Defamed, disgraced and displaced...Fresh from a career-killing scandal, New York fashion girl, Maya Kirkwood, arrives in San Francisco to reinvent herself as a fine artist. She's offered the opportunity to create an installation at the Silicon Valley headquarters of a hot new tech company. Fabulous, right?Not so much.She can't stand Derek Whitley - wunderkind software genius and CEO of the company. Hot as he may be on the outside, inside the man is a cold, unemotional, robotic type. Way too left-brained for her right-brained self.As Maya and Derek get to know each other, however, their facades begin to crack. She catches her first glimpse of the man behind the superhuman tech prodigy, and he starts to see her as the woman she used to be. But is this a good thing? Once that last secret is revealed, will it bring them closer together or will it tear them apart?
I’m sure it will come as no surprise that I’ve been an avid bookworm all my life. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting next to my mom while she read to me. Here’s my list of Top Ten Timeless Picture Books:
1. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Best Bedtime Story Ever! The combination of the soft, rhythmic words and the slowly darkening pictures can lull the most hyperactive child into dream world. “Goodnight moon, goodnight air. Goodnight noises everywhere.” I’m getting sleepy just thinking about it!
2. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
This enchanting little book is all about unleashing your imagination and dreaming big. If any of you out there haven’t read it, it’s about a clever little boy who creates an entire world of filled with beauty and adventure using nothing but his purple crayon.
3. Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel
The Frog and Toad books were clearly written to teach young children about the importance of friendship as the two characters help each other out with various dilemmas, console each other and have fun together. So sweet!
4. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Feisty, fearless Madeline is a riot. She bravely faces not just the tiger in the zoo, but also the doctor at the hospital. Another book about friendship and caring, Miss Clavel and the other little girls rally around Madeline when she’s ill, demonstrating how much they care about her.
5. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
Although I mostly remember it as a pretty picture book, there’s an important theme here about family and happiness. Sylvester the donkey thinks all his wishes will come true when he finds the magic pebble, but in the end he comes to realize he already had everything he could want – love and family.
6. Ann Likes Red by Dorothy Z. Seymour
I’m not quite sure why I loved this book so much. It’s about a little girl who is always being persuaded to try different colored clothes (a blue dress, a brown hat, etc.) but she refuses to wear anything that’s not red. Red Red Red! She’s kind of a brat, but in a way, you have to admire her conviction.
So simple, and yet so layered, this book beautifully captures the wonder of the season’s first snowfall from the eyes of a child. Little Peter ventures out into the snowy city to explore and experience everything. Published in 1976, it was the first picture book with an African American child as the main character.
8. The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
So heart warming, this one is. It’s about a young bunny who comes up with all sorts of inventive ways he could run away and his mama counters with equally inventive ways she’d find him. Cynics say it’s a creepy tale about an overbearing mother, but I think it’s about a mother’s ever-reaching love.
9. Prince Bertram the Bad by Arnold Lobel
Like a classic fairy tale, this one doesn’t sugar coat a thing. Prince Bertram is a nasty little child, and his actions have consequences. I’m not exactly sure why I remember this book so well. Perhaps it brought out the little sadist in me as I revelled in the nasty prince getting his comeuppance.
10. Shaggy Fur Face by Robert Kraus
This is my all-time number one favorite picture book ever! It’s the sweetest story about a dog called Shaggy Fur Face who’s dearly devoted to his family and will do anything for them. Sadly, there are very few copies out there in circulation. My mom (who loves this book even more than I do) found a copy on the Internet a few years ago, ensuring that Shaggy will always have a place in our family.
And there you have it. My Top Ten pick for children’s picture books. Thanks for reading!