Kids Read - Favorite Books For Youngest Readers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Flannery Fitch   

This September marked a sad day for me—I worked my final shift at Bookshop Santa Cruz. After nine years, I’m heading off to focus on my education. It has been a pleasure recommending children’s books in this magazine over the last couple years, and I hope some of what I’ve recommended has been helpful. For my final two months, I want to showcase a small fraction of the children’s books that have meant the most to me in life. This month, my favorite picture books and a favorite early/young reader!


Glass Shoe, Golden Slipper

By Paul Fleischman

I’ve recommended local author Paul Fleischman’s books more than once, and I have a secret to admit: He’s my step-father. I love all of his books, and recommend them all very highly, but this one, a retelling of the Cinderella story patched together like a quilt out of all the variants of the story from around the world, will forever hold a special place in my heart because it’s dedicated to me.


Miss Rumphius

By Barbara Cooney

Barbara Cooney is, in my opinion, one of the greatest children’s book illustrators of all time. Her colored pencil and watercolor illustrations are unmistakable and utterly lovely. This, both written and illustrated by Cooney, is my personal favorite. I love the worldwide travels of Miss Rumphius, and I think her rule to leave the world a more beautiful place is one we should all strive to achieve.


Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm

By Alice Provensen

There are so many pictures books that could make this list, but this one is really special to me. My copy is worn to death, bits of spine peeling off. A charming book about the resident animals at Maple Hill Farm in Vermont, this book is delightfully clever, and filled with the day-to-day realities of animals and farm life.


The Wump World

By Bill Peet

This charming tale is by one of my all time favorite children’s authors and illustrators. The Wumps live peaceably on their shady planet, until the Pollutions show up and strip it for their own good. The Wumps survive underground, finally resurfacing when they hear the noises recede. They find their world irrevocably changed, but hope still winds its way from the rubble. All of Peet’s books are quirky, perfect for reading aloud, and have wonderful colored pencil illustrations. There are many I love, but this one I love enough to have a back tattoo of the last page!


Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

By William Steig

As a child, I did not even process what a horrifying tale this must be for parents—the donkey Sylvester finds a magic pebble and when attacked by a lion, changes into a rock, where he remains stuck until a magical coincidence frees him. It’s wonderful and beautiful and as an adult, rather bittersweet, but it has a happy ending, and I’ll love it forever.


Possum Magic

By Mem Fox

Grandma Poss wants to protect her little grandpossum, Hush, but Australia is a dangerous place for a young possum, so Grandma Poss turns Hush invisible. It works, but when Hush is ready to be visible again, they don’t know how to make it happen! The possums embark on a voyage across Australia, eating foods that might turn Hush visible again. Charming with lovely illustrations, this is an adorable classic!



By James Howe

Two household pets, Chester the cat and Harold the dog, find their happy home life disrupted when their humans bring home a rabbit. Chester quickly becomes convinced that the bunny is a vampire, and must be stopped at all cost. This is a hilarious, madcap story that is perfect for kids who love animals, love a good laugh, or are easily scared (I was/am all three). If this one is a hit, there's a whole series, each a total delight.


Flannery Fitch was a bookseller at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Her life has been about books since before she could read.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 October 2017 23:35
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