Stacy McAnulty | The Children’s Book Review | February 9, 2017
Five? I can only pick five books that are special to my family? Yikes, this is going to be hard. Anytime I need to make shelf space, I love to donate the older—perhaps outgrown— books to our local elementary school. Seems like it should be an easy process. Grab some books. Put them in a box. And lift with your legs. But too often, I sit crisscross apple sauce on the floor and flip through these well-loved books, remembering the nights I read them to my kiddos. So many books hold these types of memories. But I guess I’ll give it a try. Here are my five.
Written and Illustrated by Jan Thomas
Not to brag, but I do a great Mouse voice. This is such a fun read aloud because you can definitely get into character. The range of emotions that Mouse experiences is Oscar-worthy. And I don’t want to give away the ending, but it’s fabulous. Perfect amount of twist and humor.
Ages 4-7 | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | 2008 | ISBN-13: 978-0152065331
Written by Chris Barton
Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
When we first heard the librarian at school read this book, I had to have it. The dueling characters are a hoot. Secretly, I’ve always rooted for Shark to win, but Barton and Litchenheld’s solution is more appropriate. My apologies to any train lovers.
Ages 4-7 | Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | 2010 | ISBN-13: 978-0316007627
Written and Illustrated by Sandra Boynton
“The sun has set not long ago. Now everyone goes below…” I can still recite this book by heart. We read this board book so much that I was forced to buy a second copy. It fell apart! No fault of the manufacturer’s. The books are probably only made to withstand ten thousand readings. (There are a lot of Sandra Boyton books that could be on this list.)
Ages 2-5 | Publisher: Little Simon | 1982 | ISBN-13: 978-0671449025
Written and Illustrated by Anna Dewdney
All the Llama Llama books are terrific, but this one is our favorite. Llama’s meltdown always felt so realistic, and the resolution is filled with heart. Now, Dewdney’s Llama Mama is a lot more patient and forgiving than I’ve ever been. Isn’t it amazing that a book starring llamas (one of whom wears pearls) can make you want to be a better parent?
Ages 2-5 | Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers | 2007 | ISBN-13: 978-0670062409
Written and Illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Remember a few years ago when everyone was going crazy for that sleepy rabbit book from Europe? Well, this was my family’s sleepy book. It would be the last in our pile each night. I’d read it slowly in my softest voice. And at the end, I can remember my son’s satisfied sigh. Perfection.
Ages 2-5 | Publisher: Greenwillow Books | 2004 | ISBN-13: 978-0060588281
Written by Stacy McAnulty
Publisher’s Synopsis: Mr. Fuzzbuster knew he was Lily’s favorite. They did everything together. Naps. Story time. Walks. And more naps. But now four more animals lived in the house.…
To prove he’s still Lily’s favorite, Mr. Fuzzbuster will have to ask her, but will her answer surprise him? This funny, heartwarming story is for every child who has ever wondered if there’s a favorite in the house.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Two Lions | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1503948389
About the Author
STACY MCANULTY is certain she’s her mom’s favorite. Her younger brother disagrees. She’s the author of Beautiful, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff; Excellent Ed, illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach; and 101 Reasons Why I’m Not Taking a Bath, illustrated by Joy Ang. Originally from upstate New York, she now lives in Kernersville, North Carolina, with her three children, two dogs, and one husband. She doesn’t have a favorite. You can find her online at www.stacymcanulty.com.
Did you know Mr. Fuzzbuster loves writing notes? He wants to send cards to young readers across the country. Maybe he will be your favorite.
Stacy McAnulty, author of Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite, selected these five family favorites. Discover more articles on The Children’s Book Review tagged with Family Favorites, President’s Day Books, and Women’s History.
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