November 03, 2010

Read Up! A Little Family Time

Fall & Winter are the cold & “celebrate-y” parts of the year, with warm thoughts often turned toward family.  There are so many wonderful picture books available on the topic—and my short list here (just eleven, I don’t want to overwhelm), doesn’t even scratch the surface.  What are some of your favorite books that feature family members having fun together?  Here are just a few of mine.

The Big Honey Hunt, by Stan & Jan Berenstain
Back before the the Berenstain Bears became a ubiquitous franchise, there was just small bear and his mom & dad.  This simpler, funnier era was my favorite, and The Big Honey Hunt is a great example.  Small Bear follows his dad on a stinging adventure, while Mother just waits for the moment they finally get back with the safer, store-bought stuff.

The Family Book, by Todd Parr
We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption and Families, by Todd Parr
“There are lots of different ways to be a family,” writes Todd Parr in The Family Book, and in his typically bright, colorful & simple style, he shows fanciful yet relatable families of all stripes—even skunk stripes!  Parr has individual books to cover mommies, daddies, grandmas & grandpas, and even one on adoption: We Belong Together.  The entire collection shares funny images that are sure to get kids giggling & talking.

Let’s Go, Froggy, by Jonathan London & Frank Remkiewicz
Froggy & his daddy are planning a bike trip & a picnic, but will they manage to get out of the house in time?  The story certainly reinforces the adage, “it’s always the last place you look.”  It’s always fun to imitate Froggy’s voice as he replies to his parents’ calls with a stretched-out, “wha-a-a-a-at?”

Oh, Daddy!  By Bob Shea
This book is worth picking up for the cool, bold art alone, but the story isn’t lagging either!  Little Hippo loves his daddy—and loves showing him how to do things.  In fact, Daddy wouldn’t be able to get dressed, get in the car, or even eat lunch without Little Hippo!  Great big fun.

Our Grandparents: A Global Album, by Maya Ajmera, Sheila Kinkade, & Cynthia Pon
Beautiful photos from around the world celebrate the joys shared by grandparents and grandchildren.  The book ends with “five things to do with your grandparents.”   A treasure of a book about treasured family.

Our Granny, by Margaret Wild & Julie Vivas
With gentle wit and lots of love, a pair of children talks about the fact that there are all kinds of grandmothers in the world—and the fact that the most special one to them is their own.  Grandmas at storytime always get a giggle out of the idea of a wobbly-bottomed granny who “marches in demonstrations!”

Lola at the Library, by Anna Mcquinn and Rosalind Beardshaw
Lola Loves Stories by Anna Mcquinn and Rosalind Beardshaw
What a great imagination Lola has!  She & her daddy load up on library books once a week, and Lola’s parents read or tell her stories every evening.  The next day, Lola’s play echoes the previous evening’s stories!  This is a family who really knows how to love & play together.  For more Lola & family, check out Lola at the Library.

Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
Chloe is scared that when her favorite uncle gets married, she’ll lose him forever.  Over the course of this sweet and reaffirming book, she is assured that her family is actually growing to include another favorite relative.

What!  Cried Granny: An Almost Bedtime Story, by Kate Lum & Adrian Johnson
Patrick has arrived at his Granny’s for his very first sleepover there—but he seems to be missing a pillow, a teddy bear—and a few other things!  Granny will do whatever it takes to make sure Patrick has all of the bedtime essentials he needs, even if it takes all night!  Johnson’s bold, colorful art carries the weight of the story, and will have adults & kids smiling at this eager-to-please grandmother.

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!

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