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Ama's Picture Books

My grandmother recently left me her entire collection of picture books and children's literature. The entire collection is comprised of over 300 books. I am attempting to read as many as possible in 2014.

The Wise Men's Camel Boy

The Wise Men's camel boy - Hazel Stein

This is a short, sweet story, much like a marshmallow. There's not a lot of substance and it won't stick with you too long.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Accord Publishing, Jade Fang

I enjoyed this book, but I wish every page had a lenticular illustration (maybe that wasn't possible with the construction of the book?), and I wish the lenticular illustrations were in black and white. Most of the illustrations are very difficult to make out and I think the contrast of black and white would have helped with that.

The 12 Days of Christmas

The Night Before Christmas/Twelve Days of Christmas - Robert Sabuda

I really like Sabuda's style, but the text is different from the one I know (the numbers are all mixed up). It doesn't keep it from being enjoyable, but I like the traditional (as I know it) version.

The Night Before Christmas

Robert Sabuda's The Night Before Christmas - Robert Sabuda, Clement C. Moore

story by Clement Clarke Moore, pop up by Robert Sabuda


I enjoyed this pop up book a lot. It's simply designed and pretty clever.

The Night Before Christmas

I cannot find this edition on booklikes. Mine has illustrations by Arthur Rackham and was published by Derrydale Books.


I started the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-Thon with this read. It's a classic, and Arthur Rackham's illustrations are great.


Wonderstruck - Brian Selznick

by Brian Selznick


I don't know that I enjoyed the integration of pictures and words as much as I did in The Invention of Hugo Cabret, but Wonderstruck is a magnificent book anyway.


I love stories with two parallel plots and Selznick does a good job intertwining them.


The beginning is a little slow, but once the story gets going the book is hard to put down.

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats - Edward Gorey, T.S. Eliot

I'm guessing Cats the musical was based on these poems (never seen the show).


I don't love cats, and the poems weren't that great. I also wasn't a fan of the racial slur used in the book.

Kubla Khan

Kubla Khan: A Pop-Up Version of Coleridge's Classic - Nick Bantock, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I don't love this poem, and I didn't understand half of the illustrations. It's a good looking book, but not my favorite pop up.


Kintaro, the Nature Boy - Ralph F. McCarthy, Suiho Yonai

An interesting story, but I wish the English had been a straight translation rather than verse. I could translate the Japanese myself, but I'm feeling too lazy right now.


The Story of Ferdinand - Robert Lawson, Munro Leaf

I think Ama really liked this book. The copy in her collection is from 1968. She and Grandpa gave it to my dad and aunts and uncle for Christmas, and Ama gave me the anniversary edition two Christmases ago. Definitely a classic tale.

The Moon Singer

The Moon Singer - Clyde Robert Bulla, Trina Schart Hyman

I read this book as a kid and rereading I find it creepy that all these people listen to Torr as he sings alone in the woods.

The Five Chinese Brothers

The Five Chinese Brothers (Paperstar) - Claire Huchet Bishop, Kurt Wiese

Ugh, I remember reading this book as a kid, but I don't remember it being this racist.

Why are they yellow? Why do they all look the same? Why do people still buy and read this book? Ew ew ew.

Alphabet Bird Collection

Alphabet Bird Collection - Shelli Ogilvy

I liked the illustrations and the info on each bird. I skipped the couplets and bird calls though (I'm not much interested in trying to replicated the sounds of birds I've never heard/seen).

What's Happening to Grandpa?

What's Happening to Grandpa? - Maria Shriver, Sandra Speidel

This is a pretty specific book and would probably mean more to anyone with relatives with Alzheimer's. I personally think that books should be good/entertaining/something even if I don't have any personal experience with the subject. What's Happening to Grandpa didn't do anything for me, hence 2.5 stars.

One Hand Clapping

One Hand Clapping: Zen Stories For All Ages - Rafe Martin, Manuela Soares, Junko Morimoto

introduced by Rafe Martin, edited by Manuela Soares, illustrated by Junko Morimoto


I don't care for Rafe Martin at all, but I enjoyed the stories and Morimoto's illustrations.

The Passover Journey

The Passover Journey: A Seder Companion - Barbara Diamond Goldin

written by Barbara Diamond Goldin, illustrated by Neil Waldman


I found this book really interesting. At times I was confused, but I'm not Jewish and I've never been to a seder. As a book for insiders it's not surprising that I was confused sometimes. There is a little glossary at the back of the book and discovering that helped dispel a lot of my confusion.