One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey

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This week’s featured title is . . .

One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey

Sal, her younger sister Jane, and parents enjoy their summer months at their seaside home in Maine. An ordinary day–which includes digging clams for supper and taking a boat to the nearest town for supplies–becomes exciting when Sal loses her first tooth, in more ways than one!

Robert McCloskey is a children’s book author with an excellent corpus. His endearing stories are pulled off the shelf by my children constantly and I enjoy reading them as often as I am asked.

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My children appreciate most McCloskey’s memorable and relatable characters, especially the older sister in One Morning in Maine, Sal. Much of the humor of One Morning in Maine is Sal’s reaction to the loss of her first tooth and how she attempts to make her “lost tooth wish” come true despite physically losing the tooth in a clam-filled mud pile. McCloskey understands the thought processes of a child so well it was no surprise for me to learn that Sal and her younger sister, Jane, are based on McCloskey’s own children.

Along with his excellent storytelling are McCloskey’s impressive charcoal illustrations. The illustrations in One Morning in Maine, in particular a double-page spread of Buck Harbor, are some of his finest work. When combined with the text’s vivid descriptions you can almost smell the sea air and feel the muddy sand on your fingers while Sal digs for clams with her father or the water splashing your face from the sides of their boat.

Another praiseworthy element of One Morning in Maine is the portrayal of Jane and Sal’s relationship as sisters. I am always pleased to find a book with a loving sibling interaction because my children imitate what they read. The final exchange between the two sisters—where Sal steps into the role of taking more responsibility for her younger sister—is the final note of the story, teaching a child that the milestones of life are opportunities for growth and maturity.

Longer than most picture books, I recommend this book for ages 4+. Children around this age also can begin to look forward to their first tooth falling out!

Other delightful books by Robert McCloskey:

Blueberries for Sal

Make Way for Ducklings

Lentil

Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man

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Read more about the life and work of Robert McCloskey here. I was delighted to learn that McCloskey bought live ducks from a local market to use as models for Make Way for Ducklings. He would observe them as they waddled around his studio!

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The Empty Pot by Demi

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This week’s featured title is . . .

The Empty Pot by Demi

An aging Chinese emperor gives each child in his country a flower seed and after a year’s time the child with the most beautiful pot of flowers will be named his successor.

A young boy named Ping tends to the seed with care all year, but is unable to grow any blooms. Will Ping present his pot to the emperor?

The Empty Pot, through its timeless tale and exquisite illustrations, teaches children the importance of honesty and integrity.

Recommended for ages 4-7.

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Winter & Snow Picture Books

This morning my daughter called me to the window because she discovered a white peak that had formed over the night on our little bird feeder. It was a charming sight! The fresh powdery snow sat like a small cap on the feeder. As I looked around at the snow trimming the rails of our porch, the bare trees, and the roofs of the houses behind our home, the last line of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem “Winter-Time” came to mind: 

“And tree, and house, and hill and lake / Are frosted like a wedding-cake.”

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My children are especially excitable this winter because we lived in Southern Texas for three years where we had one dusting of snow (emphasis on the dusting). They will finally be able to experience the joys of sledding down a hill and building a snowman taller than themselves.

Snow doesn’t need an introduction but I’ve been reading my children books about snow since they were toddlers and it has only increased their anticipation for their first big Midwest snowfall.

We have read MANY winter books over the years, but this is a list of the ones we love most. I hope these delightful books make their way into your library bag or on your bookshelf and that you enjoy them as much as we do!

Winter Booklist:

thebigsnoq

The Big Snow by Berta and Elmer Hader

bunnyslopes

Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda

katyandthebigsnow

Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton

themitten

The Mitten by Jan Brett

owlmoon

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

sleeptightfarm

Sleep Tight Farm by Eugenie Doyle

thesnowglobefamily

The Snow Globe Family by Jane O’Connor

thesnowyday

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

stoppingbywoods

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, illustrated by Susan Jeffers

thestoryofsnow

The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino

timetosleep

Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming

whitesnowbrightsnow

White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt

winterdays

Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE PDF BOOKLIST


Now it’s your turn! What are your family’s favorite picture books about wintertime? Please share in the comments below.

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Best Picture Books for Toddlers

My eldest daughter Lucy loved pulling books from the little shelf in our apartment living room as a toddler. She would sit with them tucked between her chubby knees and turn the pages continually.

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Circa 2015

The books began to tear from her daily routine. My first instinct was to put them high where she could not reach them so they could be preserved for her future siblings.

It took me a few years–and two more children–to realize that often the best picture books are the ones that end up torn, taped, re-taped, and broken at the binding from being opened so many times. They are the ones that end up in my lap for the tenth day in a row with the words, “Mama, book?”

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So many memories shared between the pages of our duct-taped binding of Blueberries for Sal.

Here is a list of the books that have been beloved by my toddler-aged children:

appleydapply

Appley Dapply’s Nursery Rhymes by Beatrix Potter

areyoumymother

Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

blueonblue

Blue on Blue by Dianne White, illustrated by Beth Krommes

blueberriesforsal

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

brownbearbrownbear

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

capsforsale

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

cecilyparsley

Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes by Beatrix Potter

corduroy

Corduroy by Don Freeman

diggersgo

Diggers Go by Steve Light

freighttrain

Freight Train by Donald Crews

thegingerbreadboy

The Gingerbread Boy by Paul Galdone

goingtosleeponthefarm

Going to Sleep on the Farm by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

godoggo

Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman

goodnightgorilla

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

goodnightmoon

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

harolandthepurplecrayon

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

haveyouseenmyduckling

Have You Seen My Duckling? by Nancy Tafuri

thehouseinthenight

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson

iamabunny

I am a Bunny by Richard Scarry

ifyougiveamouseacookie

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

jessebearwhatwillyouwear

Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy Carlstrom

thelittlenenginethatcould

The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper

madeline

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

makewayforducklings

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

moobalalala

Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton

mrbrowncanmoo

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss

myfirstwinnie

My First Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne (poetry)

myveryfirstmothergoose

My Very First Mother Goose by Iona Opie

thenappinghouse

The Napping House by Audrey & Don Wood

1isone

1 is One by Tasha Tudor

patthebunny

Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book) by Dorothy Kunhardt

pellesnewsuit

Pelle’s New Suit by Elsa Beskow

apicnicwithmonet

A Picnic with Monet by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober, and others in the “Mini Masters” series

poemstoreadtotheveryyoung

Poems to Read to the Very Young by Josette Frank, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin

putmeinthezoo

Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire

richardscarrybest

Richard Scarry’s Best Storybook Ever by Richard Scarry

asickdayforamos

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead

thesnowyday

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

thetaleofpeterabbit

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

tenredapples

Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins

thetigerwhocametotea

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

theverybusyspider

The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

theveryhungrycaterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

whistleforwillie

Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats

whomadethiscake

Who Made This Cake? by Chihiro Nakagawa

 

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE PDF BOOKLIST


Which picture books does your toddler pull off the shelf again and again? Please share in the comments below.

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