For those that may not know, the 1000 Books Project is for me to read 1000 different books with my child before his sixth birthday. It is not meant to be a stress for us; I really chose an arbitrary number. I didn’t want to stop the habit of frequently rereading favorites, but I also wanted to explore as many new books as possible. It was eleven months ago that I decided to do this project with my then just two-year-old. Almost a year into it, my son loves this project and beyond that, we read together far more than I ever imagined. He loves books.
The first month, I made an effort to remember to get more picture books from the library than I had before. Pretty soon, however, I found that my son needed very little encouragement to get a book and say, “Mommy, I want this one, and this one, and this one.” Or “Mommy, read it to me!” We often have more than 50 picture books checked out at a time and he frequently during the day says, “I want to go read stories!” We keep them in the family room where he can easily access them. The books he owns are, for the most part, on his bedroom bookshelves.
As for how we pick books, I occasionally steer him toward shelves or actively seek out a subject he’s interested in (trucks or fairy tales or ABC books or Numbers books), but other times he tells me just what books he wants to get from the library. I also put an inordinate number of reserve requests in if there is a book I too want to read (and right now, for the Cybils I’m trying to read). He has recently turned three and we’ve surpassed 500 different books that I, personally, have read him.
Here are a few new favorites I’ve found, all of which are on the Children’s and Young Adult Blogger’s Literary Awards (CYBILS) picture book list, a list I’ve decided to adopt as my own for the next few months, just for fun.
First, a few words on the Cybils. I was really excited for the Cybils books lists simply because I love book lists and I’m excited to be finding the next new classic picture books. And although I’ve only been reading Cybils books for a few weeks, I’ve already found some new favorite books! This is very promising. I’m realizing, however, that I could never be on the committee. Although I’ve read at least 50 of the books on the Cybils list, most of them have been quick reads (although read in full) to determine if the book is one my son would sit through and if I like it enough to want to read it aloud many times. Most of the books are not ones my son would be interested in, but that doesn’t mean other, older kids wouldn’t like them!
Further, I’m glad I’m not on a committee because it would be near impossible to assign values and “winners” from the books I’ve read. So many of the books are amusing but not spectacular or have a wonderful story but I personally don’t like the art style (or the art is just blah and ordinary) or contain wonderful art but I don’t like the story. Many books I rejected for my son simply because he’s still only three years old. Maybe in a few years, he’d like some of them, but for one reason or another, it’s not age-appropriate right now.
That said, some definitely stand out.
The first Cybils book is one that we discovered together months ago: LMNO Peas by Keith Baker
Since I have been placing holds on the Cybils books, I’ve also decided it’s worthwhile to visit the “new books” rack each time I come to the libraries (I visit a few different branches in the area) since many of them may be there. I found the next three this way:
- Subway by Christoph Niemann
- Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
- City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems, illustrated by John Muth
Are you reading any of the Cybils nominated books? Have you read any of these picture books?
I haven’t come across any of the books you mention. I wonder if they haven’t made it across to the UK yet? I especially love the sound of the pea book – I’ll see if I can find it here.
Jackie (Farm Lane Books), I don’t know when these are published in the UK. The Cybils is an international award so any book published anywhere in the world in he past year. But these were readily available in my library so they could just be USA published! I hope you enjoy them when you find them over there! I love the Peas book!
I LOVE peas, and so do my girls, so I’ll have to look for that one! (I also recommend The Monster That Ate My Peas and The Runway Dinner). Interesting that Mo Willems’ book is illustrated by John Muth — I love them both but they are so different. I’ll have to look for that one also. Thanks for sharing them!
Karenlibrarian, ooo more pea picture books. Sounds great. And yes, I can understand why Willems did not illustrate this one himself. It’s much more serious and sweet. It’s needs a different style.
My kids are well past the picture book age (all teenagers), but they still like to be read to occasionally. “Interrupting Chicken” sounds like a book they would like.
Dani in NC, yes Interrupting Chicken is very very fun for me too!
I just found your site and am thrilled to read this post about up and coming picture books. We spend a lot of time in the picture books stacks, so it’s always fun to have something new to look for. The Willems is particularly interesting to me because I’m a very hotandcold Willems reader. I love Elephant and Piggie but do not care for the Pigeon or Knufflebunny all that much. I do, however, love pretty much anything Jon J. Muth touches. Have you read the new Zen Ghosts? Love it!
Sara (wordyevidenceofthefact), Make sure you check out the Cybils site! They have tons of books on the list. I too am hot and cold with Willems. I actually love the Knuffle Bunny books but am a bit meh about Elephant and Piggie, Pigeon, and the Cat the Cat books. My son loves them but I don’t! This particular book is different in that it’s serious,and a different art style, that of Muth. I haven’t seen any other Muth books! I must look into it.