Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Essential Reading: Treasured Children’s Titles

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Treasured children's titles. Need we say more? Here are six titles sure to please. Enjoy!

Download the list to find it fast at your local bookstore or library.

Caroline Grant, Editor-in-Chief and Columnist writes, "A long-time favorite in our house is the Voyage to the Bunny Planet trilogy by Rosemary Wells. In each small volume, one bunny is having a bad day: Felix is sick in front of the whole art class; Clarie's shoes fill with snow; Robert is served cold liver chili for dinner. The Bunny Queen Janet whisks each one off to the Bunny Planet to see "the day that should have been." On the Bunny Planet, the children are fed first tomato soup or apple pancakes, parents don't forget goodnight kisses, and best of all, when they get home, the bunnies find that the bunny planet was in view all along. We all lose sight of the bunny planet sometimes, and these books are really lovely reminders of what little it can take to turn around a lousy day."

Columnist Cassie Premo Steele shares, "My favorite poet, Joy Harjo, has a beautifully illustrated children's book called The Good Luck Cat, about a cat who runs away and the girl she returns home to. My 9 year old loved it, as did her 3 year old cousin. A definite must for cat lovers of all ages!"

Ezine Co-Editor Jessica DeVoe Riley, shares, "After I heard Brian Selznick's Caldecott acceptance speech, I became interested in reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I was fascinated by what it represented to its creator, Selznick. As far as storyline goes, it's about an orphan who lives in a Paris train station and makes some unusual friends and has even more unusual secrets. The drawings are amazing, and I am looking forward to sitting down and reading it one of these days."

Maria Scala, Columns Editor, writes, "In our home, we adore M�lanie Watt's witty and engaging Scaredy Squirrel series. The first, Scaredy Squirrel, invites readers into the world of an anxious and inventive squirrel who's devised a way to keep everything in his life normal and predictable, for outside the security of his cozy tree is the big 'unknown' that could include killer bees, green Martians, tarantulas, germs, and sharks. But one day Scaredy is forced to take that great leap into the unknown, and he discovers something amazing about himself. Watt's quirky illustrations and asides make this book even more fun. Every time we open up a Scaredy book our daughter has new questions and comments, the sign of a story with staying power. Be sure to check out the others: Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend, Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach, and Scaredy Squirrel at Night."

Literary Reflections Assistant Editor, Christina Marie Speed says, "This is a difficult task. The number we love is innumerable. Many beautiful titles come to mind by authors like Dr. Seuss, Cynthia Rylant, Stan and Jan Berenstain, Mo Willems, Emily Jenkins. But one that we treasure most in our home (to date) would be The Runaway Dinner by Allan Ahlberg. This book has it all: engaging illustrations, adventure, drama, walking food, and a happy ending. The Runaway Dinner finds itself at our dinner table, in the car, tucked into a school backpack, under a pillow, in our conversations -- always with one of our boys. We adore it."

Columnist and Creative Nonfiction Editor, Susan Ito, shares "I wasn't sure what to submit for this (there are so many!) but I must recommend Marjorie Winslow's amazing book, Mudpies and Other Recipes. It is the most charming book you will ever read. It is essentially a cookbook for dolls: it utilizes backyard ingredients like mud, dandelion puffs, twigs and small pebbles in the recipes. Originally published in 1961, I enjoyed it during my own childhood, spending hours 'cooking' recipes in my backyard. When my own children were in preschool, I was able to find a copy (it has been out of print, then resurfaced in the 1990s and seems to be out of print again) and they were just as enchanted. The pen-and-ink illustrations are perfect. Ms. Winslow is the Julia Child of the doll world!"

Christina Marie Speed writes poetry and creative nonfiction. Her work has appeared in a variety of online and print publications, including Caper Journal, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune Online, and The View From Here. She lives with her husband and two sons in a sunny fourth-floor walkup in Brooklyn, New York.

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