Friday, December 4, 2015

Christmas Gifting: Classic Picture Books

Two days ago I posted that the Curious George series not only took the top three slots in highest circulating picture books, it held ten of the top 40 spots. Many of the most popular series were old classics, and that is true of many of the individual titles as well. It may be, partly, that parents and grandparents are checking out the titles they are familiar with from their own childhood, but I do also see little ones selecting these for themselves.

#4 on the list, right after our naughty little monkey, was one I read a million times when I was young:


Remember Whose Mouse are You? And Leo the Late Bloomer? Definite nostalgia kick here! Kraus's sweet stories and Aruego's soft but expressive illustrations are a timeless combination. Gift any of these with a set of watercolors and colored pencils.

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

This one surprised me, because it seems to me more like the kind of book you buy your high school graduate. Turns out, it's a favorite for the younger set as well. Other Seuss favorites in the top 100 are The Lorax, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Horton Hatches the Egg, and Happy Birthday to You. Gift a set of Seuss books with a Cat in the Hat hat!

Sheridan will be happy to see this one on the list:

Goodnight Moon

Available in a multitude of formats and languages, I don't know that there is a single adult who doesn't recognize it immediately. Sheridan and Daddy used to read this one together every night at bedtime, looking for the mouse in all the colored pictures, changing the words to "the quiet old lady whispering BE QUIET!!!!!", because...well, our kids are weird. There is a Goodnight Moon matching game available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble that might go well - I haven't seen it myself to know whether to recommend it. You can also find stuffed bunnies like the little one in the story.

And, here's one for Christopher:

David Goes to School

He LOVED the David books when he was younger, and he is obviously not alone. Like Curious George, David just can't help getting into trouble, and all he ever hears is "NO!" The childlike illustrations are a perfect match. At the end of this one, David receives a big gold star for a job well done: you might include a pack of star stickers with the book, and encourage your young trouble maker reader to give them to people he sees doing a super duper job at anything.

The Very Busy Spider

NOT The Very Hungry Caterpillar, can you believe it? I'm am willing to bet that is only because all our copies somehow got lost partway through the year, and the newer copies haven't had as much time to amass check-outs. The Very Quiet Cricket is also up there, so why not give all three together? (There is also The Very Lonely Firefly, The Very Clumsy Click Beetle, and my personal favorite, The Grouchy Ladybug.) Then head over to Amazon and spend a couple hours exploring all the cool toys and games that can go with them!

Finally, the first book Christopher ever 'read' to me:

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Martin's similar titles are not far behind it, including Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? and the lesser-known Adam, Adam, What Do You See? There's a cute puppet and props set here, but it might be just as fun (not to mention cheaper) to make your own set together with construction paper and popsicle sticks.

Next up, some of the newer titles that have been a big hit already!

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