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100+ Essential Picture Books for Children-Part 5

Not all picture books are created equal, and not all of them are essential to a child’s literary heritage. Here are our top picks for the most essential picture books for the young. It is just a start and the best part is you can check out 60 books with your Richland Library card, and when you've finished this list, just call your closest Richland Library location, and the staff will recommend more titles for your child.


Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang
Amazon Says: "This beguiling picture book, with a palette of eye-filling colors, appears to arise from the love binding a father and his little `big' girl who turn bedtime into playtime wi more...
Amazon Says: "This beguiling picture book, with a palette of eye-filling colors, appears to arise from the love binding a father and his little `big' girl who turn bedtime into playtime with a rhyming game."--Publishers Weekly. "A loving book, perfect for sharing with the youngest lapsitters."--Booklist. less...
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Cinderella by Marcia Brown
Amazon Says: There is perhaps no better loved, no more universal story than Cinderella. Almost every country in the world has a version of it, but the favorite of story-tellers is the Fren more...
Amazon Says: There is perhaps no better loved, no more universal story than Cinderella. Almost every country in the world has a version of it, but the favorite of story-tellers is the French version by Charles Perrault. This translation is excellent for story-telling and also for reading aloud. Marcia Brown's illustrations are full of magic and enchantment from the little cupids putting back the hands of the clock to the last scene at the palace. They are pictures that will stay in a child's mind. less...
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Beautiful Blackbird by Ashley Bryan
Amazon Says: Black is beautiful, uh-huh! Long ago, Blackbird was voted the most beautiful bird in the forest. The other birds, who were colored red, yellow, blue, and green, were more...
Amazon Says: Black is beautiful, uh-huh! Long ago, Blackbird was voted the most beautiful bird in the forest. The other birds, who were colored red, yellow, blue, and green, were so envious that they begged Blackbird to paint their feathers with a touch of black so they could be beautiful too. Although Black-bird warns them that true beauty comes from within, the other birds persist and soon each is given a ring of black around their neck or a dot of black on their wings -- markings that detail birds to this very day. Coretta Scott King Award-winner Ashley Bryan's adaptation of a tale from the Ila-speaking people of Zambia reso-nates both with rhythm and the tale's universal meanings -- appreciating one's heritage and discovering the beauty within. His cut-paper artwork is a joy. less...
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Mr. Gumpy's Outing by John Burningham
Amazon Says: Book and CD One day Mr Gumpy decides to take a trip along the river in his boat — the only thing is that everyone else wants to come too! Soon the boat is full of children, more...
Amazon Says: Book and CD One day Mr Gumpy decides to take a trip along the river in his boat — the only thing is that everyone else wants to come too! Soon the boat is full of children, animals and of course Mr Gumpy too. Everyone’s having a lovely time. But then the boat begins to rock. What do you think is about to happen? less...
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Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert
Amazon Says: Shapes and colors in your zoo, lots of things that you can do. Heads and ears, beaks and snouts, that's what animals are all about. I know animals and you do too; make some ne more...
Amazon Says: Shapes and colors in your zoo, lots of things that you can do. Heads and ears, beaks and snouts, that's what animals are all about. I know animals and you do too; make some new ones for your zoo. less...
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Drummer Hoff by Barbara Emberley
Amazon Says: Ed Emberley won the 1968 Caldecott Medal for his bold illustrations for Barbara Emberley's jaunty adaptation of the cumulative folk song about seven soldiers who build a magni more...
Amazon Says: Ed Emberley won the 1968 Caldecott Medal for his bold illustrations for Barbara Emberley's jaunty adaptation of the cumulative folk song about seven soldiers who build a magnificent cannon and Drummer Hoff, who fires it off. less...
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Amazon Says: In 1974, French aerialist Philippe Petit threw a tightrope between the two towers of the World Trade Center and spent an hour walking, dancing, and performing high-wire tricks more...
Amazon Says: In 1974, French aerialist Philippe Petit threw a tightrope between the two towers of the World Trade Center and spent an hour walking, dancing, and performing high-wire tricks a quarter mile in the sky. This picture book captures the poetry and magic of the event with a poetry of its own: lyrical words and lovely paintings that present the detail, daring, and--in two dramatic foldout spreads-- the vertiginous drama of Petit's feat. less...
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Amazon Says: The three goat brothers brave the terrible troll in a colorful version of the classic tale. more...
Amazon Says: The three goat brothers brave the terrible troll in a colorful version of the classic tale. less...
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Amazon Says: The village of Tos is like no other village in the world, for in this village the women live in round houses and the men live in square ones. The story of how this came to be more...
