When I wrote my post on my top fifty Aussie kids’ and YA books of all time, two of the first people I wanted to look at it were my mum and dad. Both teachers and avid bibliophiles, I knew they would both have strong opinions on the books I’d chosen.
My dad is particularly into YA literature, and is planning to write me a list of his favourite YA titles “when the dreaded reports are finished”.
My mum’s area of expertise is picture books, and the first thing she said to me after reading the list was that I had neglected to include enough titles in her favourite format.
My love affair with picture books is really only just beginning. Of course, I read picture books as a kid – and was read to – but I started reading “chapter books” fairly early, and rejected picture books as “babyish” at quite a young age. Of course, I had my favourites. I loved Sebastian Lives in a Hat and Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge; the Hairy MacLary series (although Scarface Claw scared me so much I sometimes had to hide the book under the bed. What effect I expected this to have, I’m not sure but it made me feel better!) and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The Pain and the Great One was another beloved title, because it seemed to mirror my own life so exactly. I have a little brother. When we were little, his nickname was Richard the Pitchard the Potchard the Pain. His name for me was, inexplicably, Boo Boo. See how painful he was? And how, obviously, much greater I was???
But I digress. Apart from those few picture books, my true reading loves as a kid were, from fairly early on, novels. It’s only in the past few years, having worked in libraries and book shops and under the influence of Mum and my good friend, Christina Booth, that I’ve realised just how awesome picture books are.
But I’m still learning. Mum’s an expert.
My mum is a teacher librarian (one of the sadly dwindling number in Tasmania – but that’s a whole other blog post in itself), for whom picture books are a passion.
So, I couldn’t think of anyone better to write a post in answer to mine – one where picture books are the focus. So, picture book lovers (and I know there are lots of you out there), what do you think of Mum’s list? What should have been on there? What are some of your favourite picture books – Aussie or international?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. My picture book education is only just beginning. I’m eager to learn as much as I can about the incredible, diverse, vibrant and totally un-childish format of the picture book, so please send me your suggestions!
Anyway, to the list!
Vicki’s Top 50
- Animalia, Graeme Base
- Bear and Chook, Lisa Shanahan
- Potato Music, Christina Booth
- Chatterbox, Margaret Wild
- Home, Narelle Oliver
- Luke’s Way of Looking, Nadia Wheatley
- My Dog, John Heffernan
- The Red Tree, Shaun Tan
- In Flanders Fields, Norman Jorgensen
- Reggie Queen of the Street, Margaret Barbalet
- Baby Boomsticks, Margaret Wild
- Queenie, Corinne Fenton
- Two Summers, John Heffernan
- Where is the Green Sheep, Mem Fox
- Bertie and the Bear, Pamela Allen
- Refugees, David Miller
- Run Hare Run, John Winch
- Diary of a Wombat, Jackie French
- Dragon Quest, Allan Baillie
- Too Loud Lily, Sophie Laguna
- Millie, John Marsden
- Too Many Pears, Jackie French
- Little Humpty, Margaret Wild
- Pudding and Chips, P E Matthews
- Piglet and Papa, Margaret Wild
- Brian Banana Sunshine Duck Yellow, Chris McKimmie
- Kestrel, Mark Svendsen
- The Peasant Prince, Li Cunxin
- How to Heal a Broken Wing, Bob Graham
- Little Cat and the Big Red Bus, Jane Godwin
- Special Kev, Chris McKimmie
- Applesauce and the Christmas Miracle, Glenda Millard
- Puffling, Margaret Wild
- Little Blue, Gaye Chapman
- Mirror, Jeannie Baker
- Precious Little, Julie Hunt and Sue Moss
- Possum Magic, Mem Fox
- The Violin Man, Colin Thompson
- Fox and Fine Feathers, Narelle Oliver
- Rose Meets Mr Wintergarten, Bob Graham
- Let’s Get a Pup, Bob Graham
- The Rabbits, John Marsden
- The Staircase Cat, Colin Thompson
- Cat and Fish, Joan Grant
- John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat, Jenny Wagner
- My Place, Nadia Wheatley
- Greetings From Sandy Beach, Bob Graham
- My Farm, Alison Lester
- The Arrival, Shaun Tan
- Drac and the Gremlin, Allan Baillie
What do you think? Did she get it right? What is YOUR favourite picture book?