For an introductory exercise for LIS 6510 with Suzanne Todd, we were asked to share our favorite children’s book (pre-school – grade 3)…

I found the exercise to be slightly challenging. I loved (and still love) books! Growing up in the Village of Oxford, just two blocks away from the library’s location (before they moved), I used to pull my red Radio Flyer wagon (with the removable wooden sides) to the library for the purpose of hauling away literary treasures. The children’s librarian, Mrs. Cruickshank, was incredibly friendly and engaging — I felt like the library was my second home.

One of the books that sticks out in my mind is Animalia (ISBN 13: 978-0810918689). I remember looking at the beautiful illustrations and competing with my best friend, Alexis, to identify the objects.

Publisher’s Weekly review: “Base has created an ABC book that goes far beyond a simple listing of items in alphabetical order. There are captions or headlines accompanying each letter’s scene, such as “Eight Enormous Elephants Expertly Eating Easter Eggs,” or “Two Tigers Taking the 10:20 Train to Timbuktu.” Each picture is replete with an apparently random choice of objects that have in common (on every page but the one for the letter X) their first letters. This Australian import makes for a delightful visual feast, though it lacks a clear conceptual coherence or unity of action or meaning on every page. No matter readers will have a fine time guessing at objects and searching for a small child who hides among the pages; and the meticulous artistry is far-reaching in its innovation, detail and humor. Base’s monumental effort will not go unrewarded; if books could be honored for the sheer number of hours readers could pore over crammed pages, and for the inexhaustible supply of extra touches, this one surely would be a winner. All ages.”

Other books that could easily have made this top spot: Bedtime for Frances (Hoban), Where the Wild Things Are (Sendak), Paper John (David Small), James and the Giant Peach (Dahl),  anything by Shel Silverstein, Caps for Sale (Slobodkina),  The Velveteen Rabbit (Williams), and anything Curious George (Rey). There was a non-fiction book that I had in my personal collection in which I often read in the summer months: What Makes the Wind (Santrey).

What was your favorite?