Lizs Book Snuggery

A Great Canon of Children’s Literature Is Out There!

A New Year and a Chance for Classic Picture Books to Attract New Fans


It’s been about 5 years since “The Snuggery” emerged on the blog scene and it continues to be a great ride for this reader/writer and for, we hope, our readers!

I often think about all the young readers out there and the tons of books they have to choose from AND their parents, who are often a huge part of the decision making process.

I guess what prompted this post was a piece I read recently on the movie version of “The Wizard of Oz.” New generations of young viewers are discovering this amazing adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s book on the adventures of Dorothy, her dog Toto, her three friends, The Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow, and of course, their nemesis, the Wicked Witch of the West; not to mention the mysterious Wizard!

The book, and movie, sort of plays to every child’s fear about leaving home and the unchanging security it symbolizes, and the great adventure outside, called LIFE – in FULL color!

It makes me believe stronger than ever that there is a great canon of childhood literature out there – waiting. And no, I am not saying they are the only books worth reading to or with your child. But I AM saying that there are a collection of not-to be-missed classics in picture book literature that, like the movie “The Wizard of Oz”, deserve to be discovered by every generation.

Why? Because it is in their rich narrative, amazing characters and sometimes painful truths that children are able to experience a window into some part of life that they feel exists, but have not experienced – as yet.

Even in fantasy, children fathom what is closest to the reality of their own lives – loss, friendship, betrayal, kindness, sacrifice and success. It is this “second life discovered through literature” as Dave O’Shell, English Middle School Teacher phrases it, that our children plumb deeply in reading with situations, emotions and people, and then, come face to face with the reality, sometimes in their own lives. It is a process they deserve to experience.

And so it is in these essential picture book classics, as I call them, that “The Snuggery” continues to advocate. This canon can   build resilience in the face of reality, for each generation fortunate enough to discover them.

Below are several classic picture book lists to look over. Not all books your child or you have delighted in are on each list, BUT you may find new ones on some of them to discover together!

Here’s an idea! As a snow storm named Juno descends on our area here in the east, what a perfect time to begin the “essentials” discovery.

Why not sit and read Ezra Jack Keats’ classic picture book, “A Snowy Day”? Then go outside your door and LIVE it with Peter and your children!  

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