Top 100 Children’s Books of All-Time

Developing a love of the written word can begin while your child is an infant. Babies who are read to are much more likely to read earlier, understand concepts better, and be faster learners than babies who do not have the chance to experience books. It is never too early or too late to begin reading to and with your children.

Choosing a variety of well written, colorful, and entertaining stories from some of the best children’s books ever will help develop a love of reading and a love of learning in your child. Sharing that time together and cuddling up with a story to share will also help build a bond between you and your child like nothing else can.

top 100 children's books of all-time

Looking for chapter books? Check out our list of the 100 Best Children’s Chapter Books of All-Time.

10 Best Children’s Books

where the wild things are Where the Wild Things Are: Author Maurice Sendak offers a tale of suspense, action, and fun, with this story about a young boy named Max who wears a wolf suit to bed. Max has been naughty and is sent to bed without any dinner. The real adventure begins with the forest growing and creatures appearing as wild and free. Being wild with the wild things can be tiring, as Max discovers on his adventure. As things begin to happen in his room, creatures appear that are a cross between scary and funny. Winner of the Caldecott Medal and listed in the ‘Best Illustrated Children’s Books” for many years, this is a winner worth a look. Illustrations that will grab your eye and a written tale that will draw you and your children back again and again are what this story has to offer. Adventure, artwork, and fun are all wrapped up in one small package here.
the giving tree The Giving Tree: It has been said that the true example of love is being willing to give of one’s self for the benefit of another. Shel Silverstein tells the story of love between a boy and a tree that is an example of this sacrificial love. From the time the boy is young and needs shade as he plays to growing up and being allowed to climb in her branches to the time when he is older and wants something that may mean the end of the tree, the tree keeps on giving to him- out of love. Though there are many ways to interpret this story, the true message of love shines through. Even when the boy is an old man and long after the tree has been cut down, what is left of the tree is still giving. The old man, once the little boy who played under the tree, now uses the stump of the tree to rest on.
goodnight moon Goodnight Moon: Bedtime stories are a favorite among children and parents alike, and this is one of the most beloved bedtime stories of all time. Written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd, saying goodnight has never been more fun than with this tale of comfort, loving goodnights, and a room full of entertaining objects to say ‘goodnight’ to. Written in rhyming verse that makes it easy for even the youngest children to memorize, they will soon be able to ‘read’ it along with you. This is one story that will soon become a family favorite. Parents and children have been sharing this story for more than fifty years, and it has become one of the best loved picture books of all time. “Goodnight” time has never been more quiet and loving than when you share this timeless tale of saying “goodnight” with your children and grandchildren.
green eggs and ham Green Eggs and Ham: These unforgettable words that stay with you forever. “I am Sam, Sam I am” begins with this amazing tale. Only Dr. Seuss could compose such silly, yet elegant stories, and all with a simple thought. Kids and adults alike have loved and cherished the stories that have become a part of tradition. This is just one such story. With rhythm and rhyme that is easy to follow and a story that makes you want to say, “Just try the green eggs and ham, you may like them Sam I am!”, this is one story that may take you on adventures to read more tales by Dr. Seuss. Reading this book with a child may offer you more than you bargained for, especially when you try to read it faster and faster. An “I Can Read” book, this story for young children only contains fifty words, all of which are easily read and understood.
cloudy with a chance of meatballs Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs: Hilarity rules, as this mighty storm comes to pass. Nothing beats a good downpour, especially when it consists of fun and yummy treats, right? Maybe that sounds good as a treat now and then, but when food raining from the sky takes a turn for the bigger portions and the messier things we love to eat, it can be quite messy and scary. Judy and Ron Barrett bring this fantasy to life with a spin that you might be surprised at. When there is orange juice rain, hamburger hail, and mashed potato snow, there is no need to cook or shop, only the need to eat all that comes down and not get hit by any giant food- such as the huge pancakes that might crush you. Fun to read and even more fun to think about as you discuss the story with your children, this is one story that you will want to share over and over again
the very hungry caterpillar The Very Hungry Caterpillar: What better combination story for children than one that weaves a delightful tale with a lesson? Teaching the days of the week and counting, Eric Carle’s imaginative illustrations and dramatic storytelling in this book unfold the life of a caterpillar from the moment it is in an egg to the transformation it makes into a beautiful butterfly. With such wonderful text, magnificent illustrations, and attention grabbing detail, it’s no wonder that this story has won numerous awards and has been recognized in many countries as being among the best in children’s literature. Everyone loves a great children’s picture book, but this one goes to the top of the list when looking at the most loved by children and adults alike. Warmth, a winning storyline, and lessons that can be shared and observed in nature itself will bring you and your child together as you share this amazing story. Reading together is something to cherish especially when it happens to be with a story that you will keep in your hearts and one of the top 100 children’s books of all-time.
alexander and the terrible, horrible, very bad day Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day: One way to know your day is going to be bad is waking up with gum in your hair. Alexander finds himself seeing more and more problems as the day goes on. From the gum in his hair to dropping his sweater in the sink to tripping on his skateboard, he finds himself in the midst of one of the worst days ever. Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz tell this tale of a little boy and all the things that go wrong for him both in story and in pictures in a way that will make you sympathetic for this little boy and how his day is going and appreciate life as it goes well. Children and adults alike will love this tale of a boy, his bad day, and the hilarity that comes with the story. Bad days happen to everyone. Sharing a funny story about a bad day will help learn to see the humor in life even when things don’t go right.
guess how much i love you Guess How Much I Love You: What parent and child hasn’t tried to outdo each other when expressing their love for each other? Little Nutbrown Hare wants his daddy, Big Nutbrown Hare, to know just how much he really loves him. Having a difficult time putting it into words and not knowing how to express his love for his father, Little Nutbrown Hare keeps coming up with more and more as his father tries to outdo him each time. After the little bunny falls asleep, the father wins with an expression of love that can’t be outdone. Fun to read together and endearing to moms, dads, and children everywhere, this tale brings home the ‘I love you more’ game. Bedtime or not, this is one story that you will want to share over and over again, and who knows, it may even help you come up with more ways to express your love for your little ones
pat the bunny Pat the Bunny: Even the youngest children love to know that they can do the things that other kids can do. This story shows young children how two kids, named Paul and Judy, can do many things. It is an encouragement to young children to do the same things. Smelling flowers, interacting with the world around them, and seeing the delightful illustrations will have your youngsters moving and discovering in no time. Dorothy Kunhardt brings to life a story that will help open your children’s eyes to the beauty in the world around them. Sharing it will be something to treasure. Adults and children alike are sure to adopt this as a family favorite. Curling up in a chair together, exploring the things around you with your child, and watching as they learn and discover the world will be what you get out of this endearing tale. Interaction and imagination are packed into this one storybook
love you forever Love You Forever: A classic story full of sentiment and humor, this is one that you will want to share over and over again. Whether you are a mom or a dad, this story of a mother and her son will strike a chord with you, and you may find yourself saying to your own children, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” In this story, a mother sings those words to her own son each night even after he’s an adult. In the end, when roles switch, it’s the son declaring his love to his mother, and then to his own baby girl. An endearing story that touches the heart each time it’s read, this is one tale that will remain at the top of the list for a long time to come. Sharing it with your children or even with a parent will be something special that you will treasure forever. Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw bring home the sentiment that the love between a parent and child really is endless.

