Leonardo the Terrible Monster, by Mo Willems
Why I love it? Year after year, my students LOVE this book! It’s a simple and heartwarming story of friendship. They literally beg me to read this book over and over in one sitting. They absolutely can’t get enough of the page where Sam rants about why he is crying. I have never read this page aloud without a collective chant of “Again, again!” How can you say no that? I never do; even though it makes me terribly out of breath.
I’m Bored, by Michael Ian Black
Why I love it? Every parent has heard those two little words that make us cringe, “I’m bored.” In this book a sarcastic potato helps kids realize that being bored can be good if you do what kids do best: use their imaginations.
Brownie &Pearl Grab a Bite, by Cynthia Rylant
Why I love it? Everyone knows and adores Cynthia Rylant’s characters Henry and Mudge, but do you know Brownie and Pearl? These delightful little friends have sweet and simple adventurous that can’t help but make you smile.
Maisy books, by Lucy Cousins
Why I love them? This year I fell in love with Maisy books as the perfect mentor texts for kindergarten authors. The premise of each book is relatable and tangible, which leads students towards topics and ideas for their own writing. The books are short and focus on small moments, which is exactly what we expect of kindergarten authors. Maisy books also provide models of simple craft techniques that kindergarten students can easily use to inspire their writing. I must have for teachers of tiny writers!
Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy, by Jacky Davis
Why I love it? Ladybug Girl is one of my favorite story book characters. She is imaginative, determined, and brave. In my favorite Ladybug Girl book, she and her new friend Bumblebee Boy provide readers with a strong example of friendship and compromise: an important message for young readers.
Race You to Bed, by Bob Shea
Why I love it? The adorable bright white bunny set against the vivid background is what first drew me to this book. The witty rhythmic chant that accompanies the striking illustrations has made it a bedtime favorite in my home.
Doctor Ted, by Andrea Beaty
Why I love it? Doctor Ted and Firefighter Ted are books that my own children discovered at the library this summer. These books are the humorous tales of an adorable bear who takes his imagination a little too far and gets into trouble and solves problems along the way. What makes that this book so special to me, however, was the influence that it had on my 4 and 6 year old. Each of these books ends with the line, “Who will Ted be next?” Intrigued by this question, we anxiously took to the library database for more Ted books only to discover that there weren’t any. What happened next pleasantly surprised me: my boys worked together for days to create their own books to add to the Ted series. Can’t ignore a book that inspires young authors to write in their own homes!
Owl babies, by Martin Waddell
Why I love it? “Soft and silent she swooped through the trees to Sarah, and Percy and Bill.” This line almost requires a whisper to feel like you are doing it justice. The quiet and soft tone of this book immediately draws young readers in, and they are hooked. Not to mention their affection for baby owl, Bill, and his repeated line that they all somehow instinctively know to shout in chorus, “I want my mommy.”
The Little Red Hen, by Byron Barton
Why I love it? Amid all of the rich literature that graces classrooms, libraries and homes of today, I still want to ensure that my students and children are introduced to the classics. Who can resist this minimalist version of this timeless tale? Not I!
My Friend is Sad, by Mo Willems
Why I love it? No top ten picture book list of mine would be complete without a little love for Piggie and Elephant. No explanation needed.