Design Mom’s Top 50 Picture Books

July 12, 2011

First, can I just say I loved coming up with this list and really thinking about the books that my children love the most — I kept having endearing flashbacks to cozy reading sessions and quiet bedtime routines. Second, coming up with this list was such a challenge! There is an incredible amount of excellent work out there. Narrowing it down to fifty was tougher than I expected. Most of all, I’m over-the-moon about the reaction to the Children’s Library Giveaway. Yay for books!

A few notes: As I compiled, I realized I want to make a few different lists — favorite toddler books, favorite chapter books, favorite holiday books… But for this list, I’m focusing on picture books. I had in mind children ages 3 to 10 — though some books skew younger than 7 and some skew older than 6. I also included a few books that would fall under the toddler book category, but that are loved by most everyone of any age. There are a couple of well-illustrated chapter books too — selections that even my young children enjoy.

The other thing I tried to do as I compiled the list, was to include as many authors and illustrators as possible. For example, there are at least 6 Dr. Seuss books I would consider essential to a children’s library, but I only included one here. Lastly, I made sure to include a Fairy Tales collection, Mother Goose collection and Fables collection — it wouldn’t be a decent library without them.

I’d love(!) to hear how your list might look different. Any picture books that would make your top 50 that didn’t make mine?

P.S. — Image by Brooke of Inchmark. She writes wonderful library book reviews.

The Design Mom Top 50 Picture Books, in alphabetical order:

- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

- All in a Day

- Archie and the Pirates

- Arrow to the Sun

- A Bargain for Francis


- Blueberries for Sal

- Curious George

- Fables

- Fairy Tales

- Frog and Toad Together


- Good Night, Gorilla

- Goodnight Moon

- Green Eggs and Ham

- Harold and the Purple Crayon

- The Incredible Book-Eating Boy


- The Jolly Postman

- Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

- The Little Bear Treasury

- The Little House

- Madeline


- Many Moons

- Mother Goose

- A Million Dots

- My Father’s Dragon

- The Napping House


- Not a Box

- Oh, What a Busy Day

- Olivia

- Ox-Cart Man

- The Paper Bag Princess


- People

- Polkabats and Octopus Slacks

- The Relatives Came

- The Reluctant Dragon

- Seasons


- A Sick Day for Amos McGee

- The Snowy Day

- So You Want to be President?

- The Stinky Cheese Man

- The Story of Ferdinand


- Strega Nona

- A Tree Is Nice

- Time for Bed

- Where the Sidewalk Ends

- Where the Wild Things Are


- The Widow’s Broom

- Winnie the Pooh (4-volume set)

- Very Hungry Caterpillar

- You are Awesome

- Zen Shorts

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{ 202 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nancy July 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm

what a great list… I am keeping my fingers crossed.. My girls loved “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good Very Bad Day”…


2 Desiree July 12, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Strega Nona was my favorite as a child and I’ve been meaning to get it for my son! This is a great list. A few books that my son loves are Planes, Trains, and Boats by Byron Barton. He is almost 3 years old and has practically memorized each one.


3 Marisa July 12, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Paper Bag Princess is the best! Add Weslandia to your next 50. ;)


4 Becca July 12, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I’m definitely bookmarking these lists. My kids are 4, 2, and 1. I’m looking forward to reading all of these books with them eventually.


5 Lisa December 13, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Read to them now! It starts a great habit and kids are NEVER too young to be read to!!! :)


6 Karen M July 12, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Great list! I’ve been meaning to write a list of my girls’ favorite books to include in their baby book. Several of their favorites are on your list, too. :)


7 Rachael July 12, 2011 at 6:23 pm

I really love Miss Rumphius and Roxaboxen (although you’ve already got Ox-cart Man, so I suppose that’s your Barbara Cooney). And Bread and Jam for Frances has always been my favorite by the Hobans, although Little Brute Family and Charlie the Tramp are awesome too!

One I was surprised not to see–Jane Yolen’s Owl Moon.


8 Khali July 12, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I’ll enjoy working through this list, discovering the books we haven’t read yet.


9 Genevieve July 12, 2011 at 6:26 pm

We read Archie and the Pirates a couple of months back because of another list I found on your blog. My son LOVED it and drew a wonderful picture of it. There are several books on the list that I was not aware of. We will have to check them out! Thanks!


10 Netty July 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm

I’m a nationally certified school librarian and I think your list is great! :) So hard to do!!! Good luck to all!


11 Chantalle July 12, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Great list! I love ‘oh were they ever happy’ and ‘miss twiggerly’s tree’ (also ‘meanwhile, back at the ranch is my kids’ new favorite!)


