Picture Book 10X10


It was difficult to come up with a list of only 10—but here it is.  These 10  picture books have stood the test of time for me (well mostly, some are new to me but I’m anticipating that they will stand the test of time).  I chose these books because:

  • I love to use them with students,
  • I turn to them when I need writing inspiration, and
  • they have each deeply touch me in some way.


Oliver CoverOliver by Birgitta Sir is a new favorite —beautifully and simply written about being true to yourself and finding a friend.


All the Places to Love CoverAll the Places to Love, by Patricia MacLachlan is an old favorite.  Thoughtful and descriptive text that touches the heart.  The illustrations are as magical as the text.


My Momma Had a Dancing HeartMy Momma had a Dancing Heart by Libba Moore Gray. The playful language creates a playful mood while also addressing an unbreakable and special bond between a mother and daughter.


My Father's HandsFather’s Hands, by Joanne Ryder is a descriptive piece that captures the bond between father and child.


Water DanceWater Dance by Thomas Locker illustrates the water cycle magically and lyrically.


Midnight in the mountainsMidnight in the Mountains by Julie Lawson is a story about a young girls first trip to the mountains. The quiet calm of the book reminds me of when I used to go upstate with my family.


Kitchen DanceKitchen Dance by Maurice J. Manning is full of fun from the opening page. With onomatopoeia to amazing dialogue it is truly a joyful ride.


Being FrankBeing Frank by Donna Earnhardt is another new favorite of mine.  It’s funny and poignant and can be enjoyed on so many levels.


Amos and BorisAmos & Boris by William Steig is an old time favorite. The language, the characters, the friendship.  I just love everything about this book.


Horton Hears a WhoAnd what picture book list would be complete without one from Dr. Suess.  My all time favorite Dr. Suess book is Horton Hears a Who!.  Some might think it’s been over done, but I disagree.  I will never tire of  the rhythm, the friendships, and of course Horton who sticks to what he believes.

Writing Inspiration: Shells on the Seashore

My friend visited her parents in Delaware right after Sandy.  This is what they found when they walked to the beach. Aside from the astonishing amount of shells as well as the size of them, I’m amazed at how each one seems perfectly formed.  Usually, it’s so difficult to find a shell without cracks or pieces missing – especially shells of this size.

Since I’m participating in PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month), I’m especially sensitive and on the look out for inspiration. This picture certainly got me thinking.  Ideas quickly streamed through my thoughts – Shell City.  Treasures from the Sea. Maybe a poem? So I thought I’d share it.  Maybe you’ll find an idea or two hidden within these perfect shells too.

Let me know.

Writing Inspiration: The Plates in the Window

As my son and I walked around our neighborhood after Sandy we saw an old blue house we hadn’t noticed before.  My son pointed out the plates in the windows and said, “Mom, you could write a story about that house.” And he proceeded to craft the first line – revising as we walked until he liked the rhythm of the words.  Here’s what he settled on. The little blue house across from the school had plates along its windows.

After our walk, while I was sitting at home, under layers of blankets (our power was out), I crafted a story that has real potential.

Here are a couple pictures of the house and the plates.


Let me know if and how it inspires you.