October 17, 2013 - 09:00 — PatriciaDaniel

Picture books are a staple for families with young children. Storytime at the library, reading before bedtime, reading the same story over and over (and over) again are familiar to us all. But, is there a time when young children are too old for picture books? I think the answer is a resounding NO! Of course children should expand their selections, moving on to readers and chapter books as well as exploring new topics. Picture books, however, can still be a vital part of your child's reading collection no matter their age. Picture books offer creative, often visually striking pictures combined with bold, rich text that, together, tell stories that entertain, offer information, and even provide insight. There are wordless picture books that offer your child the chance to tell you a story based on her interpretaion of the pictures. Picture books can make you laugh or make you cry; they can even make you think. They can be silly stories about an elephant and a piggie, or they can tackle difficult issues such as bullying or a death in the family. Check these stories out! No one's too old for picture books!

small book cover - nanaNana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaola. Tom loves to visit his grandmother and great-grandmother. When there is a death in the family, Tom becomes very upset. His parents gently explain what has happened, leaving Tom sad, but comforted. Tomie dePaola, author of Strega Nona, tackles the difficult subject of death in a thoughtful and clear manner.

small book cover - stuckStuck by Olver Jeffers. "It all began when Floyd's kite became stuck in a tree." So begins this hilarious story of Floyd and his attempts to get his kite unstuck. There are plenty of twists and turns as Floyd tries to use more and more outrageous items to help rescue his kite. After several attempts, Floyd's kite finally falls from the tree, but it seems Floyd has forgotten something.

small book cover - soldiersAnd The Soldiers Sang by J. Patrick Lewis & Gary Kelley. This story is a stark and powerful re-telling of the Christmas Truce that occured on Chrismas Eve, 1914. German and Allied soldiers left their trenches and met each other in No-Man's-Land, singing Christmas carols, trading jokes and stories, and even sharing a holiday supper. This is a remarkable story of peace in the midst of war.

small book cover - janeMe. . . Jane by Patrick McDonnell. In this picture book biography, the author focuses on the young Jane Goodall, exploring her traits of insatiable curiousity and boundless determination. Patrick McDonnell, author of the Mutts comic strip, combines imaginative illustrations with simple text to create a delightful and informative story of how Jane Goodall became the world renowned scientist and activist that she is today.

small book cover - lionThe Lion & The Mouse by Jerry Pinkney. In this nearly wordless and beautifully illustrated picture book, Jerry Pinkney presents the old fable of the Lion and the Mouse. The 2010 Caldecott Medal winning story is expressed using rich and sumptuous watercolor illustrations. The pictures effectively tell the story, yet allow for interpretation. The lavish and detailed illustrations invite you to discover something new each time you open this extraordinary book.