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the lorax The Lorax: Dr. Seuss has done it once again, with a classic tale of rhythm and rhyme along with a story that will make anyone who reads it think about their role in nature. The narrator, named Once-ler, has lived a life of carelessness, disregard for nature, and selfishness. Now, with the natural beauty of the truffula trees taken away, the Lorax has moved up and away. How can it be restored? The key to restoring the natural beauty of the area lies in the hands of a small child- who happens to have a seed, a single hopeful seed to a truffula tree
peek-a who? Peek-A Who?: Nothing makes a better first book than one that will keep a child coming back. Nina Laden brings together this surprise and guessing book with colorful illustrations and windows to look into to see what is hiding behind the scenes. From a cow to a choo-choo train this is one book that will offer the stimulation needed to make it into a game and enjoy the colors and patterns throughout it. Attention grabbing and fun to read, children’s books such as this are something to share. Cuddling up and reading together takes on new fun with a book that’s a game as well as a story
moo baa la la la Moo Baa La La La: Children love animals and learning animal sounds with such a fun and whimsical picture book is one way to help develop a love of reading. The sing-song style and the rhythm and rhyme make this a delightfully humorous book to share with any toddler or preschool age child. Not only will they learn about the sounds animals make, but the addition of having some of the animals say “La, la, la!” makes it into a game as well. Catching the wrong sound and telling the right sound become a part of this hilarious story. This is a great anytime book to break boredom and have some fun. Written by Sandra Boynton, this is one great book for sharing
brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?: Fun with reading takes on a new face, with this children’s book by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. There is nothing like having a story to share with your little one that is easy for them to memorize and repeat along with you. This book, full of humor and silliness, is one of those books. The easy rhyming phrases and the poetic verse make it simple to remember. Your children will think they are reading which will encourage them to read more. The brown bear sees a red bird who in turn sees a yellow duck and on and on. Not only is it fun, but there are also different textures for exploring the sense of touch along with the story
harold and the purple crayon Harold and the Purple Crayon: Harold is one little boy who has an imagination that can help get him out of many jams, especially with the help of his purple crayon. Author Crockett Johnson has brought one of the most adventurous and endearing stories to life with a tale that will not fail to amaze and amuse you and your children as you share this wonderful story. Harold receives help from his crayon by drawing a boat to get him out of water, to creating landmarks to help him find his way home. His imagination and sense of adventure is contagious to all who will allow their own imaginations to soar
the going to bed book The Going to Bed Book: There are certain types of stories that make bedtime easier. This is one that will engage the imagination, feed the hunger for verse that rhymes, and be soothing to hear over and over again. Sandra Boynton has done it once again with a tale that will entertain little ones and be a pleasure for families to share. The ark of animals watches the sunset and then gets ready to go to bed with bath time fun included. They offer fun, silliness, and a story to enjoy all at the same time. Sharing bedtime is never more fun than with a tale that will draw you back together, again and again
press here Press Here: This is a book that’s unlike any of the other best picture books out there. It all begins with a single yellow dot, and the instructions to press it. The reader is then sent on a magical journey that shows them that things are not always what they seem! This is a book full of surprises, and excitement! Kids will giggle with delight as they see the dots change direction, get bigger, and even multiply! When a unique book is needed, this is a great option – especially for kids who are used to interaction and who typically don’t get excited about flat words on a flat page.
pinkalicious Pinkalicious: Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann tell the tale of a little girl who loves pink. She loves it so much, in fact, that she only wants to eat pink, yummy treats. The pinker, the better and the gooier, the yummier. When she begins to turn pink, her parents take her to the doctor who insists that she begin to eat more green in the form of vegetables- yuck! After her parents insisting that she eat more vegetables so she can return to normal, she sneaks just one last pink treat and turns even darker- almost red! That’s when she decides that vegetables aren’t so bad after all and finally returns to normal. The only problem is her little brother has now decided that he loves pink food! Oh no! Here we go again!
don’t let the pigeon drive the bus! Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!: Mo Willems brings to life, through this charming story, the tactics of a small child to get his own way. When the bus driver has to leave the bus for a few minutes, he cautions those who are left behind (the readers) not to let the pigeon drive the bus. Asking nicely doesn’t ensure he gets what he wants so he moves from pleading, bribery, arguing, manipulating, and finally throwing a tantrum just like small children will to get their own way at times. Humor and true life comments throughout this tale will leave you laughing and offer you a sense of reality in a delightful story
animalia Animalia: Graeme Base brings storytelling to a whole new level with puzzles made out of illustrated animals and different layers used to create illustrations that will draw the eye to find all the hidden treasures. This is like no other children’s alphabet story, and it will amuse and entertain anyone from age 2 to 102. Colorful, exciting, and entertaining, the detail is a virtual eye feast. Each page of detailed puzzles is matched to a letter of the alphabet and will encourage the reader to take their time finding all that is hiding within the pictures. Fun to share and even more fun to enjoy alone, this is one story that will keep you coming back.

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a sick day for amos mcgee A Sick Day for Amos McGee: Amos McGee is a kind, friendly older gentleman who works at the zoo. Each day he finds time to spend with his five special animal friends: the elephant, penguin, rhino, owl, and tortoise. Until one day, when Mr. McGee is too sick to make it to work. After waiting patiently, his friends decide to hop on the bus and visit him. Each animal finds their own unique way to help make Amos feel better, whether it’s playing chess with him or keeping his feet warm. This is one of the best children’s books for teaching kids the importance of compassion and taking care of one another.
no, david! No, David!: As parents and children all know, there are many times during the growing up years that children hear the word “No!” David Shannon took this story from one he wrote when a small boy and made it into something that is amusing to children and brings a reminder to parents about what it’s like to be a mischievous child who is always being told “No!”. David may not be every parent’s vision of the perfect child, but he will give you a lot of laughs while you share this endearing tale with your little ones at bedtime or anytime.
everyone poops Everyone Poops: Scientific, humorous, and silly, this is one story that will be helpful to those who are in the midst of potty training and a riot for those who love bathroom humor. Reading it together is sure to give you a lot of laughs and make you think of poop like never before. This story is in the ‘My Body Science Series’. Written by Taro Gomi and Amanda Mayer Stinchecum, there is more humor than science in the pages of this book. Comparisons about the size, look and smell of the poop of different living creatures are the focus of the story
go, dog, go! Go, Dog, Go!: P.D. Eastman has used one of the favorite animals of all time to create a story that is fun, engaging, and fast paced. Dogs, dogs everywhere, and ending in a dog party in a tree. Reading this with your children, and watching the ease with which they can read it on their own, will both be something to enjoy. Dog lover or not, this is one tale that will bring you back for more when you want to share a story that will be silly and entertaining with your children. Colorful, and enjoyable for all, this is one fun story to share.
zen shorts Zen Shorts: Jon J. Muth tells the tale of three children who meet their new neighbor, a Panda bear named Stillwater. As they listen to the stories told by Stillwater, the kids learn to look at the world in new ways. This introduction to Zen is good to use as a group story to read aloud, or as a bedtime story between you and your child. Throughout this children’s book, an introduction to Buddhism is carefully integrated. Simple illustrations make it easy to follow. Written for ages five and up, it is entertaining and a tale that many parents may enjoy sharing with their children.
chicka chicka boom boom Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: An alphabet story that is amusing and funny with a twist that is sure to bring laughs, this is one little story that you will never tire of reading with your little ones. As each little letter (lower case) invites another to the top of the coconut tree, and each next letter follows along, the tree ends up getting heavier and heavier, and finally results in the tree being bent. That is, until all the letters are shaken off as the tree snaps back to standing tall, and they are tossed in a heap underneath. Charming and delightful, this is one tale to share time and time again.
good night gorilla Good Night Gorilla: Everyone loves a funny story, and this is one that will give you and your children more laughs than you bargained for. When the night watchman at the zoo checks on the gorilla and tells him ‘good night.’ The gorilla steals the keys to all the other cages of all the other animals. While he follows the watchman around and watches him say good night, completely unobserved, he lets each animal out, one at a time. The animals follow the watchman home and end up sneaking into his house. With the surprises that follow and the fun that awaits, you and your children are sure to not be disappointed with this tale.
fancy nancy Fancy Nancy: Nancy is a little girl who loves everything fancy, and the fancier the better. If it’s frilly, fluffy, shiny, sparkling, or glamorous, Nancy wants to wear it or own it. Not only is she fancy, she tries to make her entire family be fancy too. Boring and ordinary will never do for Nancy. Dressing up means wearing her tiara and her bright jewelry. Jane O’Connor weaves a tale of laughs, glamour, and adventure, with each Fancy Nancy story. Nothing is the same once you have been exposed to a fancier way of life with Nancy and all her fancy adventures.
blueberries for sal Blueberries for Sal: Writer Robert McCloskey knows that one of the highlights of summer is picking berries, and this tale makes that a reality for children of all ages. When little Sal and her mother go out to pick blueberries to can for winter, they run into a little problem. Sal loves picking the berries, but she loves eating them even more. That is not the problem though. As Sal and her mother pick their berries, there is also a mama bear and her cub picking berries. Sal isn’t paying as much attention to her mother as she is to eating the berries, and eventually ends up following the bear rather than her mother. The problems they face and the adventures they share with the bears will be entertaining and fun to share.
the lion & the mouse The Lion & the Mouse: One of Aesop’s most beloved fables, The Lion & the Mouse is retold in this brilliant and unique adaptation. Award-winning artist Jerry Pinkney tells the entire story without a single word. In short, a ferocious lion takes mercy on a tiny, scared mouse, and instead of eating him, he sets him free. When the lion later becomes ensnared in a trap, the mouse comes to his rescue. This book is chock full of awe-inspiring landscapes of the African Serengeti, and wonderful, warm characters. Without a word, this book captures the imaginations of children, adults, and anyone who turns the pages in this beautiful book.

