens. It is a delight and one I would recommend for an older child as well.