Sunday, December 4, 2011

Picture Books and Stories for the Youngest Children

Picture Books and Stories for the Youngest Children

Recommended Books from Young Years Library: Mother's Guide to Children's Reading by Rachele Thomas, Parents' Magazine's Press, 1963. {LOC 63-15865}

Young Years Library was a five or 10-volume anthology of reading material for children. The product evolved over the years, but generally it was sold direct to parents who wanted to provide an educational or literary advantage to their children. Many of the great children's librarians of the day were involved, including the pioneering Augusta Braxton Baxter. My copy, published in 1963, includes a 72-page list of recommended books for various ages and stages. To my eye, the larger majority of these books have long since been forgotten, not least because of the revolution in children's literature that took place following the publication that year of Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. I'll be transcribing the sections of the Mother's Guide to Children's Reading reading list, one by one, in hopes of providing a starting point for modern mamas looking to explore more unusual, likely out-of-print book suggestions, beyond those usually included in generally available contemporary reading prescriptions. Copyright, of course, remains with Home Library Press.

After the Sun Goes Down, by Rainey Bennett, illustrated by the author. World.
While all good children are in bed, three little owls romp through the night.

Angus and the Ducks, by Marjorie Flack, illustrated by the author. Doubleday.
The humorous adventures of a Scottie when he breaks his leash. Sequels are:
     Angus and the Cat
     Angus Lost

Bedtime for Frances, by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Garth Williams. Harper.
Just as children hate to go to bed, so does this little badger.

The Big Rain, by Francoise Seignobosc, illustrated by the author. Scribner.
In this Jeanne-Marie adventure the little French heroine saves her grandmother's life and the lives of the farm animals in a great flood. Other Jeanne-Marie adventures include:
     Jeanne-Marie Counts Her Sheep
     Springtime for Jeanne-Marie
     Jeanne-Marie at the Fair

Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey, illustrated by the author. Viking.
When picking blueberries, little Sal and her mother come upon Little Bear and his mother.

Coloco is a little donkey who lives with a poor fisherman and his family on an island in the Adriatic Sea. The sequel is:
     Cocolo Comes to America

Come Again, Pelican, by Don Freeman, illustrated by the author. Viking.
A little boy and his pelican friend go fishing.

The Complete Nonsense Book, by Edward Lear, edited by Lady Strachey. Dodd.
Here are all the limericks, the nonsense tales, the nonsense alphabets and the fabulous nonsense botany of the wonderful Edward Lear, complete with the original Lear illustrations; a classic for more than a century.

The Country Noisy Book, by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard. Harper.
Country animals make funniest sounds. Other titles in the Noisy Book series are:
     The Noisy Book
     The Indoor Noisy Book
     The Quiet Noisy Book
     The Seashore Noisy Book
     The Summer Noisy Book
     The Winter Noisy Book

The Day We Saw the Sun Come Up, by Alice E. Goudey, illustrated by Adrienne Adams. Scribner.
Two little children watch the sun through the day.

Everybody Eats, by Mary MccB. Green, illustrated by Lucienne Bloch. W.R. Scott.
Delightful picture book about what animals eat.

Flip, by Wesley Dennis, illustrated by the author. Viking.
A colt dreams about jumping a stream before he can actually do it in real life.
Other titles in the Flip series are:
     Flip and the Cows
     Flip and the Morning

The Golden Goose Book, by L. Leslie Brooke, illustrated by the author. Warne.
A favorite picture book of nursery tales; a classic by virtue of its splendid illustrations.
      Available for free online from the Gutenberg Project.

Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd. Harper.
The bedtime tale of a little rabbit who bids goodnight to all the objects in his room.

A favorite picture book for the nursery for several generations, with masterly illustrations by the classic nineteenth-century artist.

A Hole Is to Dig, by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Harper.
"A mountain is to go to the top" is a perfectly logical way for a child to describe a mountain. And what is a package? "To look inside"--naturally. This is a sampling of the wonderfully clever definitions in this book, definitions from a child's point of view.

In the Forest, by Marie Hall Ets, illustrated by the author. Viking.
A charming picture book about a little boy's adventures as he walks through a forest and plays with the animals he meets. More animal stories from the same author:
     Mister Penny's Circus
     Another Day
     Mister Penny's Race Horse
     Play With Me
     Cow's Party

Juanita, by Leo Politi, illustrated by the author. Scribner.
Tender picture story of a little girl's birthday party and of a delightful Easter parade of children and their pets.

Katy and the Big Snow, by Virginia Lee Burton, illustrated by the author. Houghton Mifflin.
Katy is a personable bulldozer and she fights bravely against a blizzard of snow.

Let's Be Enemies, by Janice May Udry, illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Harper.
Hilarious tale of a quarrel and reconcilation between two friends.

The Little Engine That Could, by Watty Piper, illustrated by George and Doris Hauman. Platt.
The classic story of the heroic little engine that knew it could get over the mountain top.

Little Old Automobile, by Marie Hall Ets, illustrated by the author. Viking.
The little automobile kept saying, "I won't," then one day it had something else to say.

The Little Train, by Lois Lenski, illustrated by the author. Walck.
Story about Engineer Small and his shiny black engine. This is one of a series of Mr. Small books, in each one of which the hero takes on a different role. Other titles are:
     The Little Fire Engine
     The Little Airplane
     The Little Automobile
     Cowboy Small
     The Little Farm
     The Little Sail Boat
     Papa Small

In Mexico, every day for nine days before Christmas, a different party is held for the children. This is the story of one of these parties: A little girl celebrates her first “posada.” A Caldecott Medal winner.

Otto at Sea, by William Pène du Bois, illustrated by the author. Viking.
Adventures of a formidable yet charming dog. Sequels are:
      Otto in Texas
      Otto in Africa

Petunia, by Roger Duvoisin, illustrated by the author. Knopf.
Delightful tale of silly Petunia who thinks that to possess a book makes her wise. Sequels are:
     Petunia and the Song
     Petunia Takes a Trip

Rain Drop Splash, by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard. Lothrop.
A picture book that catches the exquisite beauty of falling rain drops.

Favorite stories and poems to read aloud. Other books in this series are:
     Read Me More Stories, illustrated by Barbara Cooney
     Read to Me Again, illustrated by Garry Mackenzie

The Rooster Crows, by Maud and Miska Petersham, illustrated by the authors. Macmillan.
Familiar American rhymes, finger plays, jingles. A Caldecott Medal winner.

Rosa-Too-Little, by Sue Felt, illustrated by the author. Doubleday.
A little girl achieves her dream of possessing her own library card and borrowing books from the library.

The Snow and the Sun, by Antonio Frasconi, illustrated by the author. Harcourt.
A folk tale from South America in excellent rhyme, with English and accompanying Spanish text.

A very funny French-and-English picture story about two children who visit Paris.

White Snow, Bright Snow, by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated Roger Duvoisin. Lothrop.
An extraordinary book that captures the magic, beauty and excitement of snowfall.

Wonderful Nice! By Irma Selz, illustrated by the author. Lothrop.
A tender story about friendship among the Amish people of Pennsylvania.

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