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Flotsam Flotsam: This story, winner of a Caldecott Medal, was written by David Wiesner. The word ‘flotsam’, simply means something that floats on water and may eventually be found on the beach. Anyone who reads this book may find himself becoming a treasure hunter of sorts. Wiesner brings things into perspective that will be educational and inspiring to adults and children alike. Becoming more aware of the hidden things on the beach will offer hours of fun and excitement. This is one of many childrens books he has written that will be something special to share whether at home or on a family vacation
corduroy Corduroy: This classic tale of one of the most traditionally beloved toys every child has, a teddy bear, is heartwarming. Corduroy is a little bear who wears green overalls. As he sits and waits for someone to buy him off the store shelf, there is also a little girl who is searching for a special toy to be more than just an ordinary toy; she wants a toy that will also be her friend. When you read the story of Corduroy and his new owner, not only will you be sharing a touching story with your children, but you will also be taken back to yesterday, simpler times, and loving a toy of your own.
stellaluna Stellaluna: Janell Cannon tells the story of a little fruit bat named Stellaluna. This little one gets separated from her mother and is found and taken care of by a mama bird. The mama bird insists that Stellaluna do everything the way ordinary birds do, which is totally different than the way bats do things. When Stellaluna can finally fly, and actually ends up finding her mother, she is told that what she feels is the right way to do things are her natural instincts, and that she should follow them. She is very relieved to be able to do all the things bats naturally do once again. Sharing this story will teach you and your children about how bats look, live, and are different from birds.
are you my mother? Are You My Mother?: This ‘I Can Read’ book by P.D. Eastman is a wonderful story that will be something your child can soon read on her own. A bird hatches from his egg while his mother is away, and sets out to find her. In his search he comes upon a dog, a cow, and even a plane, and asks each one, “Are you my mother?”. When he finally finds his real mother, he instantly recognizes her and the reunion is a very happy one. Educational, entertaining and one of the most beloved stories for all ages, this is a great one to share
oh, the places you’ll go! Oh, the Places You’ll Go!: Dr. Seuss has taken a simple story and made it one that applies to everyone at one time or another. Each milestone in life opens new doors of opportunity, and that is what this story implies. As you read it with your children, you may even be inspired yourself. Not only does it inspire and encourage the reader about the opportunities in life, but it is also entertaining with the traditional Seuss wit and rhyme. Fun to read aloud and even more fun to share with a loved one, this is one picture book that will become a family favorite.
olivia Olivia: Every child loves to hear stories of another child, even if that other child happens to be a little pig named Olivia. Precocious and energetic, Olivia has a way of wearing her mother out. Each night as her mother puts Olivia to bed, she tells her that she loves her- even though she wears her out. With a message of parental love and devotion, as well as a child who is being their naturally curious and active self, this story will touch your heart, and may become one of your family’s favorite children’s books ever. Ian Falconer has brought together reality and fantasy in a way that will touch your heart and give you a laugh.
strega nona Strega Nona: Everyone loves lovable grandmothers, but this is no ordinary grandma. Strega Nona actually means ‘Grandma Witch’. The lovable and magical things she can do with her magic pasta pot will amaze, astound, and humor you and your children as you share this story. Everyone in the village comes to her for help and advice, even the priest and the nuns in the convent. Her powerful pot is put to the test and the hilarity that results will leave you laughing. This is a wonderful book to share with little ones at bedtime or any time. Winner of the Newberry Award, Tomie dePaola has created a classic.
not a box Not a Box: Laura Vaccaro Seeger has brought to the list a book that touches the heart and imagination of children of all ages, with this delightful story about a bunny and his cardboard box that is in his eyes anything but a box. As every child knows, a cardboard box can become whatever you want it to be, and the things that the bunny turns it into will open up the imagination to create many things you and your children may not have thought of creating with your own cardboard boxes. Sharing the story and sharing the ideas to create will be inspiring and fun.
one fish two fish red fish blue fish One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish: Dr. Seuss is as silly as ever with this classic that will have you and your children enjoying reading and rhyming more than ever. From flying a kite in bed, to walking around with ten cats on your head to counting and seeing new kinds of fish and creatures, you will not be disappointed. One of the most exciting things about reading a Dr. Seuss book is the never ending temptation to read it as fast as you can. With this story, you will have the rhythm and rhyme rolling off your tongue as you share it with your children. Before long they will be reading it with you. This is an easy to read book with words that are simple, and it will lead the way to reading aloud.
curious george Curious George: This little monkey has become one of the most beloved of all pets, and with all the trouble he can get into, stories about him are winners in almost every household. George knows how to have fun, but getting into trouble because of his curiosity is what usually happens. Sharing these tales will give you and your children lots of laughs and offer entertainment for years. One good thing about the trouble George manages to find is that is almost always followed by something good or funny, and the man with the yellow hat is always understanding with the little monkey.

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jumanji Jumanji: Chris Van Allsburg has created a story of fantasy, adventure and fun, with this book about two kids who get more than they bargained for with a board game that they find. Not only does it take them from boredom to excitement, but the trouble they encounter along the way will thrill you and be fun to share with your own children. Playing a game may never be the same again, once you find out what happens with this simple little board game. Magical, mystical and full of surprises, this is one story that will be a great addition to any day.
we’re going on a bear hunt We’re Going On a Bear Hunt: Written by Michael and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, this is one little book that will offer more fun and adventure as you reenact the bear hunt adventure with your own children. A father and his four children set out on a fine day to go on a bear hunt through the grass, through a stream, and into the wild. As they reach the end of the hunt, they come upon a bear who chases them all the way home. Was the bear real or did they pretend it into existence? Sharing this story with your children will offer you many explanations as to whether it really was a bear or not.
click clack moo: cows that type Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type: Cows may seem quite boring to most people, especially when they are plain old ordinary cows. The way Doreen Cronin tells it with pictures by Betsy Lewin that prove it to be true, Farmer Brown’s cows are no ordinary cows, at least not after they find an old typewriter that someone left in the barn. When the cows begin to learn how to spell and write, they insist on being treated differently and end up going on strike when Farmer Brown refuses their demands. Funny, delightful and entertaining, this is a great book for the entire family to share
where is baby’s belly button? Where is Baby’s Belly Button?: What better way to teach babies and toddlers where each body part is than with a game and a book? Karen Katz has created one of the most interactive and teachable peek-a-boo type of stories that will help you as you and baby have fun learning. It is one of the best children’s books. Finding the belly button, the eyes, and other parts of baby’s anatomy will be exciting and fun as you make a story into a game. Interacting with the baby and the story will be one of the easiest ways to teach simple concepts. Play time, nap time, any time, this story will keep you and baby having fun for a long time
the little engine that could The Little Engine That Could: Watty Piper and Loren Long brought us this inspiring story of a little train engine many years ago and it is still inspiring and encouraging millions of people, children and adults alike. When the little train gets stuck at the bottom of a hill, the little engine keeps his focus, and keeps telling himself “I think I can, I think I can” until eventually he makes it to the top of the hill. The message this leaves the reader with is one of how important it is to be determined, persevere, and never stop trying. One of the most inspirational children’s books ever, this one is a classic.
the tale of peter rabbit The Tale of Peter Rabbit: The beloved story of this little rabbit boy who learns a lesson the hard way will bring you and your children a lot of entertainment, laughs, and a lesson that may last a lifetime. Beatrix Potter has brought to life a family of rabbits, their struggles with the same things every family struggles with, and their determination to love each other even when it isn’t easy. Being entertained is good, but having the addition of important life lessons is even better. This is one story that is sure to become a family favorite and be enjoyed together for many years to come
richard scarry’s what do people do all day Richard Scarry’s What Do People Do All Day: This story brings to life part of the adult world to children who want to know what people do all day. There are examples of jobs and a connection made from one person to another. It gives the reader the sense that we are all connected, and the each profession is not only important to itself, but is dependent on and supportive of the other jobs out there. Reading it together may offer windows of opportunities to discuss with even the youngest children the importance of work, money, and being helpful to others. Richard Scarry has a way with connecting pictures and stories to keep the interest and draw the reader back again
if you give a mouse a cookie If You Give a Mouse a Cookie: Sharing a cookie may be fun, but when you share it with a mouse, be prepared to be put to work. In this charming tale of a boy and his mouse, Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond have created a story that will give good attention to cause and effect, consequences to actions, and offer enough fun and entertainment to keep you coming back again and again. The illustrations will give you an even bigger picture about the hilarity behind the story, and make reading this tale even more fun. This one is sure to become a family favorite, and one that you will keep coming back to.
the kissing hand The Kissing Hand: Audrey Penn is the author of this truly one of a kind story. When little Chester, a young raccoon, is scared to leave his mother and go to school, she gives him something that makes everything alright. She kisses his palm and tells him that the kiss will help make school as warm and nice of a place to be as home is. When Chester begins to feel lonely or scared, he presses his hand to his chest and feels the warmth of his mother’s kiss in his heart. This is one sentimental and heartwarming story that will help even the youngest child deal with changes they have to go through.
mike mulligan and his steam shovel Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel: One of the most beloved books for boys and girls is the story of Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne- his steam shovel. Mary Anne is an old steam shovel, and isn’t as shiny and pretty as some of the newer models are. Mike Mulligan still uses her though, and insists that she can do just as good a job as those more modern models can. When he insists on using her in Popperville, Mike and Mary Anne are put to the test, with the entire town watching. An inspiring story that is fun to share with little ones, this one is a true classic.

