Tag Archives: What Do People Do All Day?

Katy and Lowly

6 Sep

I don’t have many memories of being read to as a young child.  It must have happened, though, because as I became older I was an avid reader.   I have MANY memories of spending time with novels like A Wrinkle in Time, Ballet Shoes, the Great Brain series, and, my all-time favorite, The Westing Game (which I still re-read about once a year, even though I know whodunnit!).  In fact, I won a contest in third grade to create a reading “slogan” for the school library, and my slogan was printed (complete with my art) on a t-shirt (which I still have somewhere, if I can find it I’ll take a picture and post it).  My slogan: A Book a Day Keeps the Lazies Away.

There are two picture books, though, that I KNOW I loved as a young child, because I can remember poring over the detailed illustrations.

  • Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton: I loved following Katy’s route through town as she cleared a path for other vehicles to get through.  Katy also meant a lot to me because we shared the same name — seriously, my real name is Mary but my parents nicknamed me Katie and I was called that until my 5-year-old self informed my Kindergarten teachers that my name was Mary and insisted I be called that.
  • What Do People Do All Day by Richard Scarry: Again, highly detailed illustrations of the townspeople going about their business.  I had a nice experience with this book recently while babysitting my friends’ son, as we spent a good hour playing “I Spy” with the pictures and talking about what the characters were doing.  I still love Huckle and Lowly Worm.

I can’t really use either of these in storytime as the detailed illustrations don’t really lend themselves to group reading (and one doesn’t really have much of a “story”, but is mostly vignettes).  Both are still in print, though, and perfect for one-on-one sharing (as my experience with my friends’ son clearly shows).

I’m looking forward to the book Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Children’s Book, where Anita Slivey has compiled responses to this question from a variety of people: “What Children’s Book Changed the Way You See the World?”  The book doesn’t come out til October, but you can get a sneak preview here.

What picture books do you remember from your childhood?  What about them stands out?

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