Favorite Children’s Books

Books have been part of my life as long as I can remember. I started “reading” to my pet rabbit, Spot. He sat patiently beside me as I repeated the story page by page, remembering the words as Mother and Daddy had read them to me. Spot dutifully poked his nose to the page as I pointed out features of the illustrations.
          Our house was filled with books, including classics that had belonged to a great aunt. Today, my home has a bookcase in every room. One shelf in my office is devoted to children’s books. Here is a sample of some favorites.
          Eloise in Moscow by Kay Thompson with illustrations by Hilary Knight (Simon & Schuster, 1959). I love the spunky Eloise and the tour of the great Russian city with a center foldout of Red Square. Russia was truly an obscure place in my childhood.
          The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Peterson (HarperCollins Children’s Books, 1978). The spunky Gilly Hopkins, a child in foster care, grabbed my interest from the first page and would not let me go. In 1979, the book received the National Book Award for Children’s Literature, a Christopher Award, a Jane Addams Award and was selected a Newbery Honor book.
          The Napping House by Audrey Wood, illustrated by Don Wood (Harcourt Brace & Company, 1984). The word choices and rhythm make this picture book a delight to read aloud. I love to linger over the humourous illustrations in appealing bright pastels. Spot would have loved this one!
          Golem written and illustrated by David Wisniewski (Clarion Books 1996). The wonderful cut paper illustrations drew me to this retelling of a Jewish legend. The book was the 1997 Caldecott Medal winner.
          Girl in Blue by Ann Rinaldi (Scholastic Press, 2001) is a perfect read as we mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s beginning. Disguised as a young man, fifteen-year-old Sarah Louisa Wheelock runs away and joins the Union Army to avoid an unwanted marriage. Her charade is later discovered but she is recruited by the Pinkerton Detective Ageny as an undercover operative in the home of a suspected Southern spy. This middle grade story is an exciting peek into civil war times.
          What is your favorite children’s book?

Learn more about Children’s Book Week

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