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caps for sale Caps for Sale: What do you get when you put together a peddler, some monkeys, and the story telling gift of Esphyr Slobodkina? You get a classic story that has been around for decades and is still just as entertaining and fun as it was when first published in 1938. Generations of children have grown up with this and other classics that have made storytelling an art. With the humor and warmth found only in the past, this is one children’s book that will continue to amuse, delight, and inspire many families for many more years to come. Family classic and a treasure to share – what more could you want in a story?
tumford the terrible Tumford the Terrible: Tumford isn’t a bad cat . . . he just has a terrible time with two simple words: “I’m sorry.” We all make mistakes, but Tumford won’t apologize for them. Instead, he hides when his mischievous ways are found out about. Despite this seemingly bad behavior, Tumford’s loving owners never stop loving him. Will Tumford finally apologize? What will it take to get him to see the err of his ways? This is a book that’s both gorgeously illustrated and whimsically written, and that will remind children that everyone makes mistakes – and of how important it is to say you’re sorry.
sheep in a jeep Sheep in a Jeep: Five sheep driving a jeep? Only in this classic tale by Nancy Shaw Seussian. Not only are the sheep hilarious and driving wild, but the story is rhythmical and rhyming, making it very easy to read and follow. Sharing a laugh will be the highlight of the day when you read this story to your little ones. Over the hill, through a mud puddle, and forgetting to steer, all go together to make this story one that will be enjoyed many times over. If you are looking for a story that is fun, silly, and entertaining, this may be the one for you.
tuesday Tuesday: Winner of a Caldecott Medal Award and also one of the ALA Children’s Book titles, this is one that will become a favorite from the first time you read it. David Wiesner has used more imagination than anything else with this story that is more pictures than words. With the colorful and vibrant illustrations, you can ‘read’ the book by looking at the pictures. Frogs are the focus, enjoying themselves as only frogs can, on lily pads, in the swamp, and into town, the frogs are out to have fun. That is until morning comes. Tuesday night is their time and enjoying this book with a little one may make it your time too.
tikki tikki tembo Tikki Tikki Tembo: This tale of Chinese folklore is one that will amuse you and may leave you humming or repeating the little rhyme that many children enjoy after reading it. Arlene Mosel and Blair Lent have done an amazing job at bringing a classic story of a little boy who falls into a well. The rescue takes longer than it should because his name is so long and must be completely said before he can be rescued. This story is sure to be loved by young and old alike and will be treasured by many as something to savor as they read and enjoy it together with loved ones.
eleventh hour Eleventh Hour: Graeme Base has created yet another astounding book to add to the list of the best. This beautiful and amazing picture book will have you looking for clues throughout it to find out the answer to the question, ‘Who stole the birthday feast?’ A mystery like no other with clues on each page and in every illustrated picture, the fun is just beginning with the reading. When you think you know the answer, you may find something that will tell you whether you are right or wrong. Mystery lovers young and old will find this story one to enjoy over and over, alone or with a loved one.
i want my hat back I Want My Hat Back: The poor bear can’t find his hat – and he wants it back! He sets off on a journey to ask every animal he finds if they’ve seen his precious hat. The animals all say no, they have not seen his hat – in increasingly elaborate ways. Just when the bear is ready to give up, a friendly deer bounds along and asks an intriguing question that gets the bear on the right track. This is a book that’s told entirely in dialogue, and is a new twist on the classic repetitive tale. Visual humor and clever illustrations abound.
in the night kitchen In the Night Kitchen: Maurice Sendak has brought to families everywhere the story of a little boy named Mickey who dreams that he is floating in the Baker’s Kitchen. Or is it a dream at all? Mickey finds himself falling out of bed and out of his night clothes after hearing some noise downstairs. When he yells “Be quiet!”, he is suddenly floating past the moon, and past his mom and dad’s room where they are sound asleep. As you enjoy this story of Mickey and the Night Kitchen, you will be taken back to your own childhood dreams and share the humor of dreaming with your own little ones.
the true story of the three little pigs The True Story of the Three Little Pigs: This story told from the perspective of the wolf who is considered the bad guy in the original story, offers another side to the classic tale. Alexander T. Wolf has a different way of telling the story, with an explanation as to what he says really happened. You see, he wasn’t huffing and puffing, trying on purpose to blow those houses down. The truth, according to him, is that he had a bad cold. All he wanted was to borrow a cup of sugar so he could bake a cake for his granny. Fun, hilarious, and a riot to compare to the original, this is one that you will enjoy reading.

