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Classic Picture Books (Ages 3-8)

Story and art are equal partners in the world of picture books. Words and pictures work together to lead children -- and adults -- on a whirlwind tour of the imagination. Some books have a few (or no) words on each page, while others have several paragraphs; art ranges from cartoonish to abstract to painterly. There's something for everyone in this category that covers the silly as well as the sublime.

CLASSICS
A Kids Reads classic book is one that has been entertaining kids and parents for at least 10 years and is still going strong.

1. THE SNOWMAN
by Raymond Briggs
Random House, 1978
ISBN: 0394884663
A boy dreams that the snowman he built comes to life in this tender, wordless picture book. Their magical adventures include flying through the sky.

2. CAPS FOR SALE
by Esphyr Slobodkina
Harper & Row, HarperCollins, 1947, Paperback, 1987
ISBN: 0064431436
In this well-loved story, mischievous monkeys make off with the cap peddler's goods while he takes a nap.

3. CURIOUS GEORGE
by H. A. Rey
Houghton Mifflin, 1942, Paperback, 1973
ISBN: 039515023X
Curiosity seems to get George the monkey into lots of fixes -- luckily the man in the yellow hat is always around to help him out.

4. THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD
by Watty Piper
illustrated by George and Doris Hauman
Platt & Munk, 1930
ISBN: 0448189631
I think I can, I think I can...recommend this inspiring classic for all very young readers. The text is slightly challenging, the theme is ideal. Empower your little reader with THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD.

5. MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS
by Robert McCloskey
Viking, 1941, Paperback, 1976
ISBN: 0140501711
A mother duck and her ducklings cause a traffic jam when they cross the road to the pond in Boston's Public Gardens. This book won a Caldecott Medal for its illustrations.

6. THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT
by Beatrix Potter
Warne, 1902
ISBN: 0723236404
Peter the naughty bunny disobeys his mother and sneaks into Mr. McGregor's for some fresh vegetables. Unfortunately he almost winds up as Mr. McGregor's dinner. This dapper rabbit with the blue jacket is a family favorite.

7. THE NUTSHELL LIBRARY
by Maurice Sendak
Harper & Row, HarperCollins, 1962
ISBN: 0060255005
Four tiny books -- Alligators All Around: An Alphabet; Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months; One Was Johnny: A Counting Book; and Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue -- fit snugly into a small box.

8. MADELINE
by Ludwig Bemelmans
Viking, 1939, Paperback, 1977
ISBN: 0140501983
Ooo la la! The plucky French school girl shakes up the world of her fellow classmates and their headmistress Miss Clavel. Bemelman's old-fashioned drawings of Paris landmarks and street scenes enliven this and subsequent Madeline adventures.

9. HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON
by Crockett Johnson
HarperCollins, 1955, Paperback, 1981
ISBN: 0064430227
When he can't sleep, Harold draws himself a series of adventures. His pictures of a rocket ship, a sail boat and stairs come to life and lead him on a fun fantasy ride.

10. CORDUROY
by Don Freeman
Viking, 1968, Paperback, 1976
ISBN: 0140501738
A lonely stuffed bear named Corduroy waits impatiently to be adopted from the department store shelf. Lucky for him, a little girl named Lisa gives him a warm and loving home.

11. THE SNOWY DAY
by Ezra Jack Keats
Viking, 1962, Paperback, 1976
ISBN: 0140501827
Peter, a young African American boy, ventures out into the newly fallen snow wearing his spiffy red snowsuit. Peter has a grand time exploring his urban neighborhood, which has been transformed by the weather. Keats won the Caldecott Medal for this title. Other books about Peter include WHISTLE FOR WILLIE.

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CeReality: 5 Families, 5 Stories, 1 Critical Meal

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