Staff Picks: Picture Books We Loved As Children
Summer reading is in full swing at the library! Every day stacks and stacks of books are being checked out by the young and old alike. It’s exciting to think about the joy all this reading is bringing to members of the community. In honor of summer reading and the happiness we felt as new readers, today’s blog post looks at picture books we remember reading when we were children.
Happy reading & see you at the library!
Great Wolf and the Good Woodsman
written by Helen Hoover, illustrations by Charles Mikolaycak
I grew up in a house full of hand me down books. I read my mother’s copy of Little Women, and my father’s Rabbit Hill and later all of his Agatha Christie paperbacks. We all read a lot, and I have a lot of favorites. One children’s book that I still have and cherish from my childhood is The Great Wolf and the Good Woodsman, written by Helen Hoover with illustrations by Charles Mikolaycak. It is a Christmas fable of sorts, where the animals of the forest must put aside their fear, and come together to help a friend in need. The story is evocatively written and hardly needs illustration, but I think the illustrations are what make this book a favorite for me: the Eastern European setting, the warm colors of the cabin, the stark winter trees set against the cool dark sky. It is rich and colorful, but still spare and clean. It is a design esthetic that influences me to this day!
Order this book through interlibrary loan Here
Read more about illustrator Charles Mikolaycak and his other work Here
Books written and illustrated by Bill Peet
I can still envision the exact spot in the children’s room of my community’s library where the Bill Peet picture books were shelved. His books were some of the very first books I remember picking out for myself and I read every single one. Even the titles made me laugh: The Whingdingdily, The Kweeks of Kookatumdee and Cock-a-doodle Dudley. These books are hilarious and I loved all the rambunctious creatures! My favorite was The Wump World. I liked the outer space theme and adored the Wumps, which are based on giant, grass-eating rodents or capybara. When the happy planet is invaded by a swarm of blue-grey skinned aliens—the Pollutionians—the Wumps go into hiding. Written in 1970 when the environmental movement was gaining steam, this book influenced my thinking about the protection of natural resources.
Find books by Bill Peet in the library Here
Jennifer enjoyed . . .
The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales
by Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith
I loved this Caldecott Honor Book for the simple reason that it's just so silly. It made me laugh so much when I was a kid and, after reading it again, it still makes me giggle.
Find it in the library catalog Here
A Bad Case of Stripes
by David Shannon
This was a great imaginative tale that I loved as a child. Check it out! It’s still in the library!
Find it in the library Here
May I Bring a Friend?
by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, illustrated by Beni Montresor
Winner of the 1965 Caldecott Medal
I used to love this funny story about an intrepid child who receives an invitation from the King and Queen to come to the castle for tea. The child accepts the invitation with one question: "May I bring a friend?"
"Any friend of our friend is welcome here," says the King.
But their guest's friend turns out to be someone they never expected! I loved the funny pictures in this book and the way they are all so polite and well-mannered.
Just hilarious! My parents and grandparents would teach us about manners by saying that we needed to know good manners in case we had tea with the Queen! So, this story was particularly intriguing to me as a child.
Find it in the library catalog Here
Do you have a favorite book from your childhood? Tell us about it!