Something there is that loves a deadline.
We're down to the wire on picking our top 10 picture books for Fuse #8's Top 100 Picture Books of All Times Poll -- the deadline is midnight tonight.
I gave myself 15 minutes in front of the picture book shelf in my classroom to make my picks. Instead of agonizing over my list, I was quick and impulsive. Even now, I am refusing to allow myself the right to second guess.
10. A River of Words by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet. This is my newest favorite. I can't wait to see how Melissa Sweet's style evolves.
9. The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Stephen Gammell. This is one of my oldest favorites. It has been fun to see how Cynthia Rylant's career has evolved.
8. Traction Man is Here by Mini Gray. Toys that come to life in our imagination. Nothing better. Takes me right back to my childhood.
7. And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon by Janet Stephens, illustrated by Susan Stevens Crummel. Love all the literary (kid-sized) humor they embed in the story and the illustrations. A fork in the road -- brilliant!
6. Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt. (Or should I choose Chester for this spot? No, Scaredy. No, Chester...)
5. Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett. Well, everything by Emily Gravett, actually. Did I mention (once or twice or twelve times already) that I got to see her sketchbook for Little Mouse at the Notables session at NCTE last November? It was WAY cool!!!
4. The Three Pigs by David Wiesner. I love how he got everyone thinking about breaking the boundaries in picture books.
3. The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher by Molly Bang. Still my favorite wordless picture book (and I have A LOT of favorites).
2. Black and White by David McCauley. He, like Wiesner, really shook things up in the children's book world with this book. STILL a great book for conversation with kids. (And adults, for that matter...)
I can't do it.
There is no such thing as my single, all-time, one-and-only favorite picture book.
Sorry if you're disappointed, but it was all I could do to number the rest of them in some semblance of favoritism.
That's as good as it gets. Deal with it.