12 betsy July 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Love the list a lot of our favorite books are on here. What chapter books are your older kids reading? We are reading Homer Price by Robert McCoskey and just started Nicholas.


13 Lucy Mitchell March 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Us too! And the Emil books. (Astrid Lindgren.) I love this list. Having thought I knew all the great books it is wonderful to see how wrong I was.


14 Breanne July 12, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I love your selection…some of my not listed favorites: Library Lion, Emily’s Balloon, Ish… I could go on and on.


15 marilyn July 12, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Wonderful list — the one that I would add is The Giving Tree!


16 vanessa @ silly eagle books July 12, 2011 at 6:50 pm

How fun–I love seeing your list. There are a few I haven’t read yet and need to check out. I think I would add The Fire Cat, In a Blue Room, and Inatuk’s Friend. Thanks for sharing your favorites with us. :)


17 Janet Oliver July 12, 2011 at 7:01 pm

You already have two or three of my favorites (Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Story of Ferdinand, and Goodnight Moon). I would add Wee Gillis and Rabbit Hill, both by Robert Lawson. This next is not a picture book, but is a scholarly text on the importance of same: I met the author after her lecture at UNC-Greensboro.


18 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag July 12, 2011 at 7:08 pm

This is FANTASTIC!! What a great and comprehensive list — I totally approve of your super awesome selections!! Man, I would enter this giveaway in a heartbeat but as you can probably surmise, we have most of them already :) HUGE KUDOS for including ‘Oh What a Busy Day’ which is probably my all time favorite children’s book!


19 sophistimom July 12, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Ooh, I love the Napping House, too. One of our favorites I didn’t see in your list is The Mitten by Jan Brett. Another is Each Peach Pear Plum.

I think you got just about all of ours, plus a few we don’t have. Thanks, Gaby!


20 Hanna July 12, 2011 at 8:54 pm

I used to love Each Peach Pear Plum! I still think I have quite a lot of it memorized…


21 Beverly C July 12, 2011 at 7:15 pm

So many of the stories I read to my girls growing up. I hope to someday share these stories with my grandchildren!


22 robyn July 12, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Hmmmm…did I miss the Beatrix Potter? I always loved those books when I was younger (partially because they were such little books—little books just seemed better in little hands). I got a collection from my parents a few years ago (well, more than a few by now). She was such a brilliant illustrator. I want to be like her when I grow up.
I might also have included one of the Paddington books. My son is loving my old Paddington books to pieces (literally)! But you’ve got so many good books on your list, I don’t know that there would be any I could take out and replace.


23 ElaineD July 12, 2011 at 7:19 pm

You have a number of my faves already and I’m definitely going to bookmark the list for future reference!

I’d definitely have to add Guess How Much I Love You :) :)


24 Meggan Hayes July 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm

One of my favorite children’s book of all time is “The Wolves in the Walls”. If you haven’t read it, you should!


25 Leigh Ann Phillips July 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Thank you for this list! I’m always on the lookout for great bedtime stories. We’re headed to the library!


26 LH July 12, 2011 at 7:38 pm

My list would have Paddington and Beatrix Potter and Jamberry and The Mitten by Jan Brett, but many of the ones on your list I haven’t heard of before, so maybe I’d like them better than the ones I just mentioned if I’d read them!


27 Jan @ Family Bites July 12, 2011 at 7:39 pm

This is a fabulous list!!


28 Nicole July 12, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Since you asked, I just have to share some that I would include in my top 50. This is not to discredit any of the ones on your list as I think this is a great list and it would be VERY hard for me to pick only 50 of my favorite children’s books.
1. Leo Lionni–I love all of his books and his illustrations so it would be hard to pick which one but probably The Biggest House in the World.
2. I think I would definitely include a Beatrix Potter book. The Tales of Tom Kitten and Jeremy Fisher are my favorite of her stories.
3. One of the original Richard Scarry books. My favorite Richard Scarry as a child was Going Places but I think it is now out of print but I have a copy I read to my kids and they love it too. I love the illustrations of places throughout the world and his story of Pierre, the Paris policeman!
4. The sweetest little mystery book for 3-5 year olds: Sherlock Chick by Robert Quackenbush!

I mention these in case you have not read them because I think you will love them! Enjoy! I am looking forward to finding the ones on your list that I have never read!


29 Andrea July 12, 2011 at 7:53 pm

I worked at public libraries throughout college and grad school mostly as a page–I sorted/shelved books. My FAVORITE place to shelve was the “juvenile” section. I’d pull beautiful books to read on my breaks.

Yours is a wonderful list. I especially enjoy the Madeline books.