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the runaway bunny The Runaway Bunny: First published in 1942, this is one story that has become a classic. A little bunny thinks he might want to run away. Similar to the stage that many children go through, this little bunny thinks life will be better away from home. His mother, though, tells him that if he runs away she will run after him. A true tale of the love a mother has for her young, this story is one that will keep you and your children coming back. Each situation the bunny mentions he might be in, the mother has an answer for as to how she would rescue him. Delightful and heartwarming, this is one of the best.
someday Someday: This story by Alison McGhee and Peter Reynolds is one that will touch the heart of any mother and child. A mother reflecting on her love for her child, and imagining each milestone with beautifully illustrated watercolor pictures, will draw you in. From that first meeting at the moment of birth to holding hands as they cross the street to riding a bike for the first time to seeing her grown up daughter waving goodbye, this story will keep you reading and maybe touch a part of you that has been hiding. Reading it with your children may offer both of you a sentiment that is only brought on by being deeply moved.
the red book The Red Book: This story, completely done in pictures by David Wiesner, is a delightful depiction of a little girl who finds a magic book and is shown the way to the place inside the book by maps, landmarks, and a boy who is in the book and shows her where she is. After school, she buys some helium filled balloons and floats away, but while she is on her way to the magical land of the book, she drops the book. As she goes higher and higher, she sees another child pick up the book. When the book is opened, the person who found it sees the girl with the balloons reach the desired area, and the cycle begins all over again. Imaginative and charming, this is one of those picture books that you will want to look at over and over again.
once upon a potty Once Upon a Potty: More than just a storybook, this is an instruction manual of sorts. Written by Alona Frankel for her own child originally, it has become a must have for parents and toddlers everywhere. There is a version of this childrens book for boys and one for girls. Each version has a child learning to use their own potty chair and is a great help in both helping the parent potty train a toddler, and helping the toddler develop the confidence needed at this point in life. Fun, charming, and helpful, this is sure to be one that every parent and young child will want to own.
art & max Art & Max: This is the tale of Max and Arthur, who are wonderful friends who share a common hobby: painting. Arthur is quite the accomplished artist, while Max is just starting out. When Max’s initial attempt at painting is less than he desires, the two friends embark on a journey through the numerous artistic media options – which leads to hilarious and unexpected challenges. Max may be inexperienced, but he’s a fast learner and is willing to try new things. The energy and enthusiasm he shows adds adventure and leads to a wonderful, triumphant end. This is a book that shows kids that practice really can make perfect.
what do you do with a tail like this? What Do You Do With a Tail Like This?: There is nothing like reading and sharing a story that is educational, interactive, and funny, all at the same time. Robin Page and Steve Jenkins have created such a story with this factual and entertaining book. Learning together about the different body parts of animals and what they do will even teach the most educated adults some things they didn’t know. For instance, a cricket’s ears are located on his knees. Learning fun facts makes for a fun time for all. Eyes, ears, tails, legs, mouths, and noses, will all be something that you and your children may be surprised at when you learn some of the functions different animals have for them.
the rainbow fish The Rainbow Fish: A story with a moral to learn is something to treasure, and this is one such story. These educational stories are very easy to add to the best children’s books of all-time. The rainbow fish happens to be the most beautiful fish in the ocean, and he knows it. His beauty has gone to his head and has even made him become proud and rude to his friends. When his friends all abandon him, he knows that there is something wrong, but can’t imagine what it is. He finds the wise old octopus and asks for some advice. The octopus tells him to share some of his beauty with others, and to begin looking at the beauty that comes from the inside as being what really makes someone beautiful. Though it is shiny and colorful, this is one story that offers more than outer beauty.
the snowy day The Snowy Day: This Caledecott Medal winner has become one of the most popular stories for enjoying winter fun. Ezra Jack Keats wrote this story in 1963, and it has been delighting millions of families every since. It is the tale of Peter, a little boy who loves the snow, and the first snowfall of the year. As Peter plays in the snow, makes snowballs and snow angels, even the older reader will be taken back to childhood and the wonder experienced when that first snowfall happens. Sledding, snowball fights, catching snowflakes on your tongue, will all come back to you, and will offer your children ideas about how much fun they can have in the snow.
madeline Madeline: This story has become a favorite, as have all the Madeline tales, among little girls everywhere. The story happens in Paris where there is a school that the girls go to. “Twelve little girls all in line, and the littlest one is Madeline.” This heartwarming tale is full of adventure and humor. Madeline has a bad stomachache and must go to the hospital to have her appendix removed. A Caldecott Medal winner, this is one story that little people everywhere will want to read again and again. Fun to read aloud with the rhythm and rhyme making it flow off the tongue, this is one you will find yourself wanting to share over and over again.
the little house The Little House: Author Virginia Lee Burton has made this story a Caldecott Medal winner. Originally published in 1943, the moral of the story is even more relevant now than it was then. The little house is happy living way out in the country. When she eventually notices things changing, roads being made, and other buildings and houses being built closer, while trees and fields are being replaced with them, she begins to worry. By the end of the story, she is all alone in the middle of all the newer development. There is a happy ending, though. Her past owner comes and rescues her from the new and unwelcome city life, and takes her back to the country where they were both happier.

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the paper bag princess The Paper Bag Princess: This classic by Robert Munsch offers adventure, suspense, humor, and romance. What more could you want in a children’s book? Princess Elizabeth and Prince Ronald are to be married, but when a dragon kidnaps Prince Ronald and catches the castle on fire, burning everything owned by the princess- even her clothes, it puts a damper on their plans. Undaunted by this set back, Princess Elizabeth puts on a paper bag for a dress, and goes out to find her prince. After she manages to rescue him, the prince tells her to come back after she is dressed like a real princess. Hilarity and humor will keep you laughing as you share this romance gone wrong with your children.
gallop! Gallop!: A Scanimation Picture Book: Rufus Butler Seder has created a masterpiece with this new form of animation called scanimation. The pictures actually look like they are moving. With this story, you will see a horse running, a rooster strutting, a turtle swimming, and birds flying. Seeing the animals move with very natural action as you flip each page gives you a sense of awe as you try to figure out the science behind the magical movements. This is one story that will amaze adults as much as children. Enjoying it together as you try to figure it out may become the highlight of your day.
the napping house The Napping House: This charming tale by Audrey Wood and Don Wood will make a wonderful bedtime or anytime story to share. Everyone in the house is napping. Everyone, that is, except one little flea. What happens when the flea decides to bite a mouse? Well, that’s when the real fun begins. Written in a flowing rhythm and rhyme, this story will be fun to read aloud and share with your children. Fun, silly, and imaginative, this is a story that will become a family favorite to share time and time again. Join Granny, the young child, the dog, the cat, and the very wakeful flea, for an afternoon of napping- or not.
how do dinosaurs say goodnight? How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?: As many parents and children know, bedtime is not usually a child’s favorite time of day. In this delightful tale of a dinosaur at bedtime, there is every excuse not to go to bed, every reaction that most parents have been given by their children at one time or another when bedtime rolls around, and it’s all done in a humorous and silly way. Human moms and dads, trying to put their huge dinosaur children to bed make this story one that will give you and your children lots of laughs, and bring home the point of making bedtime easier and more loving. Hugs and kisses, and saying a happy ‘goodnight’ wins out, even with dinosaurs.
the cat in the hat The Cat in The Hat: Two bored children sitting in the window with nothing to do, and mother has gone out for the day. Oh, no, here comes the cat in the hat, and he is full of mischief and unwelcome surprises. It’s a good thing Dr. Seuss knows just how to make him clean up his messes in this fun story that will keep you and your children coming back for more. In classic Seuss style, with all the humor anyone could want, you will see the tricks that the cat has up his sleeve, and the results that follow. When mother is coming home, the clean up must be extremely fast, and thing one and thing two are just the ones to handle it. Cat, hat, and things, all make this story one to treasure.
make way for ducklings Make Way for Ducklings: Robert McCloskey has won the Caldecott Medal for this winner with families everywhere. Mr. And Mrs. Mallard are looking for a place in the city of Boston to raise their young ducks. They need a place where there will be no threat from wolves, foxes, or turtles. When they decide to nest in Boston’s Public Garden, they are right at home with the help of a police officer and others. The illustrations of Boston’s famous landmarks adds to the authenticity of this story. A treasure to share and educational too, this is one that may become a family favorite to read together.
open the barn door, find a cow Open the Barn Door, Find a Cow: This is one of the classic board books for babies through preschool age. Christopher Santoro has created a flap book that will help your children learn about farm animals and help them with motor skill development as they learn how to open and close the flaps. Hiding behind each flap will have a different animal hiding behind it for your child to find. Making a peek-a-boo game with this book will offer you and your child an interactive way to enjoy it together. Since this is a board book, it’s easy for little hands to hold and handle, and durable enough for the rough way the younger child will handle it.
the stinky cheese man and other fairly stupid tales The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales: These fairly stupid tales are not like the fairy tales you may have known while growing up. They are, rather, a total mockery of them, similar to the other books by Jon Scienszka, written with sarcasm and humorous scandal. Taking the originals apart and interjecting characters who belong in other fairy tales into some old favorites, the humor and hilarity may amaze you. Kids love to read stories that offer the unexpected, and bring in sarcasm and surprises. This one will not disappoint, and may become a favorite to share whenever you want a laugh or a new look at the way things should be, and the way things could be.
the polar express The Polar Express: This is the delightful tale of a young boy and his struggle with believing in Santa Claus. When he goes to bed on Christmas Eve, he is sure there is no such thing as Santa. Much to his surprise, a train pulls up in front of his house to take him to the North Pole. Along with other children, he experiences the reality of Santa and Christmas, and is brought to the obvious conclusion that he was wrong. Adventurous, heartwarming, and fun to read alone or to share, this is one of those childrens books that is sure to be treasured for many years.
the story of ferdinand The Story of Ferdinand: Ferdinand has been one of the most beloved characters of many children over the last fifty years. He is different than other young bulls. They all love to run, jump, play, and be as rowdy as they can be, but Ferdinand likes the peace and quiet that he finds under his cork tree. Sitting in the shade while the others are out in the hot sun playing and laughing, Ferdinand is quite content. That is until he has a bad experience with a bee. Unfortunately for Ferdinand, the bee sting happens when the rodeo men have come to choose the best young bull to have in a bullfight. Ferdinand, with all of his jumping and snorting from that horrible bee sting, is just what they want. Joining him as he experiences the bullfighting arena and seeing how he handles it will be something to treasure with this fun story.

