Monday, March 02, 2009

Your Favorite Picture Books Poll

Betsy Bird, a.k.a. Fuse#8, is compiling the Top 100 Picture Books Poll. Vote for your top ten picture books of all time (not just this year or last year) by 11:59 Eastern on March 31, 2009, and list your books in order of preference. These are not necessarily the books that are critically considered the best, but your personal favorites. For more details, follow the link.


Library Lady said...

I am sort of wincing at the possibilities. Considering what tends to win things like the Cybils, I'm sure that a batch of trendy schmendy books will make the list.

Besides, Betsy works for NYPL, where the "100 Picture Books Every Child Should Know" list has been around forever, and is just as valid today as it was when I worked there in the 80s. And yes, it has been updated over the years.

Meanwhile, I'm working on my own library picture book bibliography. I wrote the first one for our little system back around 1990 and have updated it 3 or 4 times over the years. I'm probably going to put up a list and invite comment somewhere on Good Reads.

Saints and Spinners said...

Library Lady: I was not impressed with some of the books 100 Books Everyone Should Know list. Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing, for an example, was a book I always found to be pointless. I'm glad to see that it's off the list now. On my list of 10 will be underrated books that should have never gone out of print. And sure, Henkes' Kitten's First Full Moon won the Caldecott, but I think Owen (which is also on the list) is more important, and I would have gladly given Kitten's spot to Ziggerbeans-- a book children should know, but don't because it's out of print with no plans ever to bring it back into print. Yes, I take these things personally.

I look forward to your picturebook list.

fusenumber8 said...

"100 Picture Books Every Child Should Know" is, indeed, a fabulous list. It is also at least 10 years old and hasn't been updated since. Besides, I think you'll be impressed with what's garnering votes here. As Tim on my site pointed out it's a lot of nostalgia, but nostalgia spread out amongst a host of different generations. I'm getting a few surprises along the way. For example, who knew the Provensons had such a fan base?

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

Ack! I forgot the Provensons. But you bring up an interesting point, Farida: should we use our lists to promote well-loved but less well-known books, on the theory that others will have The Very Hungry Caterpillar (turning 40 this year!) on their lists? Hmm.

Saints and Spinners said...

Fuse: I am quite interested in what garners the votes. I always appreciate it when someone mentions a book I had once loved but (mostly) forgotten.

Anamaria: I don't think it's a matter of "should" as much as it's what I'm going to do. Some books are just Absolutely Perfect to me. Where the Wild Things are, for example, is a marriage of image and text. Long before AT&T acquired the images and a host of merchandise was spawned from it, the book was just a great book. I know it by heart, and it has colored my dreams. I ask myself though, "Does it need to be on this particular list?" It doesn't need any more press, and I'm sure it's on many other lists. I will have to ponder that.

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

Perhaps one way to think about it might be to stress the word personal in "personal favorites." Some books are the favorites of many persons; I would love a look at the books that have a passionate following of one! Or is that another list entirely?

Library Lady said...

I will look at the list, Betsy, but I've become even more cynical (or maybe I'm just getting old and cranky)over the last few years.
There seems to be a sad trend in awards and lists towards what is "hip" and appeals to parents, librarians and teachers rather than to the kids. A lot of the books being picked for Caldecotts and Newberys in recent times are going to look dated in no time. And that goes double for the "Cybils" IMHO!

Farida, you know Wild Things, and Betsy knows Wild Things, and any children's librarian worth their salt knows Wild Things--and if they have kids, odds are that those kids know Wild Things.

But it's been my sad experience that even when they become movies or other mass media fodder, the actual original print books are often unknown in many less privileged households.

Sure, the kids know the Grinch, or the Cat, but they know him from those awful Jim Carey movies, not even from the fabulous Chuck Jones cartoons. They know Disney's Little Mermaid, not Anderson's.
Etc, etc, etc.

For that matter the average overprivileged kid's "library" is more likely to contain the complete works of Dora the Explorer than Maurice Sendak. I remember giving "Goodnight Moon" to my dear friend as a gift for her SECOND baby. She didn't know the book, even though she had a complete "Disney Library"! (!)

To me the purpose of this sort of list is to remind parents who DID read those books to rediscover them and share them with their kids, and to introduce families where books are not common fodder to stories that transcend boundaries of culture and time, and can do a great deal for their kids. The true classics.

And now I'll get off my soapbox :)

Saints and Spinners said...

Library Lady: Thank you for this last response. I've been out of the main library loop for a few years now, and assume things that I wouldn't if I were still working in a public library environment. Then again, at my last job, I had kids begging me for more recommendations, whereas at the previous job back East, I felt I had to BEG them to read books. Then, when they would take books out, I knew there was a good chance they wouldn't come back. My penultimate branch had a yearly 40%theft rate. It wasn't fair, especially since I was such a softie when it came to forgiving fines.