A good children’s book is surprisingly hard to find.
Perhaps I am a hard critic, but I must say that I am largely underwhelmed by the majority of the books that we check out from the library. They tend to be unimaginative, embarrassingly trite, lacking in depth and character development, and crudely illustrated.
On the flip side, there are some children’s books that far surpass adult books in beauty and original writing. For your reading pleasure, here are 5 of our favorite picture books that are not particularly well-known:
Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli
Mr. Hatch works at the shoelace factory and lives an uninspired, ho-hum life…until he receives an anonymous note in the mail that turns his life upside-down. A lovely story about the power of human kindness.
The Chimpanzees of Happytown by Giles Andrae
The Town of Drabsville USA is dreary, boring, and grey…until a passionate and energetic monkey shows up and colors the world. It gloriously illustrates the power that one individual can have to transform an entire community.
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe
Two beautiful daughters – one with a cold heart, one with a kind heart. A noble and handsome prince must choose a wife. Will love win out? [The answer is: Yes.]
What Charlie Heard by Mordecai Gerstein
Author Mordecai Gerstein brilliantly writes the biography of American Composer Charles Ives in a way that appeals to both young and old. His use of the pen is pure music and the illustrations are wondrous. P.S. If you have a chance to get this one as an audio book, DO IT. Hearing Mordecai read his work aloud is an auditory delight.
Martha Doesn’t Say Sorry by Samantha Berger
Martha the Otter is occasionally naughty and, unfortunately, she is not very good at apologizing. In the end, however, she does learn the benefits of saying sorry. Clever illustrations. Fun to read aloud.
What are your favorite lesser-known children’s books? Have you read any or all of the books on my list?