30 Amanda July 12, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Great list!!! I do not envy you the task of picking only 50! That had to have been hard but as you said, a fun walk down memory lane! I love the emotions books evoke! I love your list!! Here’s hoping they become ours!


31 lifeasthemotherof4 July 12, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Marsupial Sue by John Lithgow because it’s so much fun to read.


32 Jill W July 12, 2011 at 8:04 pm

“Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse”. With 4 little girls I have to say I could see each one of them fidgeting around with her new purse of treasures, only to explode when an opportunity to share wasn’t forthcoming. I love it when authors capture children exactly.
I’m excited to get busy reading the books on this list we haven’t already claimed as favorites.


33 Karen July 12, 2011 at 8:06 pm

The Incredible Book Eating Boy may be the best book my kids read this year. They loved it. They loved the bite in the back, the vomiting, the word spewage (especially since they were just learning to read and loved seeing another kid mess up his words!) What a great, liberating book for little learners! Loved seeing it on your list, and as an adult, I was utterly inspired by the art on ephemeral paper!


34 Jill V. / TerraSavvy July 12, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Great list! So many of these are favorites in our house too.

I don’t think I would change a thing!


35 Samantha July 12, 2011 at 8:14 pm

What an amazing way to celebrate with us…thank you


36 KHBride July 12, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Love the list! Very proud to say my parents read me most of those (that were out when I was a child).
What about Corduroy? I loved that book!


37 MMW July 12, 2011 at 8:30 pm

What are the 6 Dr. Seuss books you consider essential? I’d love to know…


38 allysha July 12, 2011 at 8:49 pm

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear is a charmer for sure. Also, the book Hug.

Love the list!


39 Anne M. July 12, 2011 at 10:29 pm

I’ll second this one. Loved the illustrations that added to the humor.


40 Hanna July 12, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I love so many of these books, but there’s also a lot I haven’t heard of it. I would also include When The Sun Rose and Christmas in Noisy Village.


41 claire July 12, 2011 at 9:08 pm

This is my dream giveaway…my little heart leaps with joy at the thought!!


42 Shannon B July 12, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Something From Nothing is a wonderful story with amazing illustrations to match. It’s my most favorite! Pheobe Gillman has some pretty great books (Jillian Jigs and her Marvelous Pigs), but i like this one lots and lots!


43 aneelee July 12, 2011 at 9:17 pm

The Jolly Postman is fantastic. I would replace your Seuss selection with the Sneeches, throw in Yoko by Rosemary Wells, The Girl and the Elephant, Flyaway Katie, Library Lion, Tuesday and although I cannot remember the exact title at the moment… the one about the red lemon that gets cast aside for not being yellow.


44 Jules July 12, 2011 at 9:28 pm

I’m going to print out this list and bring it with me to the library. I’m in a bit of a pickle with my oldest son (just turned 7). He is going into 2nd grade but reads at a 5th grade level. It’s very difficult finding books that encourage his gift but are still age appropriate. Also, he’s a little boy. He likes (and deserves) to read picture books just like the other kids in his class. I’m thrilled to hear some of these books are appropriate for 9/10 year olds, which is the age group his teacher recommended for him.


45 Lisa December 13, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Oh, I bet he would LOVE The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick and the 39 Clues Series.


46 Margo July 12, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Great list! I love books and the gift they are when read with our children and grandchildren. I would also include Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, and Runaway Bunny. So glad to see you included Harold and His Purple Crayon, which was my favorite as a little girl in the 50′s!


47 Molly July 12, 2011 at 9:30 pm

I’m with Claire–this is a dream give away. Your list is fantastic: one of my very faves to read to my son is William Steig’s Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, and, when I was a chid, I loved Shel Silverstein’s Giraffe and a Half.


48 whoorl July 12, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Ahhh, love so many of these, and can’t wait to check out some new ones too!

(We’ve been having a huge Ferdinand moment for the past few weeks.)


49 allison July 12, 2011 at 9:32 pm

this is a great selection and we only have a few of them. let’s hope i win!


50 Jane July 12, 2011 at 9:34 pm

With five children I thought I would have read most of the ones on your list, but I see quite a few I have never heard of. Thanks for the list, I will be looking them up. I love book recommendations!

A few I might have on my list of favourites:
The Seven Silly Eaters
Something From Nothing
Any book by Kevin Henkes, Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse is probably our favourite, but they are all good.
My kids love Red is Best and Each Peach Pear Plum.

Now I struggle to keep my twelve-year old son in books – any thoughts anyone??


51 Jennifer July 12, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Wow! Your list has some of our favorites, and some that are new to me. Can’t wait to read them all and revisit some favorites.