Amazon Says: The village of Tos is like no other village in the world, for in this village the women live in round houses and the men live in square ones. The story of how this came to be is told from the point of view of a young girl who grew up there. Ann Grifalconi's bold, dynamic art and rhythmic storytelling recreate this world and make The Village of Round and Square Houses a perfect book for reading aloud. less...
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One Fine Day by Nonny Hogrogian
Amazon Says: A delightful telling makes this story of a greedy fox's adventure as catchy as a nursery rhyme. Crisp, happy pictures add to the fun. Inspired by an Armenian folktale, the rhy more...
Amazon Says: A delightful telling makes this story of a greedy fox's adventure as catchy as a nursery rhyme. Crisp, happy pictures add to the fun. Inspired by an Armenian folktale, the rhythmic, cumulative text will have small listeners "reading along" and matching words to pictures well before the story is ended. less...
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Sam, Bangs & Moonshine by Evaline Ness
Amazon Says: Samantha (known as Sam) is a fisherman’s daughter who dreams rich and lovely dreams--moonshine, her father says. But when her tall stories bring disaster to her friend Thoma more...
Amazon Says: Samantha (known as Sam) is a fisherman’s daughter who dreams rich and lovely dreams--moonshine, her father says. But when her tall stories bring disaster to her friend Thomas and her cat Bangs, Sam learns to distinguish between moonshine and reality. less...
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Amazon Says: Have you ever gone on a bear hunt? Come along on this one with a brave young family -- four children (including the baby) and their father. They're not scared. With them you w more...
Amazon Says: Have you ever gone on a bear hunt? Come along on this one with a brave young family -- four children (including the baby) and their father. They're not scared. With them you will cross a field of tall, wavy grass ("Swishy swashy!"), wade through a deep, cold river ("Splash splosh!"), struggle through swampy mud ("Squelch squerch!"), find your way through a big, dark forest ("Stumble trip!"), fight through a whirling snowstorm ("Hoooo woooo!"), and enter a narrow, gloomy cave. WHAT'S THAT? You'll soon learn just what to do to escape from a big, furry bear! With tremendous pace, humor, and verve, Michael Rosen has retold a favorite tractional story. The pictures by Helen Oxenbury, one of the most widely loved contemporary artists, are full of masterly characterizations, delightful comedy, and high drama, set in lovely sweeping landscapes. This is a book not to be missed, one to be chanted aloud and acted out, to be enjoyed over and over again. It is a picture book on the grand scale. less...
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The Wump World by Bill Peet
Amazon Says: The Pollutians invade the Wump World and turn the green meadows into a concrete jungle. more...
Amazon Says: The Pollutians invade the Wump World and turn the green meadows into a concrete jungle. less...
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The Paperboy by Pilkey
Amazon Says: A boy and his dog savour the silence of the early morning as they deliver papers. more...
Amazon Says: A boy and his dog savour the silence of the early morning as they deliver papers. less...
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The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
Amazon Says: In award-winning artist Jerry Pinkney's wordless adaptation of one of Aesop's most beloved fables, an unlikely pair learn that no act of kindness is ever wasted. After a feroc more...
Amazon Says: In award-winning artist Jerry Pinkney's wordless adaptation of one of Aesop's most beloved fables, an unlikely pair learn that no act of kindness is ever wasted. After a ferocious lion spares a cowering mouse that he'd planned to eat, the mouse later comes to his rescue, freeing him from a poacher's trap. With vivid depictions of the landscape of the African Serengeti and expressively-drawn characters, Pinkney makes this a truly special retelling, and his stunning pictures speak volumes. less...
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Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
Amazon Says: Illus. in full color. "Ringgold recounts the dream adventure of eight-year-old Cassie Louise Lightfoot, who flies above her apartment-building rooftop, the 'tar beach' of the more...
Amazon Says: Illus. in full color. "Ringgold recounts the dream adventure of eight-year-old Cassie Louise Lightfoot, who flies above her apartment-building rooftop, the 'tar beach' of the title, looking down on 1939 Harlem. Part autobiographical, part fictional, this allegorical tale sparkles with symbolic and historical references central to African-American culture. The spectacular artwork resonates with color and texture. Children will delight in the universal dream of mastering one's world by flying over it. A practical and stunningly beautiful book."--(starred) Horn Book.   less...
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Amazon Says: Lyrical, breathtaking, splendid—words used to describe Allen Say’s Grandfather’s Journey when it was first published. At once deeply personal yet expressing universally more...