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how the grinch stole christmas How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Grinch isn’t really bad, he just has a heart that is too small. Dr. Seuss has given us this heartwarming tale of the Grinch and his heart problem. When the Whos of Whoville begin to celebrate, the efforts of the Grinch to take Christmas from them fails because Christmas doesn’t depend on the things they do, and the presents they share. It depends on what is in the heart. When he finally realizes that the heart is what holds Christmas, the Grinch finds his own heart growing and becoming warm. He begins to see the true meaning of Christmas, and brings all the things he took from the Whos back to them.
hop on pop Hop on Pop: Dr. Seuss has brought many winning books to the world of reading, and this is another to add to the list. Not only is it a simple story that is fun to read, as all Seuss books are, but it is also very helpful in teaching kids to read. The words are simple and the phrases have a lot of word play, such as rhyming. The wild illustrations are fitting with traditional Seuss style, and will keep you looking with wonder as you turn each page. Sharing this story with children of any age will be something to treasure as they grow up.
jamberry Jamberry: A boy and a bear going to look for berries, and the more the better. Berry Land has as many different kinds of berries as can be imagined, and author Bruce Degen does a masterful job of imagining many. Written in poetic rhyme, this is one fun story to read aloud. You may even find that as you read about the two friends frolicking in berry land, you and your young audience begin to dance or almost sing the story. Adventure, animals, food treats, and fun, all in one story that will become a family favorite to share many times over.
knuffle bunny: a cautionary tale Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale: This is a heartwarming story about a little girl named Trixie who has a favorite bunny who she really loves, Knuffle Bunny. When her daddy takes her to do the family’s laundry, something awful happens. But because Trixie is too little to talk yet, she can’t tell her daddy what has happened, and he thinks she is just being fussy. After a horrible walk home, with Trixie whining and even going so far as to become like rubber, the way small children do when they throw themselves on the floor in a tantrum, it is finally realized what happened. Mommy notices that the loved bunny is missing, and Daddy sets off to find it.
dear zoo; a lift-the-flap book Dear Zoo; A Lift-the-Flap Book: This story about a little boy who is looking for the perfect pet will open doors to your child’s learning (no pun intended). As he looks for a pet, each flap can be lifted to see a different animal inside. Making a game out of it with guessing what lies behind the flap, or even learning animal sounds along with reading the book, will be something that will make it even more loved. Easy for little hands to hold, and fun with looking under the flaps make this one of the best picture books for young children. It’s educational and fun all in one.
kitten’s first full moon Kitten’s First Full Moon: This Caldecott Medal winner is one of the sweetest kitten stories ever. The kitten, seeing the full moon for the first time, is convinced that it’s a bowl of milk that was put there just for her. The fun begins when she decides to try to drink it. Trying to lick it from her place in the universe makes for a fun and silly story with pictures that will bring delight and giggles. Watching as a bug lands on her tongue, and even the rest of the funny antics that kitten takes part in while trying to reach that bowl of milk in the sky will give you and anyone else who is paying attention, a good laugh.
llama llama red pajama Llama Llama Red Pajama: As many little ones have experienced firsthand, bedtime can be something that is lonely and sometimes even scary. When mom or dad leaves the room, and it’s time to go to sleep, that’s when they want something. A drink, another kiss, a bedtime story, anything to get mom or dad back in the room. Baby Llama is no different. When his mama kisses him goodnight, and he wants her to bring him a drink, she is taking her time in coming. He begins to really worry and ends up crying very loudly. Mama comes running, as any mama would, and makes everything alright again. This is one of those picture books with a message, and a heartwarming story.
the little mouse, the red ripe strawberry, and the big hungry bear The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear: The most fun types of children’s books, are those with story lines that will help you participate. This is one of those types of stories. It is interactive enough to give the reader a voice of his own and even allow you to take part in being one of the characters. A little mouse has found a yummy, ripe, red, strawberry, and he is not willing to part with it. You, the reader, take on the voice of the bear and try to get the mouse to hand over the strawberry. Fun and exciting, getting into this story is easy and will keep you coming back for more.
time for bed Time For Bed: This is a great bedtime story that will help children as they prepare to go to sleep. Animals of all kinds are saying goodnight to their little ones, and bed time is pleasant through the world. The verse is rhyming and flows easily off the tongue, and the pictures are portraying bedtime rituals that will be familiar to you and your children. From taking a bath to brushing teeth to giving a kiss and a hug, all the parents and children offer something that you will cherish. It is one of the best bedtime stories to help little ones settle easily for the night.
the dot The Dot: When self esteem, or the lack of it, tells Vashti that she can’t draw, her teacher encourages her to try. Just making one dot on the page, and seeing where it will lead, opens up a new world of being artistic. That is some of the best advice she could have given her. When Vashti finds that she can mix some colors to create other colors, she begins to experiment and see just how much she can do. This is one of the most encouraging childrens books to read aloud or even alone. Trying in the midst of doubt can help anyone find hidden talent, and reach places they would have never made it to.

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how i became a pirate How I Became a Pirate: When Jeremy Jacobs is building a sand castle on the beach, his parents don’t notice the ship pull up along the shore. Jeremy does though, and he also recognizes that it is full of pirates. He decides to join them and becomes one of the ship hands. He likes the pirate’s life with no bedtimes and no manners being used. He is determined, though, that he must be back home in time for his soccer team to practice. Hilarious, fun, and imaginative, this story is told from the viewpoint of Jeremy, who of course may be exaggerating, just a little.
owl moon Owl Moon: One of the highlights of childhood is experiencing an adventure with a parent. In this charming story, a little girl gets to stay up past her bedtime and go owling with her dad. With the magnificent descriptions of what they hear and illustrations of what they see, everyone who reads this story will in a sense experience the awe and excitement that the little girl felt. It’s no wonder that this is a Caldecott Medal winner and has been one of the most loved books by many for more than 20 years. Told from the perspective of the little girl, this is one special story to share with your own children.
amazing grace Amazing Grace: This is one story that will offer encouragement to anyone. Grace is a little girl who loves stories, and she loves to pretend. When the opportunity comes for her or one of her classmates to play Peter Pan in a play at school, Grace really wants to be Peter Pan. Her friends discourage her. After all, Peter is a boy, and Grace is a girl. With the encouragement and support of her mother and grandmother, Grace decides that she can do whatever she sets her mind to do. The surprises that await are many, and the illustrations will offer even more to the reader.
on the night you were born On the Night You Were Born: As every parent knows, there is no greater moment than when your child was born. This story is the celebration of the birth of a baby, and the memory of how wonderful it was for the parent. Sentimental and sweet, the verse is poetic and flows easily. There is an emphasis on the uniqueness of each baby, with the words “You are the one and only ever you.” Reading this story with your child will offer you an opportunity to express your love and happiness for them being yours. This is one story that may become a family favorite, and be shared whenever you feel the need to express your love in a special way.
the wump world The Wump World: The wumps live in a world that is much smaller than ours. As a matter of fact, their world is also more peaceful than ours. The wumps just wander wherever they please, because they have no enemies, and nobody will try to harm them. But one thing they don’t know is that they are being watched by someone. This charming story by Bill Peet will entertain you and your children, and give you some more tools for your own imagination to think about. Reading together has never been more fun, than it is when you are reading about wumps and their special world.
abc3d ABC3D: More than simply childrens books, this one is actually more like a work of art. Not only is each letter of the alphabet done in 3D, some of them move and even change into the shape of the next letter. Animation in a way that may have never been done before, this is one book that will amaze you and your children. One fun thing to do is to try and figure out how it was made and how the letters work. Maybe it could even become the focus of an art project as you try to create a similar work of your own.
miss rumphius Miss Rumphius: This story will help children and adults alike look at their part in the world around them in a more productive way. Miss Rumphius shows how much difference one person can make in the beauty of the world they occupy. Even if you can’t travel far, or spend a lot of money, you can do simple things like plant flowers. Miss Rumpius finds ways to touch those around her with beauty. Sharing this book may offer you and your children ideas about what you can do in your part of the world. Inspiring and encouraging, this book may become a favorite.
the three little wolves and the big bad pig The Three Little Wolves and The Big Bad Pig: This spoof on the three little pigs will have you laughing and wanting to know more within the first few pages. When the three little wolves go out on their own, they build a house that should stand up to the big bad pig. But the pig is armed with more than simply his huffing and puffing. He has dynamite! Sharing this hilarious tale will make a family reading time more fun than ever. And the ending may surprise even those who think they can tell what will happen next. This anytime story will be one to read over and over again.
miss nelson is missing Miss Nelson is Missing: The kids in Miss Nelson’s class know she’s the nicest teacher in the entire school. So why are they so naughty and disrespectful to her? When she suddenly is absent and nobody knows where she is, the kids get worried about her. She has disappeared! Now they are stuck with a substitute who is not nearly as nice as Miss Nelson. They want her back, and they want her back now! This is one story that may make teacher appreciation something that is an everyday art ( at least for some children). Sharing this story at bedtime or anytime will give some laughs and a lot of entertainment.
joseph had a little overcoat Joseph Had a Little Overcoat: This Caldecott Medal winner is a tale about a man named Joseph, who absolutely loves his overcoat. He loves it so much, that when it wears out, he makes it into a jacket. When the jacket wears out, well, you will have to read the book to find out, but Joseph is quite creative in saving at least a part of the overcoat to make other things that he can use and enjoy. The story is taken from a Yiddish song and contains many rhythms throughout it. Fun to share and humorous in ways you may not expect, this is one worth reading more than once.

