Sharing Early Literacy Learning Journeys

What are the  ‘must have’ picture books in your classroom and library?  10 favourite picture books shared on blogs via Twitter on August 10 was instigated by @mandyrobek and @CathyMere – check #PB10for10.  Here is my list of ten special picture books  that I must have in my Year One classroom and library.

1. Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox is a beginning year favourite. Lyrical and rhythmical language swings right along and whimsical, colourful illustrations add to its appeal. It’s a great book that helps ‘learning to read’ children.

2. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by John Archimbault is a rollicking good read with alphabet letters never being so much fun.  Colourful illustrations add to the light and bright feel of the book as children easily sing along  – again and again.

3. No David  by David Shannon is a special favourite with my classes because it’s funny. Young children identify with David’s antics and his mother’s reactions. Every year I have at least one child learn to read from this book.

4. Just for You by Mercer Mayer is a gem. Contrasts between the character’s intentions and the end results are funny and ‘sketchy’ illustrations add to the hilarity.  Children love looking for the spider and the cricket, too. 

5. Titch by Pat Hutchins is a delightful story of a youngest child who never quite catches up to his sister and brother – until the end.  The direct language, simple storyline and clear illustrations make it another good choice for ‘starting the year’.

6. The Potato People by Pamela Allen is a moving story for some children with Jack and his mum leaving for a time, putting an end to Jack and Grandma’s fun-filled Fridays. The potato people know sorrow too… Seize the moment and have children make their own potato people.

7. Grug  by Ted Prior is a delightful character who grows from a tree and makes a home in a deserted burrow on a grassy hillside. Children laugh out loud at his wayward adventures that are often accompanied by hilarious illustrations.

8. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae, is a wonderful story that provokes and inspires. The lyrical, rythmical language and colourful, expressive illustrations add to its charm.

9. Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr Suess is still a favourite with the rhythmical language and endless appeal of Suess illustrations. Despite the length for young children, we always go home happy, 100%.

10. Go, Dog, Go by P. D. Eastman is a classic that still has children laughing and talking about the dogs in fast cars and the hilarious dog party.

Listing ten favourite books is easy… stopping at ten is the hard part!

Several of my favourite authors are listed here and I like many of their books.  Mem Fox is a favourite and choosing between Where is the Green Sheep? Koala Lou, Hello Baby, Boo to a Goose and Possum Magic is difficult. Pamela Allen, Pat Hutchins, Mercer Mayer, Dr Suess… how does a person choose ‘just one’ of their books?

Maybe we need a list of favourite authors with lists of all their books you love!

What are your 10 favourite picture books for young children?

Comments on: "10 for 10: My ‘must have’ picture books" (9)

  1. […] My top ten ’must-have’ picture books Ten Special Picture Books Two more Grug books […]

  2. […] my Year One classroom. You’ll find my top 10 list and synopsis of each book here. Print the list off, put it on your fridge and share it with your friends. Share […]

  3. My three year old almost has Go, Dogs, Go memorized! And when we stop at a red light, he yells, “Go, Dogs, Go. The light is green now.” when the light changes. I adore that book. I love Giles Andreae but I don’t have Giraffe’s Can’t Dance. I’ll have to check that out.

    • Hi Jacki,
      What fun to have your son enjoying the lines and ‘applying’ them in life. I love it when children and families do that.
      Some children can read the ‘Beginner Books’ when they come into my class – but for ‘strugglers’ there is such a sense of accomplishment when they realise they can read these books too. Last week one boy read ‘Go Dog Go’ – and wanted to read it to everyone… Parents and grandparents were thrilled!
      On Thursday I had another boy who realised he could get most of the words in ‘Bears on Wheels’ and he’d come up to me and say, “Does that say four?” Yes! Then he went on to ‘Inside, ‘Outside, Upside Down’ and succeeded with that – he was so proud to realise he could read new words!
      ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’ is sheer joy. We have it in a big book format – easy for all to see and enjoy.

  4. You have shared some classic books we should all have in our rooms. Thanks for joining us.

    • Thanks Mandy,
      It was such a great idea – and I can’t wait to go through the blogs to check other people’s choices.
      When I look at my list now I see that several choices reflect the beginning of the year and my passion to help new Yr 1 children to read – and enjoy reading!

  5. Tammy Flanders said:

    Thanks for the recommendations. Grug looks like one I’ll try and track down.
    Apples with Many Seeds

    • Thanks Tammy.
      Grug is by an Australian author – let me know if you have any problems finding the books.
      The ‘Grug’ books have been around for a while – yet each crop of new Yr 1s love them. The stories are enhanced by super illustrations. I treasure the 24 or so books for readers who are just ‘getting going’ because the direct language, simple story lines and clear pictures are fun!

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