Amazon Says: Lyrical, breathtaking, splendid—words used to describe Allen Say’s Grandfather’s Journey when it was first published. At once deeply personal yet expressing universally held emotions, this tale of one man’s love for two countries and his constant desire to be in both places captured readers’ attention and hearts. Winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal, it remains as historically relevant and emotionally engaging as ever. less...
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The Gardener by Sarah Stewart
Amazon Says: By the author-and-illustrator team of the bestselling The Library Lydia Grace Finch brings a suitcase full of seeds to the big gray city, where she goes to stay with her Uncl more...
Amazon Says: By the author-and-illustrator team of the bestselling The Library Lydia Grace Finch brings a suitcase full of seeds to the big gray city, where she goes to stay with her Uncle Jim, a cantankerous baker. There she initiates a gradual transformation, bit by bit brightening the shop and bringing smiles to customers' faces with the flowers she grows. But it is in a secret place that Lydia Grace works on her masterpiece -- an ambitious rooftop garden -- which she hopes will make even Uncle Jim smile. Sarah Stewart introduces readers to an engaging and determined young heroine, whose story is told through letters written home, while David Small's illustrations beautifully evoke the Depression-era setting. The Gardener is a 1997 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year and a 1998 Caldecott Honor Book. less...
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Amazon Says: To a small child, words are magical. And the most magical of all are the beloved, venerable words of Mother Goose. Now folklorist Iona Opie has gathered more than sixty trea more...
Amazon Says: To a small child, words are magical. And the most magical of all are the beloved, venerable words of Mother Goose. Now folklorist Iona Opie has gathered more than sixty treasured rhymes in their most perfect, honest form. From "Hey Diddle, Diddle" and "Pat-a-Cake" to "Little Jack Horner" and "Pussycat, Pussycat," these are familiar verses that have been passed from parent to child for generations; these are the rhymes that are every child's birthright. With watercolors by Rosemary Wells that may prove equally enduring, MY VERY FIRST MOTHER GOOSE captures the simple joy and the sly humor that are the essence of Mother Goose. Parents and children will find themselves exploring this volume together, savoring delightful details and funny surprises on every page. This is a book that promises hours of quiet smiles and merry grins for readers of all ages. less...
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Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells
Amazon Says: Nora's back again with a monumental crash! New "of the moment" art focuses even more attention on her as an irresistible character with staying power. A favorite for generatio more...
Amazon Says: Nora's back again with a monumental crash! New "of the moment" art focuses even more attention on her as an irresistible character with staying power. A favorite for generations, Noisy Nora is the hilarious portrayal of what it is to be a middle child. Full color. less...
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Amazon Says: Trixie, Daddy, and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the neighborhood Laundromat. But the exciting adventure takes a dramatic turn when Trixie realizes somebunny was left behind U more...
Amazon Says: Trixie, Daddy, and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the neighborhood Laundromat. But the exciting adventure takes a dramatic turn when Trixie realizes somebunny was left behind Using a combination of muted black-and-white photographs and expressive illustrations, this stunning book tells a brilliantly true-to-life tale about what happens when Daddy's in charge and things go terribly, hilariously wrong. less...
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Rapunzel by Brothers Grimm
Amazon Says: Surely among the most original and gifted of children's book illustrators, Paul O. Zelinsky has once again with unmatched emotional authority, control of space, and narrative more...
Amazon Says: Surely among the most original and gifted of children's book illustrators, Paul O. Zelinsky has once again with unmatched emotional authority, control of space, and narrative capability brought forth a unique vision for an age-old tale. Few artists at work today can touch the level at which his paintings tell a story and exert their hold. Zelinsky's retelling of Rapunzel reaches back beyond the Grimms to a late-seventeenth-century French tale by Mlle. la Force, who based hers on the Neapolitan tale Petrosinella in a collection popular at the time. The artist understands the story's fundamentals to be about possessiveness, confinement, and separation, rather than about punishment and deprivation. Thus the tower the sorceress gives Rapunzel here is not a desolate, barren structure of denial but one of esoteric beauty on the outside and physical luxury within. And the world the artist creates through the elements in his paintings the palette, control of light, landscape, characters, architecture, interiors, costumes speaks to us not of an ugly witch who cruelly imprisons a beautiful young girl, but of a mother figure who powerfully resists her child's inevitable growth, and of a young woman and man who must struggle in the wilderness for the self-reliance that is the true beginning of their adulthood. As ever, and yet always somehow in newly arresting fashion, Paul O. Zelinsky's work thrillingly shows us the events of the story while guiding us beyond them to the truths that have made it endure. less...
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