A Hole Is to Dig

A Hole Is to Dig by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Maurice Sendak (HarperTrophy, 1989). $6.95.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell’s.

Imagine “Kids say the darndest things” bound into a picture book. And imagine that the illustrations were done in the most charming fashion by Maurice Sendak. And voila! You have the wonderful, whimsical and purse-sized A Hole Is to Dig. Your child will giggle with delight when you read these wacky definitions together. 48 pages.

— Danielle Marshall and the Kids’ Team at Powells.com

The Maggie B.

The Maggie B., by Irene Haas
Margaret K. McElderry Books (1975), $18.95
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell’s

One of the sweetest, homiest, and most quietly comforting picture books ever published. Those who know The Maggie B. count it as one of their all-time favorites. If you are just about to discover it, get ready to buy multiple copies to give to every child of picture-book age. 32 pages.

— Danielle Marshall and the Kids’ Team at Powells.com


Marshmallow by Clare Newberry (HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2008). $6.99.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell’s.

A cuddly but longer read-aloud that is perfect for bedtime. Parents need to know that this award-winner from 1943 deserves its classic status. There’s a reason that this book has lasted so long in print. From the stellar illustrations to the somewhat long-winded but sweet story, it’s a picture book that resonates with kids. Miss Tilly brings fluffy bunny Marshmallow home to live with her tabby cat Oliver. The book charts the small family’s adjustment to one another with lots of homey details and enough subtle insight to weather repeated readings. 32 pages.

— Common Sense Media

No Roses for Harry!

No Roses for Harry! by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham, (HarperTrophy, 1976). $6.99.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell’s.

Harry, the loveable little dog featured in this sequel to Harry the Dirty Dog, once again mimics a child’s behavior when he receives a sweater from grandma that he doesn’t like. From “losing” it in a store, to hiding it in the house, Harry does everything he can to keep from wearing the rose-covered sweater. I recommend this to anyone who has a soft spot for a dirty dog or who has ever received a present that ended up in the back of the closet. 32 pages.

— Danielle Marshall and the Kids’ Team at Powells.com

The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark

The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist, illustrated by Julia Gorton (Cartwheel Books, 2007). $7.99.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell’s.

In this take on “The Three Little Pigs,” Jim builds a house of seaweed, Tim makes a sand house, and Kim constructs a wooden ship house that saves them all. Easy, patterned language makes this book very accessible to early readers. 32 pages.

— Children’s Choices

Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (Harper Collins, 25th Anniversary edition, reprinted 1988). $8.95.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell’s.

Originally published in 1963, this is the story of Max, who puts on a wolf suit, causes mischief, gets sassy with his mother and is sent to bed without any dinner. The story is one of escaping into a child’s imagination when he’s on the outs with Mom. Max’s room becomes a forest, he finds he has his own boat and then sails off “in and out of weeks…to the place where the wild things are.” There, he is not impressed with the posturing of the wild things, and without much ado, he becomes their king. The color illustrations are some of Sendak’s best (he won the 1964 Caldecott Medal for them), and the wild things are very huggable-looking. This is a bedtime classic that transcends time. 48 pages.

— Pauline Harris

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