Classic Picture Books

I just got done reading Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom about the influential editor and director of Harper’s Department of Books for Boys and Girls. Many of the books Ms. Nordstrom edited are classic picture books that still have universal appeal to children today.

Ms. Nordstrom published the Carrot Seed written by Ruth Kraas and illustrated by Crocket Johnson. Apparently controversial when first published in 1945, the book tells the story of a little boy who planted a carrot seed and took great care of it despite his family warning him that a carrot might not come up.

She also worked with Margaret Wise Brown and illustrator Clement Hurd on Goodnight Moon, which was first published in 1947.  The story is about a little bunny saying goodnight to everything in and even outside his bedroom, possibly to delay bedtime. Margaret Wise Brown also wrote Big Red Barn, illustrated by Felicia Bond, which introduces children to a variety of farm animals.

Where the Wild Things by Maurice Sendak and The Giving Tree  by Shel Silverstein were also published under Ms. Nordstrom’s guidance.

What classic picture books are you reading to your children?

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