This is my latest installment of picture books by the decade. How great was the 90s for picture books? Seriously great. At least I think so. (Notice I’ve used bubble writing for the years in each picture!)
Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran, illustrated by Barbara Cooney was on my PBs for summer list as well because it’s quintessentially summer and captures the magic of childhood at the same time. Ah, this book. A favorite. A classic. Perfection.
The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg is dark and clever and deals with (this is Chris Van Allsburg!) magic. A woman, a witch, a broom, what the neighbors think, and the meaning of evil.
Pumpkins: A Story for a Field by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Barry Root. I’ve sung this one’s praises here before too. But really it just blows me away. Early Mary Lyn Ray is so so good. (As is later and current!)
A Special Kind of Love by Stephen Michael King is quite an unusual book. It’s about a father who can’t say the words, “I love you,” to his son, so he shows him through the stuff he makes with his hands.
Weslandia by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes is one of my favorite books, period. Wesley is a bullied boy. He’s also an ingenious one. Over summer vacation, he turns his backyard into a veritable civilization by growing one staple crop. It’s strange and brilliant and empowering.
Looking at this list of my faves from the 90s, I’m not sure what conclusions to draw exactly. But I would note the magical realism threaded through this list. Relationships with family members figure into this bunch too, as well as relationships to special places.
Okay, your turn! Please tell me any of your favorite 90s picture books in the comments!
And check out 8 picture books from the 80s too!