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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 18 – 2016 Easy Books

31daysI first came up with the idea for a 31 Days, 31 Lists series in late September.  Having kept track of a number of books over the year, it made a logical kind of sense.  But as we got closer to the actual lists I realized that in some categories I’m going to be seriously lacking.  Not having planned to do this series earlier in the year, I neglected certain areas.

All this is to say (slash, give lame excuses) that today’s list is a bit on the skimpy side.  I have no doubt that the Geisel committtee this year could drown you in completely fantastic easy books.  I’m a bit on the picky side so these are the only ones I can really stick a flag in and declare to be worth the asking price.  Please forgive the brevity:


2016 Easy Books

Come Over to My House by Dr. Seuss, ill. Katie Kath


Originally published in 1966, I knew that this recent Seuss re-illustration was bound to differ from the original.  I was, however, very trepidatious.  I’ve been burned by shockingly offensive Seuss books before (please see: Surprise! It’s Racist!) and with that late 60s pub date there was no guarantee that either Seuss nor the original illustrator (Richard Erdoes) were inclined to be kind.  Yet when I picked it up and read through it, it was lovely.  Far better than the It’s-a-Small-World vibe you get from the cover and title, the book has a hook (visiting houses around the world) and it works.  Add in Katie Kath’s art, which bends over backwards to be on the up-and-up and you’ve got yourself a truly worth new Seuss on your shelves.

The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat and Mo Willems


Pretty sure I’ve said everything there is to say about this book.  There was a reason I put it on my math picture book list and if I could drown it in further laudatory comments I would do so.  Eclectic, crazy original art, great characters, humor, math concepts, and a great storyline all combine.

Get a Hit, Mo! by David A. Adler


I loved loved loved Mo’s last book Don’t Throw It to Mo, which was a very rare easy book about football (children’s books about football at all are outnumbered by baseball books 10:1).  And while this book covers the most written-about sport in literature for kids, I love it.  It doesn’t hurt matters that my 2-year-old son also loves it (we live near Chicago and the Cubs won this year so . . .).

I See and See by Ted Lewin


The “I Like to Read” series by Holiday House has always frustrated librarians.  We like the books a lot but because the publisher for some reason has always published the books at an egregious 8″ X 10″ (rather than the standard 6″ X 9″ where most easy readers fall) we tend to forget about them.  They get shelved in the picture book sections and unless you know to spot their distinctive little spines, you’ll probably forget all about them.  I couldn’t forget this book, though.  Maybe it was the fact that it reminds me so much of NYC (I’m pretty sure he included the Bryant Park carousel at the end) but the very simple text and gorgeous Lewin art make for a winning combo.

Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin, ill. Rob Dunlavey


It’s not technically marketed as an easy reader, and indeed the text owes far more to the reverso poetry movement than anything else.  That said, I was very taken with the quiet, contemplative little book.  And I do think it’s sufficiently simple to enter onto this list.  I do!

Rabbit and Robot and Ribbit by Cece Bell


Gosh, I like these books!  Particularly when they involve clever wordplay and characters I can identify with.  I’m far too much of a Rabbit.  I need to be more of a Robot (or, for that matter, a Ribbit).  Now there’s a New Year’s Resolution for ya.

Snail and Worm: Three Stories About Two Friends by Tina Kügler


Oh.  Oh oh oh.  This is my #1 pick for the Geisel this year, no question.  My five-year-old daughter has taken to reading one of these stories every morning to my two-year-old.  As a result, anytime he sees a worm he will immediately say, “Worm! Worm!  Where’s snail?”  Where indeed.  Deeply funny and original, these books are for kids who are working their way up to the Frog and Toad books. I’ve found it hard to come up with any easy readers that fall into this reading level quite so perfectly

Interested in the other lists of the month? Here’s the schedule so that you can keep checking back:

December 1 – Board Books

December 2 – Board Book Adaptations

December 3 – Nursery Rhymes

December 4 – Picture Book Readalouds

December 5 – Rhyming Picture Books

December 6 – Alphabet Books

December 7 – Funny Picture Books

December 8 – Calde-Nots

December 9 – Picture Book Reprints

December 10 – Math Picture Books

December 11 – Bilingual Books

December 12 – International Imports

December 13 – Books with a Message

December 14 – Fabulous Photography

December 15 – Fairy Tales / Folktales

December 16 – Oddest Books of the Year

December 17 – Older Picture Books

December 18 – Easy Books

December 19 – Early Chapter Books

December 20 – Graphic Novels

December 21 – Poetry

December 22 – Fictionalized Nonfiction

December 23 – American History

December 24 – Science & Nature Books

December 25 – Transcendent Holiday Titles

December 26 – Unique Biographies

December 27 – Nonfiction Picture Books

December 28 – Nonfiction Chapter Books

December 29 – Novel Reprints

December 30 – Novels

December 31 – Picture Books


About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. I loved the beauty and simplicity of Owl Sees Owl–very lovely! Thanks for reminding me about Snail & Worm–have to get to that one! Loved In Mary’s Garden!