Our Favorite Children’s Books of 2010
Oh, how the year flies by. My favorite parenting quote from a Mom Friend: the days are long but the years are short. I know that I should have posted this around the first of the year, even New Year’s Eve but I am not that together. But as I look back on the year and think about all the books my kids and I read together, it brings back warm, fuzzy memories of snuggling, laughing, and just enjoying a shared experience that loving the same book brings. So I asked my kids to each give me their three favorite books from last year and then I added a few more of my own, though I have to say that I loved their picks as much as they did. I hope you enjoy these books, should you need book recs, as much as we did!
p.s. I noticed that all the book picks are unisex in appeal.
My Kindergartener Son’s Most Requested Books for Me to Read to Him of 2010
10. A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee
If a little boy could plan his perfect summer, it might be something like a couple of weeks in this story. This book is also hilarious — Marla Frazee has a dry wit that is fun for adults and kids! [preschool through 1st grade]
9. Math Curse by Jon Scieskza, illustrated by Lane Smith
Imagine waking up and finding out that everything in life is a math problem?! Hilarious and full of fun everyday math problems. The next day turns out to be fine, until … science class! [ages 5-9]
8. Pigs Make Me Sneeze (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems
We own almost the entire Elephant and Piggie series but my son picked this book as his favorite. He thinks it is hilarious, especially the part where Piggie wears a crash helmet after being tossed about by Gerald’s big sneezes. This is also one of the first books he learned to read by himself. [ages 2-6]
My 3rd Grade Daughter’s Top 3 Picks
These blurbs are from Philip Ardaugh in this previous post, Top 10: Roald Dahl Books (from Philip Ardaugh)for Roald Dahl Day Today! which is celebrated on September 13th in England.
7. Matilda by Roald Dahl
Matilda is a lovely girl. Her parents aren’t. Matilda loves books and reading. Her parents love conning people and watching telly. School, ruled by the evil Miss Trunchbull, whose speciality is swinging children by their hair and throwing them out of the window, isn’t much better. Then Matilda discovers that she has supernatural powers … [chapter book, ages 8-12]
6. The B.F.G. by Roald Dahl
If flatulence, royalty, and a giant with disproportionately large ears are what you’re after in a story, this is the book for you. Throw in kidnapped orphan Sophie (snatched and taken to Giant Land) and a trumpet that blows dreams into sleeping children’s rooms, and the result is an extraordinary Dahl-esque/Dali-esque vision. [chapter book, ages 8-12]
5. Danny The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
Poaching pheasants from the evil neighbor’s yard, albeit a forest, has never been so much fun. Danny and his father devise a way to derail the big hunt of the season. [chapter book, ages 8-12]
My 5th Grade Daughter’s Top 3 Picks
4. The Pharoah’s Secret by Marissa Moss
Talibah and her younger brother, Adom, accompany their father, an Egyptologist, to his homeland of modern Egypt and end up in a time travel adventure involving the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut, Hatshepsut, her single, handsome but common-born architect Senenmut, a jealous vizier Hapuseneb, and her daughter Neferure. The mystery of the past that Talibah and Adom must solve leads them to discover their true identity and the truth behind the mysterious death of their mother. [chapter book: ages 8 -14]
3. The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart
My daughter raved about this series and finished the three thick volumes in about a week which is pretty fast for her. This series is appealing to both boys and girls which is a bonus!
2. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
The first book in his new series post-Percy Jackson. The first book of the new series is a great read and I highly recommend it, as does my 5th grade daughter. (Don’t worry, Percy and Annabeth are in the series). Roman versus Greek Gods was occupying my mind. Riordan does a great job converging the two sets of seemingly similar deities yet pointing out the differences between the two (who knew?!). [chapter book, ages 8-14]
My Pick of the Year Reading with My Kids
1. Art and Max by David Wiesner
This book is a contender for a Caldecott and if David Wiesner wins, he will be among a small handful to have won this prestigious award for best artwork three times. If he wins a fourth time, he sets a world record. I have to say that Wiesner is probably the most creative mind out there in picture book land. He brings an interesting, unpredictable-but-captivating twist to all his books which makes them so amazing. In the case of Art and Max, there are so many layers to the book. It’s hard to describe exactly how amazingly well done this book is, but on every level — story, illustrations, creativity, characters — it’s outstanding. I’d be really surprised if he did NOT win. [He didn’t win but it’s such a good book!!!]
George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl
My daughter is on a Roald Dahl jag and so we’ve read 4 books with several more lined up. She didn’t like this book as much as the three she listed above, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters are quirky. When George, a young boy, mixes up a crazy batch of “medicine” from everything he can lay his hands on in his house and barn, he feeds it to his cantankerous grandmother. This causes her to grow so tall, her head sticks out of the house. Surprisingly, George’s Dad does not freak out but instead wants to make up much more “medicine” to sell. It turns out to be difficult to duplicate but this has implications for Grandma who gets her just desserts!
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.