Here we are, together again for the Children’s Classics, only this time we get to haul out our trusty old crystal balls and offer up our very own predictions. What qualities do you think a children’s book needs to possess to endure in our collective hearts long enough to warrant classic status? Are there authors who you think can write nothing but classics? What books do you think will grace the shelves alongside a munching caterpillar, a bunny preparing for bedtime, and a fish all on his own?
The majority of my ‘adult’ life has been spent in the daily presence of young children, so my perspective is definitely skewed in favor of the world of picture books. For ten years in my preschool classroom, I made sure to surround my children (and myself!) with the best picture books the library had to offer, and as a parent of three young ones, our home is also a literary treasure chest. When I think of all the contemporary children’s books, it’s an absolute joy to ponder which books my children will be reading to my grandchildren, and perhaps even further down the familial road. While there are many, MANY contenders out there, this pick is a no-brainer for me.
I have professed my love for Mo Willems’ work here before, and I am unashamed to do so again. If we’re talking likely future classics, Willems’ first big hit, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! is required to be on the list. I have honestly read this book aloud too many times to keep count since its release in 2003, and each and every time, I genuinely laugh along with the children. My oldest was just three when we first fell in love with Mo’s work, and the Pigeon and my son were like twins separated at birth (minus the feathers, of course). The Pigeon represents the essence of a preschooler, and that will never change– the enthusiasm, the persistence, the inevitable meltdown (or as we call it, ‘the freaking out page!’). That’s what I think of when I hear the word classic– a book that will never lose its appeal and relevance. No matter if buses become obsolete, I do believe that the Pigeon and his desire to drive one will be around for a long, long time to come.
Now it’s your turn! Link up below to share your prognostications! And mark your calendars for our other upcoming Community posts:
More Children’s Classics this summer:
June 9 — Poetry (individual poems or anthologies)
July 14 — Book Trips (i.e. any books that have inspired a family ‘field trip’ of sorts– maybe to a children’s museum or a museum affiliated with an author, or a visit to the city of a beloved author, or even to something like a local pet store)
August 11 — Adventure! (i.e. any adventure or suspense stories– any children’s reading level)
Other events this month:
May 19 — Kids’ Picks
May 26 — What’s on Your Nightstand?
June 2 — Contemporary Bookclub- Everyone is Beautiful (okay, technically not this month, but close enough!)
Dawn could easily be accused of having a bit of a ‘Mo obsession,’ which she is enthusiastically passing along to her three children. For more book love and other random ramblings, hop over to her blog, my thoughts exactly.