Friday, January 12, 2007

Bored? No Board

Um, hi everyone. Miss M here. Listen, I was doing a bit of web surfing the other day, trying to find pictures of frogs and toads and the like when I stumbled upon Beck's blog. Anyway, I noticed in the comments that my mother (such an embarrassment) brazenly stated that she could likely recommend 100 good toddler books. Personally, I think it high time that someone took that "I'm a children's literature librarian" smug look off her face. C'mon, without me she wouldn't have a blessed clue about books for the under three set. Nope, she'd likely have her nose in some YA piece of crap or a Nancy Farmer fantasy or, most likely, she'd be watching yet another Mandy Moore, coming-of-age tear-jerker on DVD. You know and I know that she'd be nothing without me.

So, for those of you who are interested, I'd like to share my list of the 100 best books I read in my second year of life. Heck, my mom doesn't even like them all but let me assure you, I have read each of them at least 100 times and can offer nothing but a whole-hearted endorsement. To make it easier for you the next time you're headed to the library, I have listed the books in rough order of my liking them. At the top of the list you'll find all titles I loved when I was a newly minted toddler. If you want to know what I read now that I am older and wiser(23 1/2 months) , move toward the bottom of the list.

Miss M's Guide to Toddler Books
1. Anyone of a dozen books with pictures of babies or toddlers getting up to crazy antics. I could not get enough of that stuff. Might I recommend Baby Talk! or What Do You Do With an Orange?
2. Goodness, how I loved my vocabulary books. Bright Baby published some of my favs but, really, if the book had a single picture matched with a single word on each page, I was lovin’ every minute of it.
3. Did someone say lift-the-flap? Did someone say peek-a-boo? I have some very, very fond memories that I won’t bother sharing with you right now. Let’s just say, “the classics never get old.”
4. Listen, I didn’t care what the books were called but if they had photos of puppies, kittens or farm animals my heart melted. Ooooo the wittle animals were sooo cute. I remember a book called Busy Kitties and another called Puppy Love. The rest is a blur.
5. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
6. Time for Bed by Mem Fox
7. Yo Baby! by Roslyn Schwartz *
8. Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann (laugh? I thought I’d die.)
9. I Can, I See, I Hear and I Touch all by Helen Oxenbury
10. One Gorgeous Baby by Martine Oborne
11. Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
12. Moo, Baa, La la la by Sandra Boynton
13. Blue Hat Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
14. The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
15. But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
16. Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton (you’ll notice that I take an academic interest in the oevre of certain author/illustrators.)
17. The Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton
18. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss (I had the tubby book version)
19. Hand, Hand Fingers Thumb by Al Perkins
20. Alligator Pie by Dennis Lee; illustrated by Nora Hilb *
21. Willoughby Wallaby Woo by Dennis Lee; illustrated by Nora Hilb *
22. Silvery, Silvery/Good Night by Dennis Lee; illustrated by Nora Hilb *
23. Jelly Belly by Dennis Lee; illustrated by Nora Hilb *
24. Carry Me by Rosemary Wells
25. My First Mother Goose compiled by Iona Opie; illustrated by Rosemary Wells
26. Here Comes Mother Goose compiled by Iona Opie; illustrated by Rosemary Wells
27. Read to your Bunny boxed set with Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Old MacDonald, The Bear Went Over the Mountain, and The Itsy Bitsy Spider
28. Peepo by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
29. Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
30. The Day the Babies Crawled Away by Peggy Rathmann
31. No David! By David Shannon
32. Little Gorilla by Ruth Lercher Bornstein
33. Little Quack by Lauren Thompson
34. Little Quack’s Bedtime by Lauren Thompson
35. Food For Thought by Saxton Freymann (now this is what I call ART)
36. Baby Food by Saxton Freymann
37. Dog Food by Saxton Freymann
38. How Are you Peeling? by Saxton Freymann
39. Goodnight Country by Susan Verlander
40. Good Morning City by Susan Verlander
41. The Owl and the Pussy Cat by Edward Lear (I had the one illustrated by Jan Brett. Pure delight.)
42. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
43. Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too? by Eric Carle
44. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See? by Bill Martin Jr. Illustrated by Eric Carle
45. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. Illustrated by Eric Carle
46. Love and Kisses by Sarah Wilson
47. Kiss, Kiss by Margaret Wild
48. Good Dog Carl by Alexandra Day
49. Carl Goes Shopping by Alexandra Day
50. Carl’s Afternoon in the Park by Alexandra Day
51. Carl Makes a Scrapbook by Alexandra Day
52. Baby Beluga (whoa cool it’s like my favourite Raffi song as a book! Can life get better?) *
53. The Wheels on the Bus (ohhhh yesssss, more Raffi in print) *
54. Maisy’s Best Friends by Lucy Cousins
55. Maisy’s Snowy Christmas Eve by Lucy Cousins
56. Max and Ruby’s Snowy Day by Rosemary Wells
57. Max’s Christmas by Rosemary Wells
58. Max and the Chocolate Chicken by Rosemary Wells
59. Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
60. The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss
61. Jamberry by Bruce Degan
62. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen; illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
63. 10 Minutes ‘til Bedtime by Peggy Rathmann
64. Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
65. Eloise’s What I Absolutely Love, Love, Love by Kay Thomspson
66. Bud the Spud (yup. That’d be the Stompin’ Tom classic--illustrated. Oh and can you believe this? My sitter had NEVER even heard the song before. Shame.) *
67. Corduroy by Don Freeman
68. Corduroy’s Street (a cheap knock off but frankly I was a sucker for it)
69. Corduroy’s Busy Day (ditto)
70. How to be a Cow by Bo Vine (seriously, that’s what it says on the title page. It also says that the illustrations are by Shelly Meredith. Mom and I found it in a discount bin at the grocery store)
71. I love you because you’re you by Liza Baker
72. My Dad by Charles Fuge
73. Click, Clack, Splish, Splash by Doreen Cronin
74. Red is Best by Cathy Stinson *
75. Oh! by Kevin Henkes
76. Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
77. The Pop-up Mice of Mr Brice by Theo. LeSieg
78. My Nest is Best by P. D. Eastman
79. If you give a mouse a cookie by Laura J. Numeroff; illustrated by Felicia Bond
80. If you give a pig a pancake by Laura J. Numeroff; illustrated by Felicia Bond
81. If you give a moose a muffin by Laura J. Numeroff; illustrated by Felicia Bond
82. Mole’s Hill by Lois Ehlert
83. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
84. Simon and the Snowflakes by Gilles Tibo *
85. Simon and the Wind by Gilles Tibo *
86. Simon in Summer by Gilles Tibo *
87. Simon and his Boxes by Gilles Tibo *
88. Tales from Parc La Fontaine by Roslyn Schwartz *
89. The Complete Adventures of the Mole Sisters by Roslyn Schwartz *
90. Stella, Star of the Sea by Marie Louise Gay *
91. Stella Fairy of the Forest by Marie Louise Gay *
92. Stella Princess of the Sky by Marie Louise Gay *
93. Good Night Sam by Marie Louise Gay *
94. Good Morning Sam by Marie Louise Gay *
95. Ella Takes the Cake by Carmela D’Amico
96. Colours by Shirley Hughes
97. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems (vroom vroom, vroomy vroom, vroom)
98. Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gilman *
99. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
100. Frozen Noses by Jan Carr
101. Elliot Gets Stuck by Andrea Beck *
102. Elliot Digs for Treasure by Andrea Beck *
103. Elliot’s Noisy Night by Andrea Beck *
104. Elliot Takes a Bath by Andrea Beck *
105. Spot’s Giant Treasury by Eric Hill

