Read On!

Mrs. Farquharson’s musings about books for children and young adults

Some Recommendations


There have been a number of outstanding picture books published within the past year. When I compose my yearly list of favorites, I have varied criteria. Some picture books are simply a work of art with their marriage of illustration and text, while others belong to a noted author’s or illustrator’s body of work. Some books are just perfect for a child’s specific stage of development, and others can be used with a genre or thematic unit that I share with children in the library. My favorite picture books combine many of these characteristics, and they will also appeal to many ages. Those are the books that I imagine a four year-old or a ninety four-year-old enjoying.

crayonsThe Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel, 2013) makes my top ten list this year. Duncan takes his crayons out in class, and he finds a packet of letters written by them. Each color has a comment or complaint about their use. Blue is upset because it gets used so much that “I am so short and stubby, I can’t even see over the railing in the crayon box anymore!” Let’s hope that this is only the first book that we will see from this author/illustrator team.

inapproAuthor Jim Tobin teamed up with illustrator Dave Coverly and created The Very Inappropriate Word (Henry Holt, 2013). Michael collects words from many places – home, school, dictionaries, books, and conversations. He stashes them away to save and use later. One day, he collects a word that he has never heard before “@#*!”, and his sister tells him that it is a “very inappropriate word”. Michael shares the word with friends and uses it himself which causes him trouble.

mrI am not often a fan of wordless or nearly wordless books because I usually share a book with a group of children. When the illustrations tell the story, fewer readers can enjoy it at the same time. David Wiesner’s latest title, Mr. Wuffles! (Clarion Books, 2013) is an exception. I am a fan! This author/illustrator brings the reader into the world of a picky cat who eschews the toys his owners have purchased for him. Instead, he discovers a toy that is out of this world, complete with aliens. Let your imagination run free with this story.
David Wiesner talks about his work in the following video.

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