October 05, 2010
Read Up! Use Your Mind
Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson
I hope you’ve already been long-acquainted with this one! Harold’s been spun off many times into further adventures in animation & in print—but it’s the Crockett Johnson original that deserves your fullest attention. I suppose some kids might’ve been inspired to take crayon to wall after meeting Harold—but I was never one of them.
Something to Do, by David Lucas
This is very much in the tradition of the Harold series, and it will also appeal to parents who have a little one who has been known to whine, “I’m booored!” The little bear claims to have nothing to do, but a solution is at hand. Before long, big bear and little are walking and drawing, with their pictures becoming real.
The Squiggle, by Carole Lexa Schaefer
Another book about lines coming to life (well, at least within a child’s fertile mind). Rather than a drawn line, this is a red string. A few pages in, and you’ll be ready to fight the cat for the last bit of yarn in the house!
Not a Box, by Antoinette Portis
Not a Stick, by Antoinette Portis
If you read these books aloud, you’ll have the honor of getting corrected by cute little animals that get increasingly frustrated with having to tell you that things are not always as they seem to serious adult eyes. Ask the children present what the box or stick have transformed into, and they’ll be glad to help you out!
Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli
Whenever I went too high on a swing as a child, I was afraid I might end up doing a full loop. The girl in this book doesn’t seem to believe in “too high”—in fact, it would seem the moon is not far enough! Not much text here, just a far-reaching imagination.
In My New Yellow Shirt, by Eileen Spinelli & Hideko Takahashi
I wish I’d known as a little boy that getting clothes for your birthday could actually be FUN! In his new yellow shirt, this boy can be a lion, a fish, pirate treasure, and a submarine! His shirt keeps him entertained all day. I’d love to see a sequel starring gift socks!
I hope you check these out, and maybe find some new favorites. If you’ve got some great books in mind—whether they fit in with this list or not—please share them with me!