By Robert McCloskey
A beloved children’s classic, Blueberries for Sal captured my children’s hearts as they followed the story of a little girl and a baby bear who were hunting with their respective mothers through the Maine countryside on a glorious summer day. The girl’s and the baby bear’s trails of curiosity keeps you wondering where their appetites will lead. I also love the blue-stained illustrations for their simple child-like quality.
By Barbara Cooney
This one might be my favorite picture-book! Cooney, an author and illustrator, tells the story of Alice Rumphius who longed to travel the world, to live in a house by the sea, and to do something to make the world more beautiful. The ‘real’ Miss Rumphius scattered lupine seed along the coast of Maine wherever her feet carried her. We have felt inspired by this story and it has led to discussions of how we can make the world a a more beautiful place.
By Alice McLerran
If there’s one picture-book that has encouraged imagination and free play in my kids, it’s this one! This gem of a story is about an imaginary town called Roxaboxen. "Marian was mayor, of course; that was just the way she was. Nobody minded." The rules don't even have to be consistent, as long as they make their own kind of sense. Speeding was not allowed by car but "if you had a horse, you could go as fast as the wind”, and all you needed for a horse was “a stick and some kind of bridle”. This sweet story has stuck in our hearts and minds and is one we have read and over and over and never seem to tire of reading.
By C.W. Anderson
My son became a fan of this delightful story (the first in a series) from the first reading. Billy longed for a horse and was ecstatic when he received his very own pony for his birthday. The pair were inseparable and teamed up together to compete at a horse show. We immensely enjoy these illustrations made up of simple black and white drawings.
Make Way for Ducklings
By Robert McCloskey
This humorous and delightful book has captured our hearts. Who can forget the classic scene of the whole duck family marching through the streets of Boston? We were captivated by Mr. and Mrs. Mallard’s journey of finding a home for their ducklings. But my kids especially loved hearing the ducklings names’ read throughout the book- Jack, Kack, Lack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack!
By Kim Lewis
When I look at Floss on the cover of this book, I am reminded of my childhood dog, Spot. Floss, a border collie, was given by an old man to his son to be trained as a sheepdog. Although Floss is trained well and obeys orders, she longs to play. This sweet story shows how fun has an appropriate place in the midst of the hard work of English farm life.
By Harriet Ziefert
This beautifully written story is currently my four year old’s favorite picture book, asking for it to be read to her most nights before bed. It’s the story of how a loving mother sacrifices much to obtain a warm coat for her daughter. You’re taken on their journey in post World War II, as they seek the services of a spinner, weaver, and tailor. It teaches gratitude, kindness, patience, and love in a subtle way without moralizing.
By Natalie Kinsey-Warnock
My sweet Sophia asked for this book to be read to her over and over as a toddler. We read this one more times than I could possibly count - so many that she could recite almost half the book! In this incredible true story, three year old, Sarah Whitcher wanders into the woods eventually disappearing for three days and nights. When found she recounts that a “big black dog” kept her warm every night. Do the tracks tell the same story?
By Libba Moore Grey
This lyrical tale is yet another favorite in our home. A young daughter and her mother celebrate the changing seasons from their view in their home. My three daughters and I hold these words dear in out hearts: “My mama had a dancing heart and she shared that song with me. With a grin and a giggle and a hug and whistle, we’d slap our knees and mama would say, “Bless the world it feel like a tip-tapping, song-singing, finger-snapping kind of day. Let’s celebrate. And so we did.”
By Patricia MacLachlan
“All the places to love are here . . . no matter where you may live.” The combination of MacLachlan’s language and Wimmer’s timeless paintings captivated our family. We were drawn to the depiction of rural life in America.