I was recently asked to list ten books that I would recommend to young children for storytimes. What an impossible task! There are so many to choose from and I wanted to list ALL of my favorites, but I knew that I needed to narrow it down to the number requested. So, I gave myself a new way to think about the list: If I were stranded on a desert island (preferably somewhere tropical, with lots of great food and water readily available), which books would I take along to keep any available children entertained while we wait for a passing boat to rescue us?
This strategy quickly narrowed down my list to books that always please a crowd; books that contain fabulous illustrations, clever writing, elements of surprise, humor and the opportunity for children to participate in telling the story.
Next time you are planning to be stranded – in the car, camping, waiting at the doctor's office – or you just want to enjoy a wonderful moment sharing a book with a child, you might consider taking along one of these sure-fire winners:
Chicks and Salsa, by Aaron Reynolds
A rooster who is tired of the same old chicken scratch takes on the role of barnyard chef, inspiring other farm animals to explore the ingredients in the farmer's garden, with hilarious results.
Clip-Clop!, by Nicola Smee
Horse consents to give Pig, Duck and Cat the ride of their lives.
Everything I Need to Know Before I'm Five, by Valorie Fisher
Children can explore the concepts needed for kindergarten readiness through creative photographed vignettes, featuring enticing children's toys.
I Stink!, by Kate McMullan
Learning the alphabet has never been more fun! A stinky garbage truck eats his way through town, with a menu featuring trash from A to Z.
I'm the Biggest Thing In the Ocean, by Kevin Sherry
A charming octopus with a sizable ego compares his size with that of other ocean creatures. The surprising ending will have everyone laughing!
Pete the Cat - I Love My White Shoes, by Eric Litwin
Pete the Cat rocks! The cool cat strums his guitar and sings ballads to all of his favorite colors as his white tennis shoes step into blueberries, strawberries, mud and more.
Snip, Snap! What's That?, by Mara Bergman
A slithering alligator is creeping up the stairs and into the apartment of three children. Were the children scared? You bet they were! Until they decide to turn the tables on the reptile. Readers will enjoy the excitement of this interactive and humorous tale.
The Rain Train, by Elena de Roo
Take a ride on the Rain Train and listen to the sounds of the rain as you travel through a child’s dream. Readers will savor making all of the ratter-tat-tat, clatter-clat-clats as you enjoy this lovely book together.
A Visitor for Bear, by Bonny Becker
A solitary Bear learns the value and charms of friendship when a persistent Mouse decides to pay him a visit.
What Pet to Get?, by Emma DoddWhat child has not wished for a pet? Explore the possibilities and inconveniences of pet ownership as a boy contemplates the pros and cons of owning an elephant, polar bear, T-rex... What pet will he get?