Fifty Favorite Children’s Books

Picture Book Edition
Written by Irina Gallagher

Fifty Favorite Children's BooksMy kids and I love reading dozens of library books every week. We find books we like; sometimes books we disagree with – if characters are mean-spirited, the pictures are crude, or the words are impolite; books that we feel neutral about; and if we are lucky on a particular day, we find books that have the extraordinary juxtaposition of thoughtful, beautiful writing, and endearing illustrations. These books touch our hearts, remind us of something dear in our own lives, illuminate a spark of imagination, or just make us fall in love. This list is a partial collection of what we have found on the lucky days.

All the Way to AmericaAll the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel
written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
A true story of an immigrant who came to the United States from Italy bearing not much more than a shovel which is passed down through the family from generation to generation – each bearer using the shovel for completely different purposes, each generation encapsulating something of their heritage to pass down to their children. It’s a wonderful immigrant tale.

written by Eve Titus
illustrated by Paul Galdone

Paris. Charming, anthropomorphic mice. Typewriters. Delightful illustrations. Cheese. This book has it all. An absolutely lovely, lovely classic about a mouse who becomes the premier cheese connoisseur in Paris. Anatole is featured by Eve Titus in several sequels, but of course, read this one first.

BabyTreeThe Baby Tree
written and illustrated by Sophie Blackall
If your young child is starting to ask “Where do babies come from?” – read this book. The story about a curious boy who is waiting for a baby sibling to arrive, is a wonderful, age appropriate (around ages 5-8), introduction to human reproduction. There is also an appendix for older children which provides more specific information on the mechanics of, ahem, things.