Sharing Early Literacy Learning Journeys

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10for10 Special Picture Books

What are ten of your favourite picture books for your classroom or library? Thanks to @mandyrobek and @CathyMere we can share ten favourite picture books on Blogs and Twitter today: #PB10for10. Here are ten special books that I love to share with children – in no particular order.

 Jamberry by Bruce Degen (1983) is a hugely enjoyable book with rollicking rhyme and rhythm – I can’t help but ‘sing-a-long’ to the words. Children pick up on the rhythmical language and join in. Colouful, clear illustrations and expressions of the characters add to the fun. A book to read and re-read!

Boo to a Goose by Mem Fox (1996) is also rhythmical, giving children a sense of rhyming words – great for beginning readers. Bright, clear illustrations add clarity to the sentences and a repetitive refrain invites children to join in. The big print enables children to easily see the text and participate in shared reading.

All by Myself by Mercer Mayer  (1983) is one of Mercer’s many delightful, kid-friendly books that are funny and easy for developing readers. The clear, expressive illlustrations enhance the simple language and messages. All by Myself is valuable for beginning readers with the repetitive sentence starter of ‘I can…’ and child-like actions. A funny book to also help children’s writing!

Pickle Things by Marc Brown (1980) is a funny rhyming book.  The bold pictures illustrate the crazy sentences as in: Pickle things you never make… like pickle pie and pickle cake. Pickle donuts, pickle flakes. Children laugh out loud at the absurdity of the pickle suggestions and uses. Big print and few words per page also help developing readers. A one-of-a-kind book!

More Spaghetti, I Say by Rita Golden Gelman (1977) is loads of fun for children with its child-like antics and responses. The rhyme, rhythm and enlarged text make it a sought after book for developing readers. Clear, expressive illustrations add to the hilarity of the story. Laugh out loud!

Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne (1994) is a superbly illustrated storybook with bright colours, fruits and animals of hot Africa. The simple and thoughtful story in words is enhanced by clear illustrations that tell another story… which is indeed a surprise. A real gem!

little blue and little yellow by Leo Lionni was published in 1959, but notions of friendship, co-operation and tolerance are still relevant.  The message is clear – told in direct sentences and accompanying sparse ‘blobs’ of colour.  A delight!

A Fish out of Water by Helen Palmer (Suess Beginner Book, 1983) is a favourite with children because they identify with the boy’s actions that cause the problem –  starting small and getting bigger all the time. Children are enthralled by the unfolding catastrophes – in words and illustrations!

Mr Archimedes’ Bath by Pamela Allen (1980) is a funny story that makes children think, wonder and try to solve the water problem. It’s a good book to include in any unit of work or study on ‘Water’. The animals in the illustrations keep their skin/fur on but Mr Archimedes is naked, which adds to children’s guffawing and laughter. A literary book for ‘integration across the curriculum’.

Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor (1974) is a favourite of mine – although a bit long for some children. Baylor gives ten apt and often amusing rules for finding your own special rock. The poetic words are accompanied by Peter Parnall’s sparse, expressive illustrations that perfectly depict the rule. An absolute joy!

On reflection, I see that many of these books are ‘old’ favourites – but still exciting and memorable picture books to enjoy with young children. Maybe you can find some of them to enjoy too!

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