A friend asked me for some suggestions for a project that her church is doing to gather some gifts for young single moms in their area. Here are my favorite classic picture books for Mom and baby (or toddler/preschooler) to enjoy together:
Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown. Some people think the mother in this story is way too overprotective, but I happen to think that the little ones like the idea of a Mother Bunny who will never let them escape her love for them.
Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. Another winning title from the pen of Ms. Brown.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
Drummer Hoff by Ed Emberly. Drummer Hoff fired it off.
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss. Will the carrot seed that the boy plants really grow? A lesson i patience and faith.
Umbrella by Taro Yashima. A little Japanese girl longs to take her new umbrella to school but must wait until it rains.
Noah’s Ark by Peter Spier. Peter Spier is a talented illustrator, and in his books mostly the pictures tell the story. The pictures are a little too small and detailed for the youngest ones, but children will grow into this book and others by Spier.
The Gingerbead Boy by Paul Galdone. All of Galdone’s folk tale/fairy tale renderings are wonderful with big, bold illustrations and straightforward narration. These books, including The Three Bears, The Little Red Hen, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, and many others, are my favorite beginning folk tale books for reading aloud to young children.
Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present by Charlotte Zolotow. Charlotte Zolotow is another of my favorite picture book authors, and this story of a girl who is looking for a present for her mother is deliciously repetitious but also surprising. Illustrations are by Maurice Sendak.
If I were buying only ten books for a beginning library for mom and a young child to read together over and over again, these are the ten I would choose.
What about you?