For my Writing Children’s Stories class, I was assigned a project to read several picture books and review them. Having a shameless love for picture books, I excitedly made my way over to the bookstore, sat in the children’s section, and read a nice dose of childhood.
Whether you are a child at heart, have a child of your own, or both, I believe that these are some picture books that are worth flipping through. 🙂
This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
This little fish is pretty bold for stealing a big fish’s hat. He thinks there is no way he can get caught. But does he? Written with few words and illustrated with simple pictures, this book was one of the most enjoyable reads out of my pile. The moral of the story is definitely present, but not in a glaring way. I also found it interesting how the protagonist of the story was the character who did wrong. Klassen is successful in showing that although we are the protagonists of our own lives, we may not always be in the right.
Smoky Night by Eve Bunting, illustrated by David Diaz
It’s a dark, violent night in Daniel’s urban neighborhood, and he, his mother, and his cat, are caught in the midst of the chaos. With the powerful writing of Eve Bunting and the unique illustrations by David Diaz, this book is one that shines light on the nightmares that occur in reality. Not only does this book show us violence through young, innocent, Daniel’s perspective, but it also erases the line that often divides people. There is a shop owner across from Daniel’s apartment that he and his mother do not like very much; but through events and circumstances, their perspectives–and the shop owner’s–changes as they get to know each other. This book is an inspiring and riveting read; it is definitely one to pick up and experience.
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith
Everyone knows who the “Big Bad Wolf” is (if you don’t, click here immediately). However, according to this story, the “Big Bad Wolf” isn’t so bad after all. In fact, he’s the good guy! It turns out that the Wolf just wanted some sugar, but had a terrible cold and a terrible sneeze. He never meant to blow down the pigs’ houses, it just happened accidentally. This book shines the light on one of literature’s most famous antagonists and flips the beloved story of “The Three Little Pigs” upside down. After reading this tale, you’ll not only have a new perspective on the “Big Bad Wolf”, but you’ll also see how the moral of this story can play in real life–for not everyone who is deemed the “bad guy” is always the “bad guy”. With fun illustrations and witty inner monologues, this book is one to add to your fairy tale collection.