Criminey, I somehow made it to 105. The problem is I'm getting sick of all these books now. Mom keeps going on about how there are plenty more by these authors. She also sometimes gets all feverish and starts speaking in tongues: Burmingham, Wadell, Browne, Weisner, Lunn, Reid, Van Allsburg, Alborough,Yolen, Wood, Steig... She goes on and on and it scares me.

The thing is, I don't always like what she brings home. I don't suppose you moms and dads could do me a favour? Could you ask your toddlers for suggestions and then report back here and let me know. Once I have a list, I'll try to subtly bring up names the next time we're at the library. Knowing ole mommy smarty pants, she'll likely think the ideas were all hers in the first place. She's that way.

* BTW, I'm a cultural nationalist in training. The ones with the star are Canadian.


jen said...

you are a freaking maniac. i so love that you did this and will be back tomorrow when i can coherently string two thoughts together.

mo-wo said...

Eh, Miss M. Check these out...

Princess Smartypants! And, You can't take a balloon into the Metropolitan Museum of art.. and My mom just posted another book tonight that's good. Ask me anytime, my Mom is a know-it-all like yours but I go my own ideas.. like Molly goes for a ride! And, Animals should definitely not wear clothing... and .. and and.......

ps.. every new baby in BC gets a free copy of Baby Beluga! Just for being born, cool huh? (just Mr. Campbell's latest way to say, why pay for libraries when he'd like to chuck around the dough willy nilly.)

mo-wo said...

And and.. Sleeping Dragons all around ****** with chocolate cake!!

Beck said...

