As a teacher, I come across so many books for children. I love picture books so much; they are amazing teaching tools even for those “too cool” big kids! Just like the regular novel, there are great books for kids and some not so great. Sometimes, when I pick up a book aimed at my little 6 year old audience, I wonder who makes those final decisions on what makes the grade? I try to keep up with my YA books ( I’ve fallen behind since I left teaching middle school) and now I am always on the prowl for that next great picture book for my first grade students. Certain books work (I Need My Monster) and certain books fall flat. Recognizing what students love, what they understand, and what visual stimuli works is such a big project. I love the cute ideas like The Bad Seed and The Paperbag Princess, The Interrupting Chicken, or Click Clack Moo. I applaud the authors and illustrators who just plain “get” kids. I find myself getting excited to read the books to my students because I love them so much. Mo Willems is an excellent example of knowing what kids love and what draws them to read. I mean, the pigeon? Who doesn’t love the pigeon character? I know no matter how old I get, I will always be looking for that next kid read. When I have grandchildren, they will be inundated with all of the characters I have “met” over the years.
What is your favorite childhood story or character? Is there a story you have fond memories of hearing?