Babies and Toddlers

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We’re Going On a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury


March has been designated March into Literacy Month, and when I think of that idea, a particularly brilliant book comes to mind—We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and illustrator Helen Oxenbury. This book completely belongs to both author and illustrator. Michael Rosen took a chant for children that enticed him, and set […]

Featured on March 17

Where Is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
Illustrated by Judy Horacek

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Around this time of year Ohio celebrates Sheep Day! In Wayne County at the Sheep Research Unit, Ohio State University faculty, staff, and students convene to discuss how to successfully raise sheep. If I were anywhere near this event, I’d go because I have a soft spot for sheep. Instead I’ll pick up the book […]

Animals, Bedtime
Featured on July 13

Carl Goes Shopping by Alexander Day

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In October 1992, the board book edition of a title that had already gained a devoted following of picture book fans appeared, Alexandra Day’s Carl Goes Shopping. Often publishers eager for titles for the very young frequently republish material in board books that have originally appeared as standard picture books. For the Carl books, wordless […]

Animals, Dogs
Featured on October 20

Duck on a Bike by David Shannon

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Organizers of National Bike Month—established to celebrate bicycling for fun, fitness, and transportation—estimate that five million people will participate in biking activities across the country during May. Certainly for many people, nothing says “good weather” and “good times” as much as the idea of a bike trip, however long or short. I just wish the […]

Animals, Ducks, Humor
Featured on May 26

First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

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May has been designed Egg Month—dedicated to the versatility, convenience, and good nutrition of “The incredible edible egg.”TM Children’s book writers and illustrators have always been bullish on eggs—at least as the subject matter for books. Just think of classics like Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hatches the Egg or Oliver Butterworth’s The Enormous Egg. But my […]

Animals, Award Winning, Caldecott, Nature
Featured on May 25

Margaret Wise Brown by Margaret Wise Brown

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Today marks the birthday of one of the greatest children’s book creators of the twentieth century, Margaret Wise Brown. Although she died suddenly of an embolism at the age of forty-two, Brown wrote more than one hundred books, including Runaway Bunny and her classic Goodnight Moon. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Brown grew up on Long […]

Animals, Bedtime, Rabbits
Featured on May 23

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
Illustrated by Crockett Johnson

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In May of 1945—around the time of Victory in Europe Day in World War II—a small book appeared on the list of Harper and Brothers. A quirky, offbeat title, it was not advertised that year and did not seem a likely candidate for celebrity status in the picture book world. But when it comes to […]

Family, Gardening
Featured on May 17

Red-Eyed Tree Frog by Joy Cowley
Illustrated by Nic Bishop

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April 29 has been designated Save the Frogs Day, a day of amphibian education. Although there will be an event in Washington, D.C., the third annual Save the Frogs Day organizers encourage people to recognize the day in their own communities. Their website contains lesson plans and activities that can be adapted by teachers and […]

Animals, Award Winning, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Frogs, Nature
Featured on April 29

Mr. Gumpy’s Outing


Today,  I want to talk about two of our classic books for babies and toddlers. As Julie Roach, Manager of Youth Services of the Cambridge (MA) Public Library, has told me on many occasions, the best titles for this age group include a text with few words that encourages participation and simple images and plots […]

Animals, Award Winning, Caldecott, Trains, Transportation
Featured on April 11

This Little Piggy by Jane Yolen
Illustrated by Will Hillenbrand

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April is National Poetry and later in the month we celebrate the Week of the Young Child (WOYC). More information and a handbook can be found at the National Association for Education of Young Children website. What are the books that introduce poetry to the young and that every young child should know? I am often […]

Animals, Pigs
Featured on April 10

Brown Bear Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr.
Illustrated by Eric Carle

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Born on March 20, 1916, in Hiawatha, Kansas, Bill Martin Jr. served as a teacher and textbook editor before he became a children’s book writer. Growing up in Kansas, he struggled with reading, but adored listening to his grandmother, who was a storyteller. Also, he was saved from a lifetime of hating books by a […]

Animals, Nature
Featured on March 20

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss

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On March 2, 1904, Theodor Seuss Geisel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Seuss won a Pulitzer Prize for lifetime contribution, one of the few children’s book creators ever so honored, and his books have sold over 200 million copies. Like so many of our pivotal children’s book creators, Seuss struggled to get his first book […]

Humor, Imagination
Featured on March 2

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

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For nearly ten years February has been designated Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month. When I think of a rabbit that needs rescuing in children’s books, the first one that comes to mind appeared in 2004—not a living rabbit but a stuffed toy named Knuffle Bunny. In Mo Willems’s Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, we first […]

Featured on February 18

Simms Taback by Simms Taback

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Today marks the birthday of one of our most innovative illustrators and Caldecott winners, Simms Taback. When Simms won the award in 2000 for Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, so many members of the illustration community delighted in this news not only because they had long admired his work but also because he had worked […]

Art, Award Winning, Caldecott, Humor, Jewish, Multicultural, Music
Featured on February 13

Angelina Ballerina by Katharine Holabird
Illustrated by Helen Craig

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Today we celebrate Measure Your Feet Day. But why? Well, one reason youngsters might measure their feet would be for special shoes, say ballet shoes. Since this also happens to be the birthday of Katharine Holabird, author of Angelina Ballerina, our book of the day features a very special mouse, Angelina, who loves to dance. […]

Animals, Dance, Mice
Featured on January 23

Scaredy Squirrel by Mélanie Watt

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Today has been designated Squirrel Appreciation Day. Like many city dwellers, I don’t appreciate squirrels. My dogs, Lady and Lancelot, basically believe that all squirrels deserve to be driven up trees. The squirrels in my back yard retaliate by making fun of these lumbering, large dogs. I have liked these bushy-tailed creatures a great deal […]

Animals, Award Winning, Feelings, Squirrels
Featured on January 21

10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle

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On January 10, 1992, a cargo of around 29,000 rubber toys—including ducks, beavers, turtles, and frogs—fell overboard from a container ship in the northern Pacific Ocean. Some eventually landed on a remote coast of Alaska. In Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion author Loree Griffin Burns explains what actually happened to […]

Adventure, Animals, Ducks, Toys
Featured on January 10

Daily children’s book recommendations and events from Anita Silvey.

Discover the stories behind the children’s book classics . . .

The new books on their way to becoming classics . . .

And events from the world of children’s books—and the world at large.