This year I have discovered the August Picture Book 10 for 10 Event hosted by Mandy Robek and Cathy Mere. Here is the "What is it?" description from Cathy Mere's blog, Reflect and Refine:
What Is It? The idea began as Mandy and I wondered what ten books were "must-haves" in the classroom. If you could only choose 10 picture books, what would they be? It's not an easy question. We've had participants find some innovative ways to cheat the system (and we love that!) and share interesting groups of ten titles in our past years. Each year the collaborative effort produces an informative picture book resource.I am excited to be able to share my favorite picture books, even though I'm a day late! As this is my first year taking part in the #PB10for10, I decided to pick many that I loved as a child and that still hold places in my favorites list because of the influence they had on my young reading life. They are in no particular order:
1. The Monster at the End of this Book - This has always been one of my favorite books, but was suggested by several others as well when I was discussing the Picture Book 10 for 10 with some of my non-blogger friends. One of my friends said, "My mom used to read it with all these different voices, which was a lot of fun for me. I loved her monster voice the best." I realized, as I talked with my friends, that this book was one of the first times that we had been introduced to the idea of reading a book with different voices to represent different emotions, characters, or tones. It became a gateway to the dynamic and engaging reading of books.
2. The Rainbow Fish - I have always loved this book and use it as a fun read aloud whenever I have the opportunity. As a child, I was drawn to the beautiful foil-stamped pages, and the idea of being a gorgeous fish with such desirable scales. I learned that one must give friendship in order to gain friendship, though obviously sharing is always what one thinks of when talking about The Rainbow Fish. This will always remain one of my favorite picture books because of the memories I have of reading this in the library at a young age.
3. Thumbelina (the Little Golden Book version) - My grandparents used to have a closet full of children's picture books and when we stayed there, we were aloud to choose a book for them to read aloud to us before bed. If my siblings didn't express their outrage at listening to Thumbelina yet again, I always chose this book. When I could finally read it myself, I read it over and over and over. My grandparents gave it to me when I was in elementary school, but I have no idea what happened to it. This book was the cornerstone of my earliest reading growth.
4. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish - This is another title that I still love due to my memories of reading it with my grandparents. I don;t ever really remember not being able to read this book. I just remember reading it to my grandparents as soon as I found it in their closet, which had probably been there since my father and his brothers had been small. I would pull it out and read it to my two younger siblings after they had sat through yet another reading of Thumbelina.
6. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - This book is not one that I remember loving or reading all the time for myself. This is one that I remember because my siblings, especially my sister, loved it and so it was often being read. It was fun and silly to read with them or to just listen as mom read it.
7. Chrysanthemum - I received this book as a gift just before starting school as kindergartner. I was so proud of myself for being able to pronounce the name Chrysanthemum and immediately thought it was the most beautiful name I'd ever heard. This book helped build my confidence in successfully pronouncing 4+ syllable words without assistance. This became my second favorite book, next to Thumbelina.
8. Corduroy - As with many books I love from when I was younger, I don't remember how I first came across this book. The story has stayed with me though. The adventures of Corduroy made me want to live in his world, where teddy bears were alive. I wanted to go on my own adventures and the book helped encourage me towards a life of wild reading where stories can take you to other places.
9. The Mitten - A classic picture book that I love for all the reasons so many others love it. I became a huge fan of Jan Brett and her style of writing and illustrating at a young age. When I realized that the side-bar pictures showed hints to the story, I was thrilled with the idea and spent more time looking at these illustrations than the main illustration of the pages.
10. The Berenstain Bears - When I was younger I loved all of The Berenstain Bears books. This is one that I remember reading specifically, but I know I read dozens. I loved the family and the antics they sometimes got into, but most importantly I loved the way the family would come together and help each other.