Staff Picks: Picture Books Leave Happy Memories
November is National Picture Book Month (NPBM) and we are celebrating it! From NPBM’s website — “In this digital age where people are predicting the coming death of print books, picture books (the print kind) need love. And the world needs picture books. There’s nothing like the physical page turn of a beautifully crafted picture book.” Picture books are a marriage of story and visual art and a perfect way to introduce children to the flow of story, rhymes, expanded vocabulary and many forms of art.
If you’d like to share in the celebration, throughout November the library will feature displays, posts on our website and Facebook page and a fun family activity that can earn your children free books. And check out NPBM’s website–it’s loaded with fun and interesting information and recommended reading lists from children’s book authors and editors.
For those of us here at the library, these beautifully crafted books have been shared with our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and the scores of young ones who come to the library. When asked, some staff members shared beloved titles. As you’ll see, picture books have played an important role in many of our lives.
All-time favorite of both Anika’s and mine is Linnea Riley’s Mouse Mess. It’s a delight to read aloud (“…up the stairs, the sound of feet; mouse is out, it’s time to eat!” is still implanted in my brain) and the illustrations are arresting. I’ve given it as a baby gift many times since I first purchased for Anika back in 2004. I first picked it up at the Marshall Library (they have a great children’s section) and was hooked, had to have a copy for keeps.
∼ Alison, Technical Services, Warrenton central library
Well this is an easy pick for me. I absolutely loved reading, “Guess How Much I Love You!” with the kids when they were small. It lead to much discussing of who loves who more and how much and what mother can resist that!
∼ Kim, Library Administration, Warrenton central library
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina was such a favorite in our house that the kids had it memorized and acted it out. I can still hear their high pitched little voices repeating the rhythmic refrains as they played the part of naughty little monkeys with caps on their heads.
∼Becca, Youth Services, Warrenton central library
This was a VERY difficult task (as my attic can attest – I am holding on to 100’s of picture books, one because they have extreme sentimental value to me, and two, they are lying in wait for the possibility that one day I will be blessed to share these with my children’s children). When I re-read any of these picture books that were so much a part of our daily life when my children were younger – I can hear their “little” voices so clearly in my head chiming in on the stanzas. There is one that conjures up a very special memory and shows how important a role books, reading, and librarians play in a child’s life….
Porcupining, A Prickly Love Story by Lisa Wheeler was a book that was read to my son by his Kindergarten librarian around the time my father-in-law was losing his battle with mesothelioma. I can so clearly picture and hear my son’s little voice reading this book to his grandfather, just as he’d heard it read to him – complete with country song “twang” of the sing song stanzas…. “I’m porcupining for a wife”. My son was so proud of the fact that he could read it, and we all melted at this precious sight and sound.
∼ Alicia, Circulation, Bealeton branch library
Hands down, it had to be “Where’s Spot?” Kelsey really loved opening up the pop-up pieces that would show where Spot was hiding. We wore that book out we read it so often!
∼ Terri, Library Administration, Warrenton central library
Every busy family can relate to the laugh-out-loud story of an adorable chicken family that keeps running out of daily essentials in Put It on the List! by Kristen Darbyshire – when they’ve just been to the grocery store! Peanut butter…no jelly, pancakes…no syrup, boo boo…no Band-aids, potty time..uh oh! This goes on all week until…”Saturday was the day that Mom flipped out.” Follow along as they learn the value of making a shopping list and knowing the pizza shop’s phone number…just in case.
∼ Julia, Circulation, Warrenton central library
I happened upon You’re All My Favorites by Sam McBratney when I was expecting our youngest child, and it quickly became a favorite of mine to read to the three kids –
who could identify with the worries of the story’s three bear cubs – through the years. Though lesser known than his more famous book, Guess How Much I Love You, this expressive tale about families and love still warms my heart today.
∼ Emily, Circulation, Warrenton central library
Miss Rumphius, (Barbara Cooney) the elderly lady who sowed pockets full of lupine seeds shares a message that I remind my own daughters of often. Have dreams, travel to faraway places and maybe settle back home, but most importantly “you must do something to make the world more beautiful.”
∼ Deborah, John Marshall branch library
As a former children’s librarian I have a hard time singling out just one favorite book, but when I put my children into the equation, I remember reading over and over Paul Galdone’s version of Henny Penny. Our younger daughter especially loved her dad to read it because he did the best voices and with each successive animal would read faster and faster. When asked to pick out books to read for the evening she would always include the book she had titled “and they went ayong, and ayong.”
∼ Dawn, Library Administration, Warrenton central library