The Children’s Book Review | June 19, 2018
Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick Share Their Family Favorites
Though our kids were raised thousands of miles from each other – Liz’s in Texas and Audrey’s in New Jersey – they had in common a steady, nourishing diet of children’s books. It is true that some of the books, the ones they HAD to hear EVERY night, may be remembered both fondly and also through the gritted teeth of a parent needing to get a child to sleep. But it would be impossible not to look back on those days wistfully, with the magic of the books we shared and explored and loved deeply. The details our children noticed that the adult reader might have missed are the very things they remember to this day.
Audrey Vernick’s Family Favorites
AUDREY VERNICK is the author of over twenty books for young readers, including Unlike Other Monsters, Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?, First Grade Dropout, and the co-written Bob, Not Bob!.
Written by Alice McLerran
Illustrated by Barbara Cooney
I am terrible at picking favorites, but if I had to, here it is. I think my kids would say the same. The freedom, the genuine kid play and the magic such play evokes, the always heart-wrenchingly beautiful illustrations by Barbara Cooney. My kids are grown but still speak of Roxaboxen with great reverence.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: HarperCollins | 2004 | ISBN-13: 978-0060526337
Written by Jonah Winter
This book opened my eyes and my son’s to players we’d never heard of and couldn’t wait to learn more about. We retained odd little details–Boojum Wilson was so MEAN, Cool Papa Bell was so fast “he could turn off the light and be in bed before it was dark.” Maybe not your typical bedtime fare, but it hit the spot for baseball-loving readers.
Ages 7+ | Publisher: Scholastic | 1999 | ISBN-13: 978-0590394642
Written and Illustrated by Kevin Henkes
It’s hard to imagine a more perfect book. This is the one my daughter still quotes. While the teasing Chrysanthemum endures at school is what drives this book, her parents’ pure devotion to and love of their perfect mouse-daughter is the big take-away. Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Greenwillow Books | 1991 | ISBN-13: 978-0688096991
Liz Garton Scanlon’s Family Favorites
LIZ GARTON SCANLON is the author of many beloved books, including Caldecott Honor book All the World, and her debut middle grade novel, The Great Good Summer. This is her second collaboration with Audrey Vernick—the first was Bob, Not Bob! illustrated by Matthew Cordell.
Written by Mary Ann Hoberman
Illustrated by Marla Frazee
Long before I imagined that Marla Frazee might some day illustrate a book of mine, my family was entranced by those seven silly Peters! Along with absolutely spot-on rhyme, there’s just something about the messes and demands and frustrations of a family co-existing with deep, funny, unconditional love. And Marla’s depiction of that rambly home? Who wouldn’t want to live there?
Ages 4-7 | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | 2000 | ISBN-13: 978-0152024406
Written by Martin Waddell
Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
There is still not a chore day that goes by at our house without one of us calling out to another, “How goes the work?” only to be answered with a satisfying, “Quack!” Part barnyard romp, part social justice manifesto, we loved this book celebrating the underdog, er, duck.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Candlewick | 2017 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0763695613
Written and Illustrated by Uri Shulevitz
This perfect book taught me more about the abiding hope that our children bring to the table than any parenting guide ever could’ve. All four of us had the spare text memorized – we knew it that well – and still, we were surprised and delighted every time we turned the page to see those flakes come down in earnest. Snow.
Ages 4-7 | Publisher: Square Fish | 2004 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0374468620
Written by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick
Illustrated by Chris Raschka
Publisher’s Synopsis: When a substitute teacher named Miss Pelly comes to class, one student bristles at the change in routine-Miss Pelly doesn’t follow the rules like Mrs. Giordano. But in time, our student learns that even though the substitute may do things a little differently, and she may be a bit silly, mixing things up might not be so bad.
Ages 5-6 | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | June 19, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1484750223
Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, authors of Dear Substitute, selected these six family favorites. Discover more articles on The Children’s Book Review tagged with Family Favorites.
We may receive a small commission from purchases made via the links on this page. If you discover a book or product of interest on this page and use the links provided to make a purchase, you will help support our mission to 'Grow Readers.' Your support means we can keep delivering quality content that's available to all. Thank you!