What a fantastic post! Do you mind if I link to it?
And has Miss M read Knufflebunny by Mo Williams? My baby LOVES that book (oh, and "The Pigeon Finds A Hot Dog."). When Trixie goes boneless, I crack up. Who teaches toddlers to DO THAT?

nomotherearth said...

The Boy here. I think my mummy posted these over at Frog and Toad, but my favourites have been "Silly Sally" by Audrey Wood, "Grumpy Gracie" by Sam Lloyd, "I Love Trucks" by Philemon Sturges, and the classic Seuss "Hop on Pop" and "Go, Dog, Go". You already mentioned my other fave "How to be a Cow". Who is this Bo Vine??

cinnamon gurl said...

Wow, Miss M you really put your money where your mother's mouth is!

Good job!

bubandpie said...

Bub has been loving The Rain Came Down by David Shannon lately. I find the 1950's period illustrations a bit sick-making, but if you don't mind a whole heap of gender stereotypes, then read away!

Alpha Dogma said...

Great list. I printed a copy to take with me next time I head to the Library.
I love most of Sandra Boynton's books, too. However, But Not the Hippopotamus is so sad. Why does it have to end with the Hippo making friends and than the Armadillo gets ostracized. WTF? It seems kind of mean. Or maybe I'm overly sensitive.

Emma in Canada said...

In our house we absolutely adore Helen Cooper, especially The Baby Who Wouldn't Go To Bed and The Monster Under the Stairs.

Oh, The Joys said...

Thank you for this. We have a lot of these, but not all. I am excited to... GO TO THE LIBRARY!!

Thailand Gal said...

Mad, are you familiar with "Hope for the Flowers" by Trina Paulus? Best kid book ever written. :)



Mad Hatter said...

Hi Chani,
I haven't read it but I have heard good things about it, particularly about the fascinating woman who wrote it. I don't have a copy in my collection but I just looked it up and one of the local libraries has it. I will check it out. Thanks for the tip.

Emma: I'll definitely track down some Cooper. We have Tatty Ratty in my library but I'm sure the public library will have more.

NotSoSage said...

My little one LOVES Mr Gumpy's Outing by John Burningham.

I think someone picked it up for us thinking that it was some sort of toddler book about tolerance of same sex relationships. I'm kind of on the fence about it, but that's partly related to the fact that every time we read it Joe states his theory that it's an allegory about how we can't possibly escape our nature, whatever our intentions.

That said, I'm not sure I'd recommend it, but I thought I'd mention it...

NotSoSage said...

P.S. (Try as I might, I can't seem to confine myself!) I do really love the illustrations.

Domestic Slackstress said...

Where's Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends? Love that one. What about Francis and George and Martha, or am I just very, very old and boring? Love the list. You are meticulous. Long time no mad hat on my part. Sorry for all the lurking w/o commenting.

venessa said...

Great list! The girlies would add:
The Grouchy Ladybug
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Cha Cha Chimps
The Snowy Day
Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?
Growing Vegetable Soup
Blueberries for Sal
& I Love You Stinky Face

crazymumma said...

oh honey....your mum is a very smarty pants missy but we love her so. May I suggest taking the books you do not like and stuffing them INTO another book so when the library calls and tells her that you have something overdue you can watch her fight with the dust bunnies frantically looking for the missing board book. Just had to share that with you because it seems to be a pretty good pasttime chez crazymumma.
Then go ask her about her misspent youth rocking out to patti smith. Maybe she'll teach you the lyrics....

ewe are here said...

Fantastic list!

Agree with the pop-ups. And anything with flaps!

And Boynton! Love Boynton...

Will have to come back and peruse the list more closely.

mamatuip said...

The Owl and the Pussycat...I just read this to Julia the other night. I thought the illustrations might scare her a bit, because they really did unnerve me when I was a kid -- but it was like a trainwreck. They freaked me out but I was fascinated by them. Julia loved it.

Alligator Pie is such a GREAT book. We love it here.

Anything by Dr. Seuss is a big hit with her, and anything with babies, like Miss M said, is a big hit with Oliver.

If You Give a Pig a Pancake is such a great book! The only book I don't see on here that I'd add just because Julia loves to run around singing "Ronald is a bum! Ronald is a bum!" is Munsch's The Paper Bag Princess.

Great list!

NotSoSage said...

Back again, but only because just today we received a BEAUTIFULLY illustrated book (I'm hung up on illustrations, apparently) from a friend who just returned from Australia.

The book, Possum Magic by Mem Fox, is apparently a token reader for kids (probably pre-school to kindergarten age) Down Under. I couldn't get over how beautiful this book was; I had to pass it on.

Julie Pippert said...

My toddlers (one past, one present) love the Boynton books.

