My erstwhile little brother (now about 6 inches taller than me), a mild-mannered lawyer by day but with an alternate identity as a spouse, parent, and children's book afficionado, sent me the following email the other night. My response was to write back that it seems the wrong person in the family went into the kidlit blogging business. Here, see for yourself:
Of course, I won't send it to Ms. Bird, since the voting's closed
over there, but I thought I'd send my ballot to you, just so you'd know.
I decided to limit myself to books I was had read before the list came out. (Shaun Tan's The Arrival
certainly would have made my list, but I only read it because I saw it
on the Fuse #8 results. Truly amazing, though.) I also don't know what
counts as a picture book, versus an early reader, versus a board book,
versus illustrated nonfiction, versus whatever, so some of my titles
may not, ahem, qualify. And, of course, I don't have a librarian's
knowledge of the canon. Nonetheless, here goes:
You think you're embarrassed shouting at the television? Wait till you catch yourself shouting at a book. The best read-aloud. Ever.
Yes, it's Gorey, with everything macabre, absurd, and arbitrary
that that entails. And it all serves a lovely tale of friendship and
Made me cry when I first read it.
Beautiful, silly, and heroic.
And it should be on your list, too, based on your recent blog posts. :-)
Boynton! BOYNTON! BOYYYYNNN-TOOOONNNNNN!!! Who cares if they're
categorized as board books or whatever? Give Ms. Boynton some love,
people. I suppose her votes were split twenty ways, or it fell into the
wrong category, or maybe there's a snob factor at work because her
lesser stuff sometimes feels less like "art" or "literature" and more
like "product." I don't care. And the verses all scan. And the
illustrations are funnier than Dr. Seuss'.
Tee-hee, again. I worship the illustration entitled "Finding the Vanishing Point."
Yes, she can be on the list twice. It's a tricky feat to be both cozy and hilarious, but she pulls it off here.
Irving and Muktuk: Two Bad Bears (Daniel Pinkwater)
The Piggy in the Puddle (Pomerantz/Marshall)
Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch... (Noble/Ross)
To Market, To Market (Miranda/Stevens)
Max's Breakfast (Rosemary Wells)
Song of Night (Nakamura/Riley)
The Dumb Bunnies Go to the Zoo (Dav Pilkey)
And of course, if I chose my list tomorrow it would look different. I'd bet all of the voters felt this way.
Enjoy, and love to all,
Sheesh. I haven't even read three of these books. Let this be a warning to older siblings every where: the little sibs can catch up mightily. Even if they work in a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FIELD. Bravo, James! And thanks for writing my post for me ;-)