Famous Children’s Books That Almost Made the List

grandpa green Grandpa Green: Fans of the famous bestseller It’s a Book will love this book from the same creator. It is a story that’s rich with family history, the legacy our ancestors hand down to us, and the power of love. Grandpa Green may be a gardener now, but it wasn’t always that way. He grew up on a farm, got the chickenpox as a kid, became a soldier, and eventually an artist. The story follows Grandpa Green and his great-grandson as they explore the garden Grandpa Green created. The boy learns important lessons about his great-grandfather, and discovers his rich and stunning family history.
goodnight, goodnight construction site Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site: Kids who are crazy about trucks, construction, and building will go nuts over this adorable and informative book. Each of the busy trucks gets ready to say goodnight, from the Crane Truck, the Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Excavator and even Bulldozer. They know how important it is to rest so they’ll be ready for another day full of hard work and construction fun! The artwork is bold, adorable, and quite majestic, while the gentle, sweet rhyming text helps lull little ones to sleep. From a best-selling and award-winning illustrator comes this irresistible book about playing hard by day and getting lots of rest at night.
the artist who painted a blue horse The Artist Who painted a Blue Horse: One of the best children’s books for budding young artists, this vibrant book comes from Eric Carle, a world-famous artist. The book focuses on an artist who paints the world the way he sees it – just as a child would. For example, you’ll spot a red croc, a big, orange elephant, and a sly, purple fox – not to mention the hilarious polka-dotted donkey! This is a book that truly showcases imagination and that each artist can paint the world in any way they want. A wonderful tribute to an artistic life, kids of all ages will love the breathtaking illustrations.
shark vs. train Shark vs. Train: When it comes to funny children’s books, you won’t find much that can match up to this uproarious match-up. Who will come out ahead: shark or train? Train can stretch his long body to win at basketball, but Shark has the best costume for trick-or-treating. In some cases, no one can win – like the scoreless video-game tournament. After all, you can’t play video games without thumbs! With energetic cartoon illustrations and really cleverly constructed match-ups, this is the type of creative work that makes you wonder why no one thought of the concept earlier. It’s sure to tickle the funny bones of kids and their parents.
have you filled a bucket today Book TitlHave You Filled a Bucket Todaye: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids: Learning how to be kind to others can be something that takes more than simply saying “ be nice!” Learning the important lessons in life about being a person who encourages others, is kind, generous, helpful, and inspiring, can all be helped by reading a story like this one. With the idea being that each person has his own bucket, and we can make a difference in everyone we come in contact with by how we treat them, this is one story that you will want to share and remind your children of more than once. Compassion and caring in greater amounts may be the results you see when you share this book with your children.
swimmy Swimmy: Swimmy, a little fish who was just swimming along with all his little fish friends, finds himself suddenly alone after a bigger fish comes along and swallows all the other fish in his school. When he makes new friends, Swimmy comes up with a plan about how they can all survive by disguising themselves. The adventures that follow this story are sure to keep you and your children wanting to continue to learn more about what happens next. Not just a fish tale, but a story with a purpose. Learning how to work together and make the best out of a bad situation are some of the things this story will teach.
the story of babar The Story of Babar: Babar has been one of the most loved characters in children’s books for almost 80 years. Written in 1931, it has since been translated into more than 12 languages. For a fictional elephant, that is quite an accomplishment. Babar has lost his mother, and afterwards moves to the city. When he returns to his home in the country, he has grown up, gotten married, and is now considered a king. With so much popularity, he has a lot to learn and a lot to teach the other elephants. This is one story that will offer fun and entertainment many times over.
george and martha George and Martha: Though they are both hippos, George and Martha are best friends. One of the things about best friends is that they do everything together. Even best friends need to have time alone though, and that is only one of the things you and your children will learn from the relationship that George and Martha share. With humor and a message of friends truly caring about each other, this is one story that will draw you back again. One great thing about reading about these best friends, is that their stories will help the reader be an even better friend, and help friendships to grow closer.
russell the sheep Russell the Sheep: Little Russell can’t fall asleep. All the other sheep are sound asleep, but nothing has helped Russell. He considers moving to a more comfortable spot, he even considers whether the temperature has anything to do with his inability to fall asleep. When he still can’t sleep, he begins counting things. As he counts everything he can think of, and is still wide awake, all of a sudden he remembers hearing that if you count sheep it will help you fall asleep. Russell begins to count all the other sheep, and guess what? It works! By then all the other sheep are getting up for the day. It’s a good bedtime book and one that will be fun to share.
why mosquitoes buzz in people’s ears Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: This story is an African folktale. When a mosquito tells a lie, that simple act leads to the whole forest being affected in one way or another. With the simple truth of one little lie being able to cause a whole lot of trouble, this story is one that will offer a moral and teach a principle that is very important to learn while young. The truth is always the best choice. Told in a way that is more like an old folktale than a modern story, this is a great read aloud to share with your children and would also be good for them to read alone.
bark george Bark George: Every mother wants to hear her child’s first words. When George’s mother wants to hear him, she says “Bark George”. George is a puppy, so when he opens his mouth and says “meow”, his mother knows that something isn’t right. After hearing a number of animal sounds from George, none of which are sounds a puppy should be making, she decides to take him to the vet. Much to their surprise, there is a very good reason that George was making all those animal sounds. Surprises await as you read to find out just what is wrong with George. Fun, silly, and entertaining, this story is sure to please.
my friend rabbit My Friend Rabbit: Rabbit is one of those friends who mean well, but there is so much energy and spontaneity that he usually ends up causing trouble, no matter who he is trying to help. Told from the perspective of the best friend of Rabbit, Mouse, this story of enduring friendship will inspire children to be patient with their friends, and to recognize when someone is trying so hard that they can’t do things right. A great read aloud story that will be asked for again, this is one to add to your own list of favorites. Rabbit and Mouse really are friends, even when Rabbit messes up.
stone soup Stone Soup: This is the classic folktale that has been told by many. When a beggar asks an old woman for some food and she refuses, he decides to make a pot of soup. He asks her for a pot and some water and throws a stone in the pot. As he tricks her into giving him one thing after another, beginning with some onions, he is putting his pot of soup together. He ends up getting many vegetables from her and eventually even some meat bones. By the time the soup is done, will the old woman realize she has been had? Stone soup is one of the most loved stories to read and share with children.
the rainbow goblins The Rainbow Goblins: Beautifully illustrated with paintings that will draw you in, this is one story that is also considered a work of art. Ul De Rico has brought this story of color, and why certain things in the world are this way. With an exceptional story that will entertain, thrill, and amaze even the youngest person being read to, this is one of the best children’s books to add to your collection. Sharing it or reading it alone, even adults will be thrilled with the things they will get out of this wonderful story. Beauty in story and in pictures, it will not disappoint.
little pea Little Pea: Little Pea loves to do things that most kids love to do. Play outside, visit with friends, play games. There is only one thing that he really doesn’t like. Taking the typical child’s dislike of eating vegetables and wanting only dessert, the author created a family of peas that has candy as their ‘good for you food’. Little Pea does not like having to eat candy for dinner every night. But he does it anyhow, and all with the goal of having that yummy dessert- spinach! Kids of all ages will be able to relate to this story about Little Pea.
Library Lion Library Lion: This is one newer story about a lion who loves to go to the library. He is allowed in there as long as he doesn’t break any rules. The only one with any argument against him is Mr. McBee, the library circulation assistant. Lion is very good about keeping most of the rules, but one day he roars very loud and is almost tattled on by Mr. McBee. Come to find out, though, he was roaring to get help for the librarian who had fallen and needed help. With the moral of the story being that there may be times when rules need to be broken, and a happy ending that sets everything and everyone straight, this is one of the great picture books that you may love.
puff, the magic dragon Puff, the Magic Dragon: Written from the folksong that has been so popular for years, this is the tale of Puff and his friend Jackie Piper. Life in the land of Honalee is beautifully portrayed. Puff and Jackie travel in a boat that has fantastic sails, and they can climb up castle stairs to look out over the ocean. The sights they see and the adventures they share are as wonderful as the song. The ending of this story is a happier one than may be expected. Sharing this tale, and maybe even the song if you remember it, will be something to treasure.
sector 7 Sector 7: David Wiesner brings yet another winner to the table, with this wordless story book that will leave your imagination spinning. When you see the pictures, which will be inspirational and bring the story out of you, you will once again be fascinated with the creativity of this author who has brought so many other great books our way. In this one, there is a school class visiting the Empire State Building. When the cloud cover becomes so thick that they can’t see past the clouds, one lone boy is taken away by the clouds and brought to a place in the sky. It turns out that this place is where clouds are made. Fun to look at, and even more fun to help the story along as you look, this is one great choice to add to your collection.
snowflake bentley Snowflake Bentley: This tale is based on the true story about a boy who was always interested in snowflakes. Not only was he interested in them, he took on the task of learning as much as he could about them and even studying them. When he was a little older, he even used a microscope and camera to study them more closely. His photography of snowflake beauty is still popular, and has helped with scientific study of snow over the years. Whether for the science or the simple story of a boy who loved snowflakes, this is one that will fascinate and amaze anyone who reads it.
the story about ping The Story About Ping: Ping is a little duck who goes on an adventure with his family, only to become separated from them. They all leave the boat that they live on together, but somehow Ping is left behind. Realizing his position, Ping goes out to look for his family, and finds many adventures along the way. He meets other friends, and gets into some trouble too. This is a great story to read aloud, and will offer a lot of entertainment and fun to your day. Seeing how Ping handles his situation, and how he gets through it will be an adventure to share.
counting kisses Counting Kisses: Getting baby to sleep may be a little work especially when she is fussy. One thing that will fix the fussiness is giving baby lots of kisses. What fun and imagination as baby is kissed numerous times by Mommy, Grandma, and even the dog. When the story ends, there is no more fussing, only soundly sleeping baby, with a smile on her face and many kisses having been delivered. Fun, silly, and true to life, this is one story that will reach out to the heart and offer to lead the way to snuggling and kisses for your little ones.

