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When Sophie Gets Angry
by Molly Bang
I love the illustrations in this book, but the story, too, is one that every child should learn. We all get angry, and then we find a way to stop, and come back to ourselves, and everything is good again.
When Giants Come to Play
by Andrea Beaty
This is the book of my childhood daydreams. I think Andrea must have them still.

Fanny's Dream
by Mark and Caralyn Buehner
I love this story of a woman who dreams of being a princess and ends up a mother instead. Well, maybe there are some similarities there somewhere.
Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Book
by Lauren Child
This book is one of the ones that makes your forehead wrinkle and your mind feel like it is on a Moebius strip. It plays with the conventions of reading and books, and kids will love the cut-outs.

Ella Sarah Gets Dressed
by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
I love the simple, rich illustrations in this book, and the story of how a child thinks about getting dressed. A good reminder to those of us who have forgotten why anyone would care about it at all.
The Tub People
by Pam Conrad
I read this story over and over to my children, and the arc of loss and found resonates throughout. These are not just toys. And this is not just fiction.

Go Away, Big Green Monster
by Ed Emberley
I can see why libraries tend to laminate this whole book. My kids made me read it again, and again, and again. A great concept book with "layers" of illustration.
One Winter's Night
by Leo and Diane Dillon
A simple animal's version of that special night. I love the woodcuts above, too.

Strega Nona
by Tomie dePaolo
The classic Tomie dePaolo my mother read to me when I was a little girl. It is part of my dreamscapes, especially those noodles.
Kindergarten Rocks
by Katie Davis
I love the map illustration here. This is the way a kindergarten truly would see the journey around the school.

Who Hops?
by Katie Davis
Kids love to interact with this book, and the illustrations are so much fun! Plus a few little gags along the way.
Mean Soup
by Besty Everitt
This is almost fantasy in the sense that it literalizes the metaphorical. Have a bad day? Make some mean soup and steam it away. A great book for growling with your child.

The Wolves in the Walls
by
One of my writer's groups gave this book our annual "Gnubury" award. Not a book for young children, but older children and adults will love it.
The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish
by
What's your dad worth?

Laura Charlotte
by Kathryn Galbraith
This is one of those books that makes me cry every time I read it. Which may be part of the reason my kids make me read it over and over again. A great generational story, with an object to make it real for kids.
A Chocolate Moose for Dinner
by Fred Gwynne
Funny, funny stuff. But kids really do wonder what it is we are talking about when we say we're having mousse for dessert.

The Country Bunny and the Little, Gold Slippers
by Du Bose Heywood
I love the jack rabbits in this story who tell the country bunny that she should go home and let the male bunnies do the work! And I love how the country bunny has taught her children so well that they hardly need her anymore. But her journey to give an egg to one special little boy, and how she suffers--I read this every year and my kids will never be too old for it.
Bread and Jam for Frances
by Lillian Hoban
This is an icon of children's literature. When my kids ask my husband and me why we always play bridge with our friends, we quote this book. And we do it when they won't try something new, too.

What Cried Granny
by Kate Lum
I love the outrageous grandmother in this story who just keeps on figuring out a way to solve a problem.
The Ghost-Eye Tree
by Bill Martin
This is definitely a read-aloud. My kids make the noises with me and shiver, and the illustrations are so perfect I once tried to sit down and copy them. I couldn't.

George and Martha
by James Marshall
Who can get through childhood without these two funny friends? I love the story of the split pea soup, and so many others! Another book that my kids hear quoted over and over again.
Miss Nelson is Missing
by Harry Allard (James Marshall)
I thought this book was such an adventure when I was a kid. After I had read it the first time, I liked to turn the pages and read it again and again, discovering that the mystery was always revealed in the end. But the story never lost its shine despite my knowledge.

There's a Nightmare in My Closet
by Mercer Mayer
Another book I read over and over. And this one doesn't make me want to puke after I've read it so many times. It belongs on your bookshelf. Enough said.
The Dragons Are Singing Tonight
by Jack Prelutsky
I admit it. I don't read a lot of poetry to my children. But I love this book. How can dragons be so different, all in one man's imagination?

John, Paul, George, and Ben
by Lane Smith
All my kids think this book is funny, on different levels. Some like the explanations of what is real in back, others don't. They all love the scene where Paul Revere calls out with that loud voice of his, "Extra large Underwear?" And really, who doesn't love underwear jokes?
The Stinky Cheese Man
by John Scieszka
The classic anti-fairy tale. I love to hate that stinky cheese man.

No David
by David Shannon
So the sequels got a little stale for me, but this one still works. And I still put my hand over David's little naked bottom every time that page comes up, so my kids can move it away and giggle.
The Gingerbread Doll
Susan Tews
My son, who is a sentimentalist at heart and won't admit it, makes me read this all the time. He told my husband the other day that it didn't count if he read it. Only I read it with the right feeling. Well, the feeling is there for me, all right. I can hardly bear each time to read how the gingerbread doll breaks, and I love the line, "gingerbread is every bit as fragile as china."

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
by Judith Viorst
Who doesn't love to say "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day" again and again? Does anyone get any of the words in the wrong order? This is a book that is part of the American consciousness.
Bertie Was a Watchdog
by Rick Walton
I love this story of a little dog using his weakness against the robber who thinks to beat him. I can't wait for the sequel, Rick!

Mrs. McMurphy's Pumpkin
by Rick Walton
This is the story of what happens when those who are pushed too far push back. Even nice little grannies.
A Very, Hairy, Scary Story
by Rick Walton
My kids love to anticipate the rhymes in this story, and the illustrations are very clever, showing what the girl fears as well as what is real.

Cars At Play
by Rick Walton
My son loves this book, after three years of constant reading. The idea of what cars do while we are not watching is irresistible.
Pig, Pigger, Piggest
by Rick Walton
Sure, it's a fun book about a language arts concept, but I also love witch, witcher and witchest in their wedding dresses.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight
by Jane Yolen
The poetry makes this book just right. It could go over the top with smarminess, but it never does.
Falling for Rapunzel
by Leah Wilcox
I can't help but wish I'd written this one, though I'm loudy at picture books. I love the way the prince keeps trying to help Rapunzel, despite everything she throws at him--literally.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
by Mo Willems
Kids have to interact with this one. And I love the ingenius simplicity of the pigeon's emotions and movements.
The Other Side
by Jacqueline Woodson
A sweet story about the racial divide, cloaked in terms a child understands without ever talking about it directly.

Rapunzel
by Paul O. Zelinsky
The best illustrations for this fairy tale ever. This inspired me to try my hand at a version of my own, about Rapunzel's baby sister, and how she would have to try to live up to a fairy tale sister.
Harry The Dirty Dog
by Gene Zion
I love this whole series. The illustrations live in my head, all of them.
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Copyright Mette Ivie Harrison 2009 all rights reserved.
Last revised January 1, 2009.