Lindsay Ward | The Children’s Book Review | March 14, 2017
My picture book purchasing habit started long before I had my own child, as I’ve been at this for almost 10 years (wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long!) But, now that I have my son, I get to pretend I buy them all for him, when, let’s be honest, I buy them for both of us. And although we have amassed quite the collection, there are still those favorites that stand out. The ones we gravitate towards over and over again. Every night my husband and I read three books with our son, here are the five that we read most often:
The New Small Person
Written and Illustrated by Lauren Child
My son is hardly two yet, but he will listen to this entire book, which is saying something because it’s not a short book. But the voice is perfect. Elmore Green used to be an only child. He used to be the funniest, cleverest, most adorable thing his parents had ever seen. Until the new small person came along. Now Elmore isn’t so sure about having a brother. He would like things to go back to the way they were. Before the new small person, but his parents explain that’s simply not possible. Lauren Child does such an amazing job with Elmore Green’s character. All the things he says and does feel so real, which is why this book has become a family favorite. It’s definitely a must for a new big brother or sister and for any picture book collection period.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Candlewick | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0763678104
Written and Illustrated by David Ezra Stein
This is my all-time favorite read aloud. It’s funny and charming and silly all at once, which is my favorite combination. Little Red Chicken can’t go to bed without a bedtime story, but she can’t seem to reach the end of a story without interrupting her papa to give away the ending. I think Little Red Chicken might be one of my favorite literary characters. Somehow her impatience is adorable. This is a must have book for any reader.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Candlewick | 2016 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0763689032
Written by Anika Denise
Illustrated by Nate Wragg
This is the very first book my son sat and listened to the whole way through. Every time we read it, his eyes are glued to the page. He loves monsters and trucks, so it’s a perfect match. The writing is wonderfully playful and energetic and the illustrations bring the book to life. Halloween is a favorite holiday in our household so this was an obvious choice for us, but what I love is that this isn’t a holiday specific book; we read it year round and never tire of it. I think my son likes to think of himself as the plucky little blue bus, who outwits all the other monsters on the track in the end. He always smiles as soon as the bus appears.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: HarperCollins | July 12, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0062345226
Written by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Axel Scheffler
Who doesn’t love The Gruffalo? Seriously? It’s such a wonderfully charming book about a mouse who outsmarts all the other animals trying to eat him by making up a story about a Gruffalo. Of course, the mouse doesn’t think a Gruffalo really exists, but even when he does run into one towards the end of the story, he manages to outsmart it as well. I love that small conquers all in this story. If you haven’t read it yet, stop what you are doing immediately and find a copy.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Puffin Books | 2006 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0142403877
The Little Fur Family
Written by Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrated by Garth Williams
Every time we read this book, my son laughs. It’s the sneezing. Apparently he finds it funny when someone sneezes. I’m not sure what that says about him and his understanding of empathy . . . but that’s a whole other discussion. Either way every time we get to the “Ker-choo” part, he laughs hysterically. Between that and the touch and feel element on the front cover (or if you’re lucky and have the entirely furry cover version) this one is a winner in our house. He will bring it over to us to read over and over and over again.
Ages 2-6 | Publisher: HarperFestival | 2005 | ISBN-13: 978-0060759605
Written and Illustrated by Lindsay Ward
Publisher’s Synopsis: This is the tale of the mighty Brobarians. Two warriors, once at peace…now at odds.
Iggy the Brobarian has taken over the land. Can Otto the Big Brobarian win it back? Or maybe, with a little help, the two brothers can find peace again…
This is an epic—and adorable—story of sibling rivalry and resolution.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Two Lions | March 28, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1503941670
Praise for BROBARIANS:
“Highly cinematic, both in imagery and narrative soundtrack…Good and campy and a fine opportunity for vocabulary building.”—Kirkus Reviews
“As readalouds go, it’s pretty epic.” – Publishers Weekly
“Ward’s plot cleverly celebrates the spirit of imaginative toddlers, and her cartoonlike cut-paper collage, pencil and crayon illustrations playfully match the humor of the tale. A boisterous, silly picture book that would work well for story-time.” —School Library Journal
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About the Author
Lindsay Ward would never have written this book if she hadn’t stayed up late one night watching Conan the Barbarian. She finds the idea of baby barbarians to be very funny . . . and hopes you do too. Lindsay’s recent books include Rosco vs. the Baby and The Importance of Being 3. Most days you can find her writing and sketching at home in Ohio with her family. Learn more about her at www.lindsaymward.com or on Twitter: @lindsaymward.
Lindsay Ward, author and illustrator of Brobarians, selected these five family favorites. Discover more articles on The Children’s Book Review tagged with Family Favorites, Lindsay Ward, Sibling Rivalry, and Two Lions.