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Wendi Silvano | The Children’s Book Review | March 12, 2019
Choose five of our family’s favorite children’s books? Impossible! There are just TOO many we love! So, how to choose? Hey . . . five kids . . . five family favorites . . . should be simple, right? Well, let’s just say we came up with a list far longer than five. But here are a few we all agreed brought amazing memories, and that we feel every child should know.
Written and Illustrated by Molly Bang
This was almost everyone’s first choice. It is a Caldecott Honor Book, and with good reason. The art is truly unique and captivating. In this wordless picture book, a grandmother (who is actually grey—shown in negative space) is being followed by a strange-looking blue character who is out to snatch the strawberries she just bought at the market. When she steps onto a grey road or behind a grey tree she is perfectly camouflaged and thus evades the strawberry snatcher. High drama, unique details (such as the fact that the strawberry snatcher leaves a trail of mushrooms when he walks), and the fun of telling the story in your own words make this book an utter delight for kids from 1 to 101!
Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Aladdin | 1996 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0689803819
Written and Illustrated by Jill Murphy
Mrs. Large (an elephant) wants nothing more than five minutes peace from her lively children so she can take a bath, but as any mother of young children knows, that can be nearly impossible. All my kids loved this book, but I will admit that perhaps I was the one that loved it the most (probably because I could relate so well). The illustrations are adorable, and in the end, everyone is content.
Ages 2-5 | Publisher: Puffin Books | 1999 | ISBN-13: 978-0698117877
Written by Audrey Wood
Illustrated by Don Wood
The magic of this book is three-fold—the humor (of a king who refuses to get out of the tub until the Page pulls the plug), the delightful rhythm of the language, and the amazingly beautiful and intricate art, with so many details to peruse. I’ve long believed that some of the best art being created today is in children’s picture books, and this book is a perfect example of that. My kids would pore over each page, picking out all the intriguing elements of each scene, and ask to read it again and again.
Ages 4-7 | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | 2010 | ISBN-13: 978-0152054359
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (a series of 3 books)
Retold by Alvin Schwartz
Illustrated by Stephen Gammell
As my kids grew, so did their love of books, and I can’t tell you how many nights someone asked to hear a spooky tale or two from one of these three books. Everyone had their favorite fright, but all got a thrill no matter what we read. These stories, often read in the dark by flashlight, made for frequent “cuddle under the covers and shiver” family fun.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: HarperCollins | 2011 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0061980930
Written and Illustrated by Elisha Cooper
Okay . . . so this one isn’t a favorite of my kids (because it just came out in 2017), but it is a recent favorite of mine, and a definite favorite of my grandkids. It is a gentle, deceptively simple tale of a big cat who teaches a little cat what “cats do”, and beautifully traces their lives as the one grows old and passes on, and the little cat becomes the “big” cat for a new kitten. The Caldecott Honor illustrations are all done in black and white with all white-space background, and fit perfectly with the story. You might shed a tear reading this book, but you are sure to smile too.
Ages 3-6 | Publisher: Roaring Brook Press | March 14, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1626723719
About Wendi Silvano
Wendi Silvano was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has lived in Oregon, Colorado, and Peru. The author of the Turkey Trouble series, she has a BA in early childhood education and taught preschool and elementary school for eleven years. She is the mother of five children and the owner of an assortment of odd pets that are not nearly as clever as Turkey. She now writes from her home in Colorado, where she enjoys hiking, reading, and playing the piano. Visit her online at www.wendisilvano.com.
Written by Wendi Silvano
Illustrated by Lee Harper
Publisher’s Synopsis: Easter is almost here—and Turkey knows just how to celebrate. He’s going to win the eggstra-special Easter egg hunt! The only problem is that animals aren’t allowed to enter. So he and his barnyard friends come up with a top-secret plan. With his trademark disguises and a whole lot of help, Turkey goes undercover. Will his basket of tricks help him win a prize?
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Two Lions | January 29, 2019 |ISBN-13: 978-1542040372
Enter for a chance to win a copy of Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter!
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Giveaway begins March 12, 2019 at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends April 12, 2019 at 11:59 P.M. MT.
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Wendi Silvano, author of Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter, selected these five family favorites. Discover more articles on The Children’s Book Review tagged with Family Favorites.