Picture books can be truly engaging, educational and beautiful. My husband and I spend a lot of time reading books to our children, ages 2 and 5. They in turn spend a lot of time curled up with their favorite books. Our 5 year old, Greysen, is just grasping basic reading skills, so a whole new world of reading is opening up to him. Camden, our precocious 2 year old, will rarely sit still, but loves to sit in front of the bookcase and "read" all of the books - her often word-for-word retelling is amazing.
I think books hold an amazing power for children to learn and grow. Not simply for the language skills, but also the life lessons. I will try to label all of the books that I post so that the topics covered are easier to access. My local librarians are incredibly helpful when it's come to finding books on particular topics: sharing, anger, loss, bullying. I have looked in the past for a website to help me find great books within these topics, but have found none. If you know of any, please share them here.
What better way to start this blog than with our favorite author/illustrator, Charles Fuge. This does not cover one particular topic, but we enjoy his books so thoroughly that he must be the first thing that we share.
I believe our first encounter with Charles Fuge was with his book I Know a Rhino. We happened upon it at the local library and oh what fun!
"I know a Rhino, We like to take tea, I have two sugars, and Rhino has three"
Very simple rhyming and fun animal illustrations. That is probably what we love most about Fuge's books. I don't know a child that doesn't adore animals and his illustrations certainly make the animals adorable.
Sadly, this book is out of print, but you can find it at the library or in used format (that's where I got our copy).
When I discover an author/illustrator that I love, I enjoy searching out their other literature. We have found that we like (and subsequently own) nearly everything that Fuge has written/illustrated.
Bedtime Hullabaloo! is by far our favorite book. Written by David Conway and illustrated by Charles Fuge, Bedtime Hullabaloo! is just so much darn fun. While I've read some critics feel that the alliteration and wordplay is uneven, my whole family thinks it is great fun.
"One night on the silly savannah a ludicrous leopard is leapfrogging to bed..."
Greysen and Camden can recite the whole book (and can tell someone when they've read it incorrectly!). We plan to share it at a Campfire Stories event at our library this week.
Once again, Fuge's illustrations are playful and amusing images of animals.
We have read every book on the list below of Fuge's works and loved them all. His earlier works are not as playful, the animal illustrations are a little more realistic, but still beautiful. We usually give gifts of books and those pictured here are top choice!
Greysen and Camden's review of all of the above books: "We love the animals and the stories that have stuffed animals. We love the animals. We love the animals!"
I tried to label each book as to the main topics or themes covered. I will likely revisit many of these books in future posts.
|Charles Fuge Illustrated Books|
|Whale is Stuck/Whale Gets Stuck||Hayles, Karen||cooperation, problem solving|
|Flea's Best Friend||Fuge, Charles||dogs|
|Dinosaurs! : a spot-the-difference puzzle book||Parker, Steve||puzzle|
|Sam's Sneaker Search||O'Brien, Claire||lost, found, shoes|
|My dad!||Fuge, Charles||dad, father|
|It's a Monster Party!||Pym, Tasha||differences, new friends|
|I Know a Rhino||Fuge, Charles||bedtime, animals, rhyme|
|Trumpet: the little elephant with a big temper||Clarke, Jane||temper, tantrum, anger|
|I Love It When You Smile||McBratney, Sam||bad day, bad mood, smiling|
|Yes We Can!||McBratney, Sam||individuality, friendship|
|This is the Way||Fuge, Charles||animal sounds, animal actions|
|Astonishing Animal ABC||Fuge, Charles||ABC, alphabet, animals|
|Bedtime Hullabaloo||Conway, David||bedtime|
|Three Little Dinosaurs||Fuge, Charles||flight, dinosaurs, friends|
|Sometimes I Like to Curl up in a Ball||Churchill, Vicki||favorite things, bedtime|
|Found You, Little Womat!||McAllister, Angela||getting lost, being found|
|Swim, Little Wombat, Swim!||Fuge, Charles||making new friends, differences|
|Where To, Little Wombat!||Fuge, Charles||adventure, home|
|The Adventures of Little Wombat||multiple||(includes the first four books)|
|Watch Out, Little Wombat!||Fuge, Charles||imagination, monsters|
|Gilbert the Great||Clarke, Jane||loss, making new friends|
|Gilbert in Deep||Clarke, Jane||fearless, danger, adventure|
|Gilbert the Hero||Clarke, Jane||baby, brother|