Five Family Favorites with Rebecca Colby, Author of It’s Raining Bats & Frogs!
My children are 5 and 10 years old and like me, they love their books! To be honest, I’m not sure they ever had a choice. From the point they were born, I read to them—usually as many as four books a night—and now they naturally associate books with quality family time and cuddles. Whenever one person grabs a book and curls up in bed or on the sofa, the rest of the family inevitably follow. Reading at our house is a real family affair, and we all agree that there’s nothing we enjoy more than snuggling up with each other and reading a good book! What we don’t always agree on are which books to read. So we chose our favorites individually and then agreed on one shared family favorite.
This has been the 5 year old’s favorite book for the past year. She has memorized all the words and recites the poem as I turn the pages. I was worried at first that this book would be too dark for her and the text would be over her head, but she finds it hilarious that the foolish fly falls for such flattery, and she will ask for clarification on any words she doesn’t understand. If anything, it’s been brilliant for building her vocabulary.
Ages 6-9 years | Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 2002 | ISBN-13: 978-0689852893
Written by Emer Stamp
In the words of my 10 year old, “this is the funniest book ever!” It is pretty funny, especially if you’re into bathroom humor, and Pig has such a unique—if not grammatically incorrect—way of speaking. Although the age range is listed as 8-12 years, it seems better suited for the younger end of that age range. It’s one of the few non picture books that I’ve read to my children more than once, and I know I’ll be reading it again soon.
Ages 8-12 years | Publisher: Scholastic | 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-1407139197
Written and Illustrated by Maurice Sendak
What can you say about this book that hasn’t already been said?! It’s my husband’s childhood favorite because “there are layers for children and adults in the text and illustrations, and you can read it and read it and get something new every time.” The rest of the family agrees!
Ages 4-8 years | Publisher: Harper & Row | 1963 | ISBN-13: 978-0060254926 (NOTE: The ISBN is for the 25th anniversary edition, printed in 1988 by HarperCollins.)
Written and Illustrated by Debi Gliori
Oh, how I love this book! So much so that we own three copies of it—one for each of my daughters and one for myself. It is a touching book about how a mother fox reassures her cub that her love for him is unconditional. I love its comforting message and no matter how many times I read this book, it never fails to bring tears to my eyes!
Ages 4-7 years | Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers | 1999 | ISBN-13: 978-0152024598
Written by Giles Andreae and Sarah McIntyre
Be advised! This book is not for the squeamish. Morris is definitely manky and the entire book is delightfully disgusting! The punchline on the last page is what has truly made this a family favorite for us. But there are no spoiler alerts here. You’ll have to read the book if you want to know what it says.
Ages 3-5 years | Publisher: David Fickling Books | 2010 | ISBN-13: 978-0385615112
About the Author
Rebecca Colby is an American-born picture book author and poet living in England. She is the author of two books: It’s Raining Bats and Frogs (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan, 2015) and There was a Wee Lassie who Swallowed a Midgie (Floris Picture Kelpies, 2014). She is also the winner of the 2011 Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Barbara Karlin award for picture book authors. Before writing for children, Rebecca inspected pantyhose, taught English in Taiwan, worked for a Russian comedian, and traveled the world as a tour director. To learn more about Rebecca and to download free teacher’s resource guides to her books, visit her website at www.rebeccacolbybooks.com or follow her on Twitter at @amscribbler.
Written by Rebecca Colby
Illustrated by Steven Henry
Publisher’s Synopsis: Delia has been looking forward all year to flying in the annual Witch Parade. But parade day brings heavy rain. So, Delia takes action. Using her best magic, Delia changes the rain to cats and dogs. But that doesn’t work too well! Then hats and clogs. That doesn’t work either! Each new type of rain brings a new set of problems. How can Delia save the day?
Ages 2-5 years | Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan) | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1250049926