Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey - I discovered recently that I'd never actually read this book to Ella. How could my Boston-born girl not have read that city's most famous picture book? I have remedied it, and she's loved the book. In fact, the other day, there were some drops of water on the kitchen table (one big and then about half a dozen smaller ones) and she said, "That's Mrs. Mallard and Jack, Oack, Quack, and those other ducks."
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig - As part of the little school program I'm doing with Ella, my goal is to read all of the Caldecott Medal and Honor books with her this year (there are just over 300 total). She's old enough to sit through just about any picture book, and it's something I've wanted to do for a long time. This one has been an enormous hit. Also, I'm not offended by the fact that the policemen are portrayed by pigs. In case you were wondering.
Little One Step by Simon James - Ella has started picking up books from the library on her own (the shelves at the Durham library are very low, so she can reach them all easily), and this is one that turned out to be a big hit. (By the way - I totally edit her book choices at the self-checkout. I bet the librarians LOVE when I leave a big stack of discarded books there).
Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag - We had this book when I was a kid, but I hadn't read it in YEARS. The premise is odd (what, you haven't stumbled across a field with billions of cats living in it? And then all the cats eat each other leaving. . .no cats behind? How is that even possible? I shouldn't think too much about picture book plots, probably), but it's also just a fun, fun read.
The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers - Okay, I know people just love Oliver Jeffers, but I find his books fairly odd. I've read a good number of them, and most of them are not for me (although I did find his recent "The Day the Crayons Quit" quite amusing, but that might have been because he only did the illustrations, not the actual story). Anyway, this one certainly has its share of weird, but it's my favorite of his books so far. And although I think it was a little over Ella's head, she really loved it and we read it a dozen times at least.
Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds and Dan Santat - This reminded me of that shark scene in Finding Nemo. The carnivores are getting such a bad rap, that they try to take up salad-eating instead, which, shockingly, is much less tasty than a juicy piece of prey. Happily, a fellow carnivore, the Great Horned Owl has some good advice for them. All's well that ends well, unless you're a delicious zebra.
P.S. You can see previous favorites of Ella's here.