Trudy Ludwig | The Children’s Book Review | August 23, 2018
Five books?! I have to limit my family’s favorites to just five? That’s like asking a parent who her favorite child is! Thank goodness this selection isn’t solely up to me. I consulted with my children, now both young adults, to get a consensus of their most memorable childhood reads and compared it with those my husband and I loved to share with them. When discussing our favorites, we laughed as we reminisced how I often found their father snoozing away with a book still in hand while my children were wide awake, perusing other stories scattered about in their bedrooms.
Written by Munro Leaf
Illustrated by Robert Lawson
How can our family not love this sweet classic? It’s a beautiful story about a bull who, despite his big and strong stature, simply wanted to “…sit quietly and smell the flowers.” This picture book led to wonderful conversations with my kids about how you can’t judge others by their appearances and the strength of being a gentle soul.
Ages 3-5 | Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap | ISBN-13: 978-0448456942
Written by Jon Scieszka
Illustrated by Lane Smith
My kids got a big kick out of Scieska’s delightfully twisted version of The Three Little Pigsclassic fairy tale. We all loved how Alexander T. Wolf tried to convince us that this whole Big Bad Wolf business was all wrong; he was simply a victim of circumstances. Hilarious!
Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers | 1989 | ISBN-13: 978-0670827596
Written and Illustrated by Genichiro Yagyu
All four of us readily agreed this one had to be included in our list. The illustrations are adorable and the text is both informative and so much fun to read out loud! For example, the narrative on one double page spread states, “When the holes in your nose get stuffed up, you can’t smell anything,” followed by an illustration of a runny-nosed boy saying, “Wed the holes in my dose are sdubbed ub, I candt sbell id eved wed I fart.” Hahahaha!
Ages 1+ | Publisher: Kane/Miller Book Pub | 1994 | ISBN-13: 978-0916291501
Written and illustrated by David Shannon
Poor Camilla. She worried too much about what others thought of her. If her friends didn’t eat lima beans, she wouldn’t eat them, even though they were her favorite. Instead of being true to herself, she ended up with a bad case of stripes and worse, until she learned not to succumb to peer pressure and just be herself. My kids loved the silliness of the story and the outrageous illustrations that accompanied it.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Blue Sky Press | 1998 | ISBN-13: 978-0590929974
Written and Illustrated by Shel Silverstein
We all have vivid memories of taking turns reading to one another Silverstein’s whimsical poems. My daughter and I particularly love the poem below. It’s wonderfully Willie Wonka-ish in content and context, don’t you think?
LISTEN TO THE MUSTN’TS
Listen to the MUSTN’Ts, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WONT’S
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me—
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.
Ages 6-8 | Publisher: HarperCollins | 1974 | ISBN-13: 978-0060256678
Written by Trudy Ludwig
Illustrated by Patrice Barton
Publisher’s Synopsis:Owen McPhee doesn’t just like to talk…he LOVES to talk. He spends every waking minute chattering away at his teachers, his classmates, his parents, his dog, and even himself. But sometimes, all that talking can get in the way of listening. And when Owen wakes up with a bad case of laryngitis, it gives him a much-needed opportunity to hear what others have to say. From the acclaimed author-illustrator team behind The Invisible Boy, this talkative tale will have readers laughing out loud even as they quietly appreciate its gentle message about the power of listening—not only with your ears but also with your heart.
Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf/Random House Children’s Books | July 2018 |ISBN-13: 978-0399557132
About The Author
Trudy Ludwig is an internationally renowned children’s advocate, speaker, and award-winning author of 10 children’s books including The Invisible Boy, a School Library Journal Best Picture Books Selection, and her July 2018 release, Quiet Please, Owen McPhee!Her work helps to empower children to be kinder and more compassionate in their social world. Trudy has collaborated with leading experts and organizations including Sesame Workshop, Committee for Children, International Bullying Prevention Association, ConnectSafely.org, and Passport to Peace Foundation.
Trudy Ludwig, author of Quiet Please, Owen McPhee!, selected these five family favorites. Discover more articles on The Children’s Book Review tagged with Family Favorites.