Childhood favourites (Was Oh the horror!)

jstallcup at jstallcup at
Wed Feb 12 17:12:39 EST 2003


I would like to make an argument for including picture books, simply
because good ones, like good longer novels or chapter books, are
incredibly rich and complex and contribute every bit as much to becoming
a reader as do longer books.  Of course there are bad ones as well, just
as there are bad novels.  But that doesn't mean that we should dismiss
them all out of hand.  

My favorite "first day of class" question is, "But, Dr. Stallcup, these
are (pause for effect, wrinkle nose) picture books!  How are earth are we
going to be able to write a whole two pages about one?"  And of course,
by the end of the third or fourth week, they can see that we could, if we
wanted to, write an entire book about one picture book if we really
wanted to.  

As someone who is immersed in picture books in my daily life, I say, more
power to 'em!  They made me a reader!  If I were to list my childhood
favorites, which I haven't because really, that just seemed like a
daunting task, picture books would rank right up there with the chapter
books and novels...

Jackie S.

On Wed, 12 Feb 2003 20:49:22 +0000 "Gili Bar-Hillel"
<abhillel at> writes:
> >widdy who still can't believe he didn't add "How the Grinch Stole 
> >Christmas" >at the top of his favourites!
> I think the kind of books we discuss on this list sort of predispose 
> us, 
> when asked to name childhood favorites, to think of reading books as 
> opposed 
> to picture books.
> Most of the books on Jackie's list are books I would classify as 
> picture 
> books. I suspect that people who name picture books as their 
> favorite 
> childhood books are people who were less avid readers than the 
> average 
> person participating on this list. Not that I have anything against 
> picture 
> books, I love picture books and we have a huge collection of them - 
> three 
> shelves full in Roi's room, which is a lot if you consider how 
> skinny they 
> are. But when I think of childhood favorites, I think of books I 
> enjoyed 
> *reading*, not books I enjoyed looking through or having read to 
> me.
> Roi's favorite book right now is "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". 
> Usually he 
> doesn't have much concentration for other books. He also has two 
> "Spot" 
> books that he likes because he can press the buttons to make a lot 
> of noise, 
> he's a very noisy little boy. His mummy would rather read him "Where 
> the 
> Wild Things Are", "Little Bear", "Babar the Elephant", "The 
> Gruffalo" - 
> actually, ANYTHING that is not the noisy Spot books. But it seems 
> that at 
> this stage in his life, Roi thinks the three most important things 
> to look 
> for in a book are:
> 1. does it make interesting noises
> 2. does it have holes you can stick your finger in
> 3. does it taste good
> I sincerely hope his criteria change later in life.
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