I’ve been thinking about this category for days and days: what picture book would I choose to get top honors? There are so many I like…choosing one feels like choosing a favorite child. So in that vein, I will choose 2: all-around favorite and favorite for toddler/preschool.
This is the title I came back to time and time again. Bluebird, a wordless story, incorporates lessons of friendship, bullying, love and loss. A lonely boy develops a friendship with a little bird, who keeps him company walking to and from school and during school lessons (the bird sits on a nearby tree). It is on one of the walks home that the young boy is approached by bullies. The bluebird is with him and is the one who suffers most. The absence of text makes this a brilliant choice for talking about decision-making, friendship, bullying and loneliness – all themes that children (and adults) have experienced. Be warned: have some Kleenex nearby. Share with ages 4+.
Journey by Aaron Becker
Mr Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
Big Snow by Jonathan Bean
Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller
The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman
That is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems