Top Ten Picture Books (with some notes)

The lovely and irrepressible Elizabeth Bird over at Fuse #8 (go ahead, just try and repress the woman!) recently announced she was starting a best picture books poll (see here). I've been meaning to make up a list of my own top ten but have been hampered by this pesky PK Syndrome*.

(Hello, I've just popped in and added a few notes. May pop back and add more pictures later if I get time.)

Top Ten Picture Books (in no particular order)

1. Sunny by Robin Mitchell and Judith Steedman

Robin Mitchell and Judith Steedman have created a whole series of these charming little books - so far we have Sunny, and Windy and then there's Snowy and Chinook and the latest installment, Foggy, will be coming soon. We were treated to a little sneak preview and it looks great. My son loves these books on such a deep personal level that he was inspired to build his own little clothes-pin character and named him Rainy.
You can buy these books - and also some lovely notecards - at the fabulous site.

2. Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers

It's hard to narrow this down to a favourite Oliver Jeffers title. The Incredible Book Eating Boy is quite simply brilliant. We were reading it just the other night and found new things to laugh at. Jeffers always has the best author photos and his bios are not too shabby either. In the one for BEB he says something to the effect that he once fed a book to his brother and that it taught him a lesson about recycling.

3. That's Not Funny by Adrian Johnson
This is a title that lies. This book is SO funny. It also is very useful for explaining the concept of schadenfreude to small children. If you aren't certain if that is necessary then perhaps you have never met any small children.

4. Jumpy Jack and Googily by Meg Rosoff, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Who knew a sock could be so funny?
Love Rosoff's books for older children and damn her, she's good at picture books as well. Want to read Meet the Wild Boars just on the basis of the title. And you must go look at Sophie Blackall's website - click through to bio and see the hilariously endearing self-portrait she posts there.

5. Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard

Jeremy Tankard has just published a sequel to this called Boo Hoo Bird. Apparently Grumpy Bird made Parents Magazine's list of 5 Books to Promote Good Behaviour. But I liked it anyway!

6. Little Pea by Amy Rosenthal, illustrated by Jen Corace

Little Pea or Little Hoot? Which do I chose? It's like choosing between your much-loved children.

7. Yuck: A Love Story by Don Gillmor, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay

I love this story so much. I really must insist you go out and find yourself a copy. I shouldn't even have to explain why.

8. Olivia by Ian Falconer
Oh Olivia, how do we love you. We can't even begin to count the ways!

9. Flotsam by David Wiesner
There's nothing more heartbreaking to a writer than someone who can tell a story without words. And Wiesner's a real heartbreaker.

10. Beckett for Babies by Stephany Aulenback
You just have to go see for yourself. Go ahead. Click.

* PK: Peptually Knackered


Anonymous said…
Oh you're too funny. And sweet.
m said…
Hmm...I find it disconcerting that I haven't even heard of most of these! Must get on that.

Lost & Found is one of my eldest son's all-time favourites. When he wasn't even two, he'd 'read' it to himself and hug the book when the boy and the penguin hug after being reunited. One thing I'll always remember from his childhood.
Sara O'Leary said…
Hello little "m" ... nice to hear about another Lost And Found fan. And it's a good point that the narrative arc in that book is perfectly clear even without the text.
As for the other books on the list - I kept thinking I'd find to go back and annotate the list and haven't done it yet. All of these books are worth looking up though (or sending a list to grandparents for a pre-birthday shopping spree). And click through to the link for Beckett for Babies - I think you'll love it.
m said…
That's a very good idea about passing on the list to grandparents. We're about to leave birthday season here for the year, but I'll try to remember nearer Christmas.

Have you seen Corace's (can't remember the author, sorry!) Hansel and Gretel? I love her style and am considering getting the book unseen, but am worried it might be a bit old for my boys. Any thoughts?

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