Monday, August 10, 2015

Picture Book 10 for 10: Into the Night

I'm beyond excited!  Today is the 6th Annual Picture Book 10 for 10 event (#pb10for10).  It's the perfect back to school kickoff.  Stop by the Picture Book 10 for 10 Google Community where over 200 picture book lovers have joined to share their favorites.  In the first days of the event the idea was to share ten picture books you just couldn't live without.  Over the years participants have gotten creative with themed lists, crafty ways around the ten book limit, and fun posts about their favorites.  This is our first year to host this event in the Google community which means you don't need a blog to join us as you can share and/or link directly in your community post.  I suggest you disable your Amazon one click buttons, open your library tab, and plan a visit to your local Indie bookstore because there will be titles you won't be able to resist.

My Past 10 Collections
2014: 10 Books About Being Brave
2013: 10 Newer Authors/Illustrators I Love
2012: 10 Mentor Texts for Young Writers
2011: 10 Authors I Can't Live Without
2010: 10 Must-Have Picture Books

This Year:  Ten Books About the Night 
This year I have struggled with my ten for ten list.  I've changed my mind at least ten times.  I'd love to tell you about the ideas I decided not to choose, but I might need them in the future.  ;o)  (Thanks to Carrie Gelson, I now have a future #pb10for10 list.)  Since today's the day, I have to decide.  It's a bit like being at a restaurant when the waitress arrives to take your order, you just have to make a decision.


This year I'll be sharing ten picture books about the night.  Young children are fascinated - and often fearful - of the night.  Sharing books about the night can provide opportunities for children to talk about these fears and share ways they have worked to overcome them.  Additionally, there are a lot of great books about the night so here are my favorites:

Night Animals by Gianna Marino (2015):  It's true.  I think Gianna Marino's books are all worth a space on your family or classroom shelves.  I have enjoyed each with their delightful stories and beautiful illustrations.  Night Animals is no exception.  How can you not love a book where the night animals are afraid of night animals?  It's quick lively pace makes it perfect for read aloud.  Young readers will laugh out loud as these animals all try to hide from the night animals.  Scary noises and dark pictures set the mood of the book as the animals worry together until bat sets them straight.  The speech bubbles and easy text will make this a book emergent readers will be able to reread after hearing it read aloud.

Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta and illustrated by Ed Young (2012).  In the beginning it seems certain that a ninja is creeping through the night and into the house.  Danger fills the night air --- until....I just can't give it away.  Young readers enjoy the anticipation in this book as they try to figure out what is going to happen.  The illustrations are dark and full of shadows keeping readers on the edge of their seats.

A Beasty Story by Bill Martin Jr. and Steven Kellogg (2002).  I can't help it.  I still just love this book.  With it's intricate illustrations through a dark and scary house at night, readers will be on the edge of their seat wondering what creepy beast awaits.  The pictures support the text as the characters move from room to room following the beast.

Blackout by John Rocco (2011).  The electricity going out can be a scary event for young children.  It's a normal night in the city until the lights go out.  Then Mom and Dad can no longer work.  What can the family do?  It turns out there are many things to do when the lights go out.  I'm sure young readers would have many stories to share after reading this book.  Rocco uses several boxed illustrations on each page to show the passage of time and the ways this family tries to cope with the electricity outage.  Many pictures are black and white with just splashes of color to help set the mood in this book.

I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll and Howard McWilliam (2009).  I just can't get enough of this story.  When his monster takes a vacation, Ethan can't sleep.  Several substitute monsters arrive, but none are as scary and perfect as Ethan's monster.  Kids' imaginations will run wild in this funny story about monsters under the bed.

Psssst!  It's Me...the Bogeyman by Barbara Park and illustrated by Steven Kroninger (2001).  My friend, Deb Frazier, first handed me this book.  I return year after year to borrow it from her classroom, and wonder why I don't have a copy.  This bogeyman is tired of all of the false stories about him.  He's good at scaring kids.  That's his job.  It's all he wants in life.  There is a secret that will get rid of him.  This book is a book students always want read over and over again.

The Dark by Jon Klassen and Lemony Snicket (2013).  Laszlo is afraid of the dark.  The dark lives in the basement.  Laszlo knows it is down there.  What happens when the dark decides to come into Laszlo's room?  What will Laszlo do?

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson (2002).  What do owl babies do when they wake to find their mother gone in the night?  Sarah, Percy, and Bill worry in the night as they wonder what happened to their mom.  Students always enjoy this read aloud --- especially Bill's repeated cries, "I want my mommy."

Chengdu by Barney Salzburg (2014).   We've all had those nights where we just can't fall asleep.  Chengdu tries everything, but he still is awake.  What will he do?

When the Sky is Like Lace by Elinor Lander Horowitz and illustrated by Barbara Cooney (1975).  I saw this book in the bookstore the other day and fell in love with its beautiful language.  Imagine my surprise to find it was first written in 1975.  It begins with the line "On a bimulous night," and offers much opportunity for rich discussion.


  1. great list and theme! thanks so much for running this event! it's been such a fun day!

  2. I am glad that you have other lists for the future! This is a gorgeous theme. I love books about the night. Night can be a glorious place for children instead of a scary one. Three titles that would make a wonderful addition to this list would be Once Upon a Northern Night, Singing Away the Dark (which is about early morning not night but still . . . ) and The Night World (Gerstein). I am having so much fun exploring all of these lists!

  3. I love this list Cathy. I agree with Carrie in adding The Night World to this list. Thank you so much for this wonderful day.

  4. This is such a wonderful list and Owl Babies is an all time classic. We can't wait to read Night Animals and Nighttime Ninja

  5. I love this theme, what a great idea! I think the only one that is new to me is the last one, I'll check it out!
    Sorry I've been out on voxer - we went on a mini vacation and then my daughter had surgery today. I'll check in soon!

  6. What a fun theme and great list of books! As Carrie and Margie said, The Night World would be a great addition. I just read it a couple days ago. ;-)

  7. Oh! OWL BABIES is such a family favorite here. "I WANT MY MOMMY!" I must have read it hundreds of times...and honestly wish that I wrote it. I also adore WHEN THE SKY IS LIKE LACE. Such a beautiful list. Thank you for starting #pb10for10. I am about to splurge. :) xo

  8. Thanks for hosting the event again. Always find lots of new/different titles that will be terrific additions for the Doucette Library (curriculum library).
    Apples with Many Seeds

  9. What a fun list (I KNEW The Dark had to be there)! Really intrigued by your last entry especially. Thank you, thank you, thank you for creating such an incredible event!

  10. What a creative focus! Get out the flashlights and share these in a dark room!

  11. Love your idea, Kathy, & there are several I don't know, like the Bogeyman one. But I love Barbara Cooney's books, Miss Rumphius & Roxaboxen, so will certainly find When The Sky Is Like Lace. Exciting to find a reissue!