Yes, I succumbed. Was there really any doubt? Of course this is likely to be a very subjective list (aren’t they all??) but every time I thought of one of my favourite children’s books, there it was. So what else could I do?
This reference book is divided into 5 chapters : (i) ages 0-3, (ii) ages 3+ , (iii) ages 5+ , (iv) ages 8+ and (v) ages 12+ . I found early on, even with picture books, that reading about the story spoilt the surprise often associated with picture books, so I recommend enjoying the books first before reading the reference entry. I will try not to give too much away in my posts.
Many of these books will be out of print, and some will never be. But that adds a seeking aspect to the challenge which was impossible to resist.
Let’s start with five of the picture books randomly chosen from the 0-3 pages. Each one of these is probably someone’s childhood treasure.
Rosie the Hen goes for a walk around the farmyard, oblivious to the hungry fox close behind. The illustrations, although with a limited palette, are bright and reminiscent of American folk art carving. Fun story but not in my treasure box.
The hungry bug eats his way through a lot of food but isn’t satisfied easily. Little holes in the pages show his progress. The colours and shapes are raw and for me, unlovely.
This was the best of the five by far. I loved the peek-a-boo searching, the soft colours and fun nursery rhyme characters. The title and cover don’t begin to do the tale justice. Added to my list for the grandkids.
Bright colours, excellent fun and unexpected events abound as Elmer, the only multicoloured elephant in the jungle, decides its time for a change.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.
So who’s rushing out to their library tomorrow to raid the picture books?