behaving badly

So I tried to post an answer to Fuse #8’s question regarding the top kids’ books of the last twenty years, but Blogger won’t cooperate. It was only by some strategic backpedling I managed to save my post at all. Thus, I am putting it here. No interest in children’s books, please, just pretend this isn’t here.

My answer to this post:

Coupla questions:

Maybe you should separate out picture books? Because really, can you compare Rainbabies to Fly by Night? Babushka’s Doll to Skellig (if you hadn’t tossed them, that is).

Me, I’m all about picture books, especially for younger kids. Go ahead, make mock if you will, but here are the books I really admire. Note the lack of LLFE. Paperbag Princess would be on this list but it’s slightly too old.

Rainbabies (Melmed)
Sheep in a Jeep (Shaw)
Babushka’s Doll (Polacco)
The Jolly Postman (Ahlberg)
The Owl and the Pussycat (Lear/Brett)
Brundibar (Sendak/Kuschner)
Voyage to the Bunny Planet (Wells)


12 Replies to “behaving badly”

  1. These are my top five picture books:
    Possum Magic – Mem Fox
    Animalia – Graeme Base
    We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Michael Rosen,Helen Oxenbury
    Hairy McLary from Donaldson’s Dairy – Lynley Dodd
    Rose Blanche – Roberto Innocenti

    I would have loved to include “The Paperbag Princess”, and almost included “Princess Smartypants” in lieu, but settled on these instead.

  2. Your comments are entirely valid!
    With that in mind, I shall split the books into two separate categories. Post saying as much to follow tomorrow.

  3. Meredith. clearly you and I could talk picture books for a long time. I’m always a little sad and puzzled when other grownups don’t get excited about them.

  4. Meredith, you’re on my page, I was going to mention Possum Magic by Mem Fox (and anything else illustrated by Julie Vivas). Also, The Bunyip of Berkeley Creek by Jenny Wagner and Ron Brooks, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat by Jenny Wagner. And for a total treat, For Every Child, which is an illustrated version of the UN Convention of the RIghts of the Child, with each right illustrated by a different illustrator.

  5. Sheena — the original task was limited to books published in the last 25 years, so 1981 or after. Or I would have put Wild Things on my list.

    I don’t know “For Every Child” but I’m on my way to look at it.

  6. Sheena – oh, I love “John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat”. Likewise “The Bunyip of Berkeley Creek”, and the UN Book is beautiful (as, I must say, most DK-produced books are). I tossed up between “Possum Magic” and “Womabt Devine” for a while but settled on the classic; “Edward the Emu” and “Wombat Stew” were also tough omissions. And an old favourite that kids still seem to adore: “Who Sank the Boat?”.

  7. Meredith – I nearly included “Who sank the boat?”! And yes, I am very fond of “Edward the Emu” and “Wombat Divine” also. Have you come across the relatively new Jackie French book, “Diary of a Wombat”? The text is great fun and the illustrations by Bruce Whatley are exquisite. I’ll substitute that for “Where the Wild Things Are” in my choices, I forgot the original date restriction.

  8. My list of top kids’ books would have to include –
    Stellaluna, by Janell Cannon and The Hat, by Jan Brett
    (actually any book by Jan Brett). We read these to
    my son until he had them memorized!! If it was a
    late night and Mom tried to pass off the ‘abridged’
    version I always got caught.

  9. I would also like to add The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood to the list of picture books. This book was a favorite with my niece and nephews, and then later my own boys.

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