*NEW* 30 Best Children’s Books of 2012

106 Responses to “Top 100 Children’s Books of All-Time”

  1. Mathias says:

    Nice list, many thanks for that. I think you may consider to add “the Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry though, it’s an awesome book for children.

  2. cookie icarangal says:

    i just completed the top 100 children’s books of all-time.. i’m so happy.. thanks for the list.. :)

  3. Dr. Steve Fortosis says:

    I couldn’t imagine a much better list of childrens selections than these. You left out very few of the cream of the crop. My children’s website includes many of these, but I still need to add some yet unexplored. I love children’s books and explored thousands in my search for the better ones. But the ones here are excellent. I will add some of these to my titles.

    • ben says:

      Hi can you send me your list I would appreciate it and it would help my children age 13-9 mos. I have 7 of them and more to come

      Thanks
      Ben Friedman

  4. camille says:

    hello all, I have been desperately looking for a book I read as a kid. Its a large picture book, a child is in the kitchen, he plays on giant food, wades through a bowl of spaghetti and slides down celery etc. I remember the colors to be kind of muted. It was not in the night kitchen. Please help! I was a kids in the 80s so I think it came out around then

  5. Ruth says:

    Great list! I would add The Gruffalo too by Julia Donaldson.

  6. Patty says:

    George Shrinks by William Joyce?

  7. Melissa says:

    How about ” the velveteen rabbit”? And “the country bunny and the little gold shoes” ( my favorite)

  8. Sarah says:

    The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson is such a good story also the Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

  9. Jamie says:

    I’m always surprised by how many of my adult and high school students read and loved “The Monster at the End of This Book” (starring lovable, furry ole Grover).

  10. Darah says:

    Where’s Waldo?!?!?!

    (Literally.)

  11. LilyAnna says:

    what about “The Shoes From Grandpa”???

  12. Googhie says:

    Love me some Skippy John Jones.

  13. Christina says:

    The sugar mouse cake was one of my favorites! And the friendly snowflake by M. Scott Peck.

  14. Jenna says:

    Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman – my favorite book of all time to read to my kids.

    Also Arm in Arm by Remy Charlip

  15. Carol says:

    Fredrick by Leo Leoni is a most amazing book, comes right at the top of my list.

  16. Virginie says:

    Bravo, but there is no Roald Dahl ?

  17. Kathy says:

    It would be great if you could put this list and the list for older kids in a printable form – I printed out this list and it was 39 pages!!! It could easily have been condensed into a 2-3 page list. Thanks!!!

  18. rhiannon says:

    Interesting list. Does the person who complied this list read to children often? Just wondering as many of the books listed are not at all much loved by my children. How the Alhbergs were left out astounds me.

  19. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Thank you so much for a beautiful book list. I’m passionate about picture books, have read thousands and even wrote, “Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, a book that highlights 100 of the best books that help build self-esteem…but I’ve missed a couple on your list. I appreciate your thorough reviews.

  20. Narelle says:

    The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland

  21. Beth says:

    Loved the list and like every book menitoned. Twenty-six of these are also on my Favorite 100 Picture Books list. One reader mentioned The Monster at the End of This Book, which is the only book of that kind also on my list. So I’m thinking the 26 we both loved must be the Cream of the Crop, right?

    I think I’m going to survey a few people and see what the most common 10 or 25 list might be.

  22. Kathy Beirne says:

    Pika and the roses by Elizabeth coatsworth, Pepitto’s Story (can’t remember the author, peek a Boo and Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allen ahlberg. but I came to your list looking for books with horses for a toddler who is crazy about horses. Any suggestions?

  23. Elle Wilson says:

    Skippy Jon jones series, the monster at the end of this book, anything by A.A. Maline (author I whinnie the pooh), the velveteen rabbit, and my most beloved book as a child ‘Noisy Nora’

  24. Janie says:

    All the books by Jan Brett are fantastic!

  25. April says:

    Great list. Please consider “I love you stinky face “. Awesome book!

  26. Jennifer says:

    I was concerned that you did not include some of the old books like Beauty and the Beast, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Aesops Fables, etc. There have been countless nods given to Beauty and the Beast through film, broadway shows and more. And the same can be said for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. When books like these become successfully immortalized, through different media, I think it certainly speaks volumes about their popularity.

  27. Elizabeth says:

    Great list here especially the little mouse and the big red ripe strawberry :) my favorite at a kid. But I have to say I was a little disappointed that bread and jam for Frances my older sister’s favorite book as a child.

  28. Lori says:

    Thanks for this list.See here many books I read as a child.

  29. Hayley says:

    Lots of great ones on the list!!!! I always LOVED The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base, you could stare at the illustrations for hours and always see something new….. Also, If you give a mouse a cookie :)

    I would add The Balloon Tree – Phoebe Gilman and
    A Promise is a Promise by Robert Munsch and Michael Kusugak.

  30. Sharon says:

    Hailstones and Halibut Bones are a must…

  31. Lucinda says:

    What about The Gruffalo? Fantastic children’s book by Julia Donaldson.

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