The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and classically illustrated by Jules Feiffer (1961) is a book for the clever reader. The book is full of wonderful wordplay, cliché, word stereotypes, and logic puzzles for a young child (and the adult!) to chuckle over and enjoy. In the story, the young Milo is bored of school
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl is a book and a movie (Gene Wilder) that I have found memories of when I was a child. Charlie is about a child who has nothing and wins everything. He first gets the coveted golden ticket. He gets a lifetime supply of chocolate and a tour
My Caldecott challenge: Although these Caldecott winner and honor books are not, for the most part, books I’ve read aloud to my son, I still found them interesting. A few I had strong negative opinions of; they show that even books that earned the Caldecott award do become dated! Make Way for Ducklings by Robert
My son (almost age 23 months) insists on reading the same books every night, usually three or four or five times. I’m very glad he loves to read, but I’m getting a bit weary of picture books. I do think we’ve had some winners in our Library Loot the past two weeks, though, so I
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is a magical friend to children, with her upside-down house and delicious cookies that are always waiting for you. She’s also a wonderful help to parents, who often don’t know how to solve the problems of parenthood. When I was young I loved learning Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s “cures” for naughty children’s problems, such as
In A Caldecott Celebration: Six Artists and Their Paths to the Caldecott Medal, Leonard Marcus illustrates the long road six Caldecott illustrators followed to produce to an award-winning book. This book is a combination of biography and art history as it looks at how six artists approached children’s book illustration over the last six decades.
When, in 1918, a clerk erroneously ordered twelve times the number of children’s books intended, Western Publishing Company may have faced ruin. Instead, the company persuaded Woolworth’s department stores to sell it, a practice unusual since children’s books were normally only sold during the holiday season. Years later, in the 1930s, one publishing novice was
Reading Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales was a repetitive process. My 630-page leather edition (from Barnes and Noble Books; not same version as the Amazon link at left) included numerous retellings of stories very similar; it felt as if the compilers were taking translations from multiple sources. Then again, maybe the Grimm brothers wrote down similar
In the picture book Love You Forever, Robert Munsch captures every mother’s feelings of unconditional love. I can’t read it without my eyes tearing, and I love the tender expressions of love. But I wonder if children like it.
I’ve been reading my son Horns to Toes and In Between by Sandra Boynton since he was four months old. This month, he began pointing to his head for the first page, as I’ve always done when we read it. I was so excited to see it. He’s learning! He also had fun trying to
A few months ago, I read a version of Aesop’s Fables that I found online at Project Gutenberg, written and published in the early 1900s. I thought I’d read Aesop’s Fables. I was interested, then, to read in chapter two (“Ingenuity and Authority”) of Seth Lerer’s Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry
Sandra Boynton’s children’s books are new classics. I first discovered her delightful picture books via my sister-in-law, who had an entire shelf of Boynton’s books for my nephew. Now, with my own little boy, I’m really enjoying them. Her books all claim “serious silliness” on the back cover. I’d agree: we all enjoy the light-hearted
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