Kelly DiPucchio | The Children’s Book Review | September 9, 2016
It’s funny how thinking about old books can evoke memories in the same way that certain smells do. When I was looking through my special book collection with the impossible task of choosing only five to feature in this post, each title I pulled off the shelf immediately transported me to a specific place or moment in time. I’m sure this explains, in part, why it’s so difficult for book lovers to depart with their treasures. Books contain so much more than pictures and stories and information. Memories and feelings are also bound in the pages by an invisible glue. Maybe that’s part of the magic of books; they’re a place where real and imaginary worlds collide and something new is created. Here are five books that are meaningful to me and my family.
Miss Twiggley’s Tree
Written and Illustrated by Dorothea Warren Fox
As a shy child who spent a great deal of time alone in her favorite tree, I very much identified with the protagonist in this treasured book from my childhood. The story begins: “Funny Miss Twiggley lived in a tree with a dog named Puss and a color TV. She did what she liked and she liked what she did, but when company came, Miss Twiggley hid.” I loved that this odd woman lived with bears and slept in her hat. I loved that she was an outsider but when a terrible flood struck her town she opened up her home and her heart to the people who had judged her for being different. This book will always hold a special place in my heart.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Purple House Press | ISBN-13: 978-1930900172
Guess How Much I Love You
Written by Sam McBratney
Illustrated by Anita Jeram
I wrote an inscription to my son on the inside cover of this book. It’s dated October 22, 1996, the day our 3rd and last child was born. It says: “Dear Nicholas, Always remember how much Mom and Dad love you. You’re going to be a great big brother.” I must have read Little Nutbrown Hare’s story a thousand times to my kids when they were still my little bunnies. It’s hard to believe my son is 22 now and about to begin grad school. No matter how old my children get, or how far away they go, I hope they always know I love them “right up to the moon and back.”
Ages 2-3 | Publisher: Candlewick | ISBN-13: 978-0763642648
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs
Written by Jon Scieszka
Illustrated by Lane Smith
True story. This book is one of the reasons I became a children’s author. The other reason involves a weird dream about a turtle but that’s a whole different blog post. Prior to discovering A. Wolf’s story I had been suffering through piles of Thomas the Tank Engine books, Barbie books, and with apologies to Eric Hill, Spot books. There were countless nights when reading to my young kids felt like a chore because many of their favorites were definitely not my favorites. I don’t even remember how The True Story of The 3 Little Pigs found its way into our home but when I read the line: “The real story is about a sneeze and a cup of sugar.” I was smitten. Do you mean there are children’s books with voice? And sarcasm? And conspiracy plots?! And my kids and I can both enjoy reading the stories together? That was a turning point in my life. It was the moment I knew I wanted to grow up to be Jon Scieszka.
Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Puffin Books | ISBN-13: 978-0140544510
The Seven Silly Eaters
Written by Mary Ann Hoberman
Illustrated by Marla Frazee
I never grew tired of reading this wonderful book to my kids and they never grew tired of listening to it. Mary Ann’s sublime rhymes and Marla’s beautiful illustrations made this such a delicious story for our family of picky eaters. I totally related to poor Mrs. Peters plight and my kids adored the silliness. I can’t imagine a more perfect picture book.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Houghton Mifflin | 978-0152024406
Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum
Written by Lisa Wheeler
Illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith
My youngest daughter wanted this book read to her so often, she eventually memorized it. You can imagine how impressed her second grade teacher was when she produced a nearly identical version of this brilliant rhyming tale about a piece of gum stuck in the road and tried to pass it off as her own story! What do they say about imitation? Bubble Gum will always be a favorite in our home because it’s just so much fun to read!
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Houghton Mifflin | 978-0152024406
About Kelly DiPucchio
Kelly DiPucchio is the author of many popular children’s books, including Everyone Loves Bacon, illustrated by Eric Wight; Gaston, illustrated by Christian Robinson; and Zombie in Love 2, illustrated by Scott Campbell. She lives in southeastern Michigan.
Everyone Loves Cupcake
Written by Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrated by Eric Wight
Publisher’s Synopsis: Cupcake dresses to impress. Her smile is brilliant. Her wave is flawless. She even wears a tiara. Everyone loves a tiara. And Cupcake wants everyone to love her. But when she tries too hard to make everyone happy, she crumbles under the pressure and realizes that sometimes just being yourself is enough.
Ages 3-6 | Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux | September 6, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0374302931
Kelly DiPucchio, author of Everyone Loves Cupcakes, selected these five family favorites. Discover more articles on The Children’s Book Review tagged with Family Favorites, Eric Wight, and Kelly Dipucchio.
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I am also a HUGE fan of Miss Twiggley’s Tree, and still have my childhood copy :)!!