Even though he is only 9 months old, my grandson loves books and has since he was an infant. He still tries to eat them first but he will sit and listen as you read him a story. He has definite favorites and some are better for quiet times before bed, while others can be read anytime. Books have always been one of my favorite things, so I thoroughly enjoy the time spent reading to him. Since the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2015 has just come out, I thought this would be a good opportunity to list some children’s classics as well as listing my favorites from the New York Times list.
One of my all time favorites as well as my kids’ favorites is Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. This is one that is perfect for before bedtime reading as all of the things in a room get ready for bed. My grandson was given two copies of this one, a hard board copy and a paper one. Since we all love this book so much, the paper one will be saved until he is a little older and not trying to eat the book. It is definitely the book he reaches for most often.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar,by Eric Cooke, is the story of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly by eating everything it can. It is beautifully illustrated and according to Amazon, a copy of this classic book is sold every 30 seconds.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? , written by Bill Martin Jr and illustrated by Eric Carle, has wonderful characters like a big happy frog, a plump purple cat, a handsome blue horse, and a soft yellow duck. The book has simple repetitive rhymes that children love. Wonderful illustrations by Eric Carle.
I’ll See You In the Morning by Mike Jolley and illustrated by Mique Moriuchi s another wonderful book before bed. The rhymes are simple and reassuring and it is also beautifully illustrated. It ends with “..and I’ll see you in the morning”
“Every year since 1952, the New York Times Book Review has convened an independent panel of judges to select the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books. Judged purely on artistic merit, it’s the only annual award of its kind.” Here are my favorites from the list.
Big Bear, Little Chair by Liz Boyd talks about big and little in delightfully unexpected ways. Beautifully illustrated in black and white with just a touch of red.
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras, by Duncan Tonatiuh is a beautifully designed tribute to Mexican artist José Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada (1852–1913) and his wonderful calaveras—skeletons performing various everyday or festive activities. This is a great book to read to younger children and discuss with older ones.
Leo: A Ghost Story, by Mac Barnett. Illustrated by Christian Robinson is a terrific story about an unwanted ghost who finds a new friend. It is a wonderful story about imagination, friendship and loyalty.
Madame Eiffel: The Love Story of the Eiffel Tower by Alice Brière-Haquet. Illustrated by Csil is the imaginative love story behind the design and building of the Eiffel Tower. Incredible pen and ink illustrations and Paris make this a delight to read.