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Best Children's Books?

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As I am working on my first book for Children, I have decided to spend a portion of my wages this month on Children's books, to look at to get an idea about layout, colour, and writing.

I was wondering if you could recommend any picture books for young children, that I could look at? My favourites of the ones I currently own are:

The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss - My favourite book in the world ever  :love4:
Uncle Alonzo's Beard - Emma King-Karlow
Lost and Fount - Oliver Jefferson

I am looking at buying around 5 more, but those are the kinds of Books I am looking for. Please let me know if there are any you cold recommend. Thank you :)
#1 - May 27, 2013, 01:39 PM

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I'm not sure where to start. I love so many. If you're looking at very young children, I'd say any of Sandra Boynton's books. I especially love But Not the Hippopotamus. Anything pretty much by Mo Willems (his Piggy and Elephant books are fun or Knuffle Bunny).

My youngest loves Lane Smith's, It's a Little Book, which is the "toddler" version of It's a Book, also very lovely. Lane Smith's Grandpa Green is fantastic too. 

Of course I could go on forever, but that's a start.
#2 - May 27, 2013, 01:59 PM
Seek ye out of the best books...

I would head to the public library and the bookstore and check out what resonates before purchasing books. Also check out the Caldecott winners:

Here are the illustrators that I love off the top of my head in no particular order:  Lane Smith, Kevan Atteberry, Margaret Chodos-Irvine, Betsy Lewin, Jon Klassen, Nina Laden, Mo Willems, Peter Sis, Jon J. Muth, Kevan Henkes, E. B. Lewis, Peter McCarty, Brian Selznick, Julie Paschkis, William Joyce, Denise Fleming, Richard Jesse Watson, Jesse Joshua Watson, Marla Frazee, David Wiesner, Paul Stickland, Jan Brett, Ian Falconer, Judy Schachner, Laura Nuemroff, Leo Lionni, Tomie DePaola, Maurice Sendak, Brian Floca...I got no words for how much I admire all the names listed here. I feel like I should have written the names in all caps. Good luck on your journey...
#3 - May 27, 2013, 03:23 PM
Plumb Crazy (Swoon Romance, 2014)
Big Fuzzy Coat (MeeGenius!)
Rembrandt and the Boy Who Drew Dogs (Barron's)

Yes to every suggestion here! And I'd recommend a huge library trip, too.

It's not a children's book, but I love DEAR GENIUS, Ursula Nordstrom's collected letters. I often check out books she is working on and read along with her editorial notes. It give a fantastic peek into the early stages of many classic children's books.
#4 - May 27, 2013, 05:43 PM

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I have over 100 picture books varying, styles, content, and ages; I would recommend trips to the library, if available an independent book store that caters to picture books and just look until a title catches your eyes.       :library: :studia:
#5 - May 28, 2013, 01:59 AM

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Yes, libraries and bookstore browsing. You can look at many, many titles without breaking the bank! Then, purchase some select titles you know you'll want to return to over and over again. Be sure not to miss titles that won recent Caldecotts, runners-up, and ones that got Caldecott buzz. Happy exploring!
#6 - May 28, 2013, 08:36 AM
Adventures of Jenna V. Series
Caroline Grade Mysteries
The Journey of Emilie
Anne Bradstreet: America's Puritan Poet

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I agree with everyone recommending the library. You'll need to read dozens and dozens of books in your genre--and make sure they're CURRENT ones. Tastes change really quickly. You should also look at agent websites. I know querying is a long way off for you, but many agents list their favorite books. You might compile a list of their favorites and start checking them out.

Also, research your genre to be sure you know the difference between picture books, early readers, etc. Agent Jennifer Laughran wrote a really helpful blog post about word counts, which I wish I had found sooner than I did (sigh). Link here:

Have fun!
#7 - May 28, 2013, 08:48 AM
Learning to Swear in America (Bloomsbury, July 2016)
What Goes Up (Bloomsbury, 2017)
The Constitution Decoded (Workman, 2020)
Twitter: KatieWritesBks


Great suggestions and yes, definitely head to the library (or bookstore) - The more you read the more you'll know what's out there and what is interesting kids these days. What age group are you writing for?
#8 - June 30, 2013, 07:57 AM

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My favorite (today) is
by Julie Fogliano & Erin E. Stead
#9 - July 02, 2013, 03:11 PM

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books by Jan Brett and Tomie dePaola. Those two illustrators/authors were my idols as a child. Comet's Nine Lives is my favorite Jan Brett children's book and the Art Lesson is my favorite from Tomie dePaola.

The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan is also one that has a great combination of storytelling and visuals
#10 - July 26, 2013, 08:20 PM


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