Sometimes, I get the baby rabies.
So whenever I start to get a little wiggly about the idea of a blue-eyed, funny-faced baby of my very own, I focus on why I'm waiting and I'm happy to wait a little longer. But... first I indulge in bit of fantasizing about the future. And because I'm the person that I am, that involves quite a bit about books.
You see, reading was a huge part of my childhood. I remember my favorite picture book, reading the comics with Dad (especially Calvin and Hobbes!), Mom reading to me before bed, and most of all... insatiably devouring endless books as a kid once I was reading on my own, at least one and usually two (or more) a day.
So I fantasize about the names we've picked out (Conner, Logan, Christina and Victoria) and what our kids might be like as they grow from babies into their own little people. I fantasize about a gender-neutral, animal themed nursery, and having an excuse to play with Legos, American Girl dolls, Play-doh, and chemistry kits with them. I fantasize about teaching them about measurements and fractions, how to make pancakes from scratch, how to paddle a kayak, and good manners.
But most of all, I think about the library I'd like to have for them and what I can't wait to read out loud.
Picture books, first of all, that are Must Haves:
The Monster at the End of this Book (Big Little Golden Book) This was my all-time favorite picture book. In it, Elmo is frightened by the title and doesn't want to meet the monster at the end of this book, and tries all sorts of crazy things to prevent the reader from turning the pages -- but look at that! HE is the monster at the end of the book! Man, I thought this was hilarious when I was three.
I loved Just Go to Bed and all the other Mercer Mayer books. Best picture books ever!
Of course I enjoyed the standbys of a childhood in the 80's... The Berenstein Bears (I must have had thirty-something of these books) and Curious George. Doctor Seuss was a little trippy for me as a kid. However, I did enjoy One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, even as Green Eggs and Ham made my literal childhood self frown. :p
I always loved my old-school The Tale of Peter Rabbit and its ilk. And of course, Winnie-the-Pooh. Not quite a picture book, but perfect for a read-aloud.
I had another favorite, the name of which eludes me... it was a book of bedtime stories where an older brother bear is telling his little sister stories to get her to be quiet and go to sleep. It included one where she was fussing about not having her sleeping bear (the pink one) because she left it outside, and he gets frustrated and tells her a story about a spoiled princess who gets kicked out of her castle! I am soo frustrated myself that I can't remember the title. I hope my mom still has it, because I want that book! (If you know the one I'm talking about, please let me know).
So... this is a long post about picture books I've loved, and those aren't even the ones that REALLY stand out for me (I really fell in love with reading when I got into independent reading!). I can't wait to discover more great picture books that have come out in the last 20-odd years when the time comes, too. :p I was going to write about kids' books in general, but I'm out of space (and time!) for tonight. What were your fave picture books as a child?Any must-haves to read aloud to the children in your life?
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