Now? Mercy Watson.

Love lists like this!

Mad Hatter said...

Sage: I LOVE Possum Magic. I haven't read it to Miss M but I definitely have it in my collection. Now I must go check it out.

poet-mum said...

Hi Ms. Mad,

That's an awesome list--I can't wait to find the Roslyn Schwartz books, which we haven't yet read. But Mo Willems is Mr. S’s all-time favourite author... his first word was "pigeon!" (Followed, shortly thereafter, by "bus.") Did you know that Mo Willems wrote for Sesame Street? I wonder if he's the one who established Bert's pigeon obsession? (I just picked up a box set of old-school Sesame Street DVDs, so I'm having fun reliving my childhood. Um, with Mr. S, of course.)

Mr. S's other, best, best book (series) is absent from your list: Maurice Sendak's Nutshell Library, which includes Chicken Soup With Rice, Alligators All Around, One Was Johnny, and Pierre (the best of the best). He carries these four red, miniature books all over the house and 'reads' them over and over again to himself. And this has gone on for months and months.

Other household favourites:
-Maurice Sendak’s Hector Protector & As I Went Over the Water
-Jack Perlutsky’s The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders
-Phaidon’s Art Book for Children--especially the Picasso section, and the endpapers
-Babette Cole’s Mummy Never Told Me and Dr. Dog
-Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day--my own childhood favourite
-Kate & Jim McMullan’s I Stink--a huge hit!
-Pittau & Gervais’s That’s Disgusting (Trans. Laura Ross)--this one is truly grotesque and warped, but it’s also hilarious. I’m not sure of the long-term impact of such a book, but it’s worth it now, anyway!

And other great books by authors already on your list:
-Sandra Boynton’s Consider Love, along with the books that accompany her two CDs
-Marie-Louise Gay’s On My Island

I’ve been meaning to add a comment to your post on beauty (with a focus on having a boy-child!), but I think that ship has sailed now… which is to say that I’m reading your blog often and I'm enjoying hearing about (and seeing) Miss M as she grows!

metro mama said...

We are loving Sandra Boynton right now.

penelopeto said...

fantastic list. can't get enough barnyard dance. a couple not on there but highly recommended - oopsie, ouchie (so cute) and happy moose, grumpy goose.
required reading as far as bee is concerned.

Mad Hatter said...

Wha-hoo!!! Penelopeto is still hanging about. Glad to hear your sweet voice.

Sandra said...

Wow. You blow me away. Seriously. Wow. That is one formidble list ... and I love the Canadian astrix!!

carrie said...

Great list!!!

Katie would like to add:

Ten Little Rabbits - Virginia Grossman & Sylvia Long
The Seven Silly Eaters - Mary Ann Hoberman
McDuff Moves In - Rosemary Wells
Bronto Eats Meat - Peter Maloney & Felicia Zekauskas

Have fun!!


Her Bad Mother said...

You librarians! You're a national treasure!

Current fave is Sandra Boynton's Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy (more for babies) and a Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit counting book. Sometimes, there is tremendous enthusiasm for a French story called Odilon, about a field mouse who wants to be a bird. 'S'lovely.

kittenpie said...

Current faves include:

Mrs. Crump's Cat - Linda Smith

Duck and Goose - Tad Hills

the good old Harry books by Gene Zion (Harry the Dirty Dog, No Roses for Harry, Harry by the Sea)

So Many Bunnies - Rick Walton

and a set of ancient and tiny sesame street books about colours, shapes, counting, and abcs.

oh, god, and Dora books, complete with me singing the songs. Feh.

julia said...

Hi, I found you via Bub and Pie. What a great list.

Boo's (aged 2) current absolute, number one, desert island book right now is Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed. She also loves Green Eggs And Ham and One Fish, Two Fish. Any of the Jan Pienkowski pop-up books are always a big hit, too.

My older daughter was (and still is, at the advanced age of 12) a big fan of the Olivia the Pig books. When she was about 7, she made me take her to the Met to see the painting that Olivia looked at in the first book.

I love the Carl books, those are great. And I was VERY glad to see that you didn't have Love You Forever on your list. That book creeps. me. out.

theotherbear said...

How about The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Although maybe it's aimed at slightly older readers, not sure...

Mud Mama said...

My kids will add...

Alligator Pie - the board book

and top of the list favorites here for toddlers:

Happy to be Nappy
and Be Boy Buzz

both by Bell Hooks and illustrated by Chris Raschka

These books are GOLD and I still haven't gotten sick of reading them over and over and over and its been...5 years? I''ve been reading them on a near daily basis.

I think Be Boy Buzz is the BEST book for little boys EVER.

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