52 Andrea July 12, 2011 at 9:53 pm

What a fabulous list! There are so many beloved books on there, and some new ones to discover as well. I can imagine it was incredibly hard to narrow your list down.

A few of our family favorites (that aren’t on this list) are Chicks and Salsa, The Best Pet of All, The Wolf’s Chicken Stew, Stone Soup (the Jon Muth version), and Owl Moon.


53 Kate July 12, 2011 at 9:53 pm

I LOVE books and look encouraging kids to fall in love with books. Thanks for your lists. I would love to hear your top Christmas Book list. Your list is very complete and I agree that these are some of the very best. There are two other books that I would add to this list:

You Are Special, by Max Lucado (any of the Wemmicks series are great!)
Old Turtle, by Douglas Wood (phenomenal pictures, good message)

Thanks again for your list!


54 Amy July 12, 2011 at 9:55 pm

I have always loved the book Who Wants Arthur? It’s about a dog who is in a pet shop who just wants a home with a pair of old slippers to chew on. I adore children’s books. I hope to write one some day!


55 Amanda July 12, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Love this list! In my recent nesting mode I sorted through all of my picture books from my years of teaching. {I also inherited my mom’s books from her years of teaching kindergarten.} I have at least 7 huge tubs of books and that doesn’t include the books on the shelves in my 2 year-old daughter’s room. I’m so blessed that she LOVES books as much as I do.

Here are some of my favorites that you didn’t list: The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant {I cry EVERY TIME I read it}, The Gardener by Sarah Stewart and David Small, Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell {Oh my word, this book is just amazing} and these books are generally for older kids, but any book by Patricia Polacco is absolutely amazing – Pink and Say is another wonderful tearjerker.


56 Heather C. July 12, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Oh my, the memories this list has brought back to me! In third grade we would literally race to get The Napping House when we visited the library. I will definately need to build my library with these books. Let’s hope it’s a sudden build and not one by one over time!


57 Amy Jo July 12, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Fabulous list! Other favorites at our house are: Ish by Peter Reynolds, anything by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Little Pea, Little Oink), Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry, The Curious Garden by Peter Brown, and anything by Donald Crews.


58 Laura July 12, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Isn’t it amazing how 50 books seems so huge, until you list them and realize how many wonderful books simply didn’t make the cut? I love this list, but my personal list would be topped by Mo Willems books, particulary the Elephant and Piggie books, as my beginning readers have become reading LOVERS after reading them (and laughing at the illustrations). Please feel free to continue listing–we can’t get enough book suggestions!


59 Jenny July 12, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Love the napping house – glad to see it on your list!


60 Sharmishtha July 12, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Such lovely books. Pity most of these cannot be found in Dubai and have to be ordered online. Which more than doubles the price because of shipping :(


61 Anne M. July 12, 2011 at 10:35 pm

How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long, Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner and My Lucky Day by Keiko Kasza are all very fun. I tend to enjoy a bit of humor in most of my books.


62 Anne M. July 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Oh, there are so many that I keep thinking of:

1-All of the Little Critter series by Mercer Mayer
2-Berenstain Bears teach a moral with humor mixed in.
3-Bark George by Jules Feiffer
4-I love the illustrations in the Toot and Puddle books.
5-Sandra Boynton books are cute.
6-Click, Clack, Moo, Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
7-We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen with illustrations by Oxenbury
8-The Day I Had to Play with My Sister by Crosby Bonsall
9-The Most Beautiful Kid in the World by Susan Meddaugh

I feel I could go on forever.


63 Jennifer July 12, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Wonderful list, of which we have many… some I would add are “Andrew Henry’s Meadow” by Doris Burns; “Story Number One” by Eugene Ionesco and illustrated by Ettienne Delessert; and Robert Louis Stevenson’s “A Childs Garden of Verses” by illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa.


64 Kathie Simmons July 12, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Any books by Graham Base are incredible. The pictures are beautiful and the stories are very fun.


65 Allison July 12, 2011 at 11:22 pm

What a fabulous list!! It gets me SO excited to read with my little girl!!!


66 Shirley July 12, 2011 at 11:30 pm

I love “Hats for Sale” by Slobodkina, Esphyr. It was my favourite book growing up and now it’s a favourite of the children! :)


67 Sally Cage July 13, 2011 at 5:16 am

Oh my goodness, Shirley!! Caps for Sale!! I had this book as a wee child…had forgotten all about it…thank you so much for reminding me! :)


68 Viki Bailey July 12, 2011 at 11:47 pm

A couple that I didn’t see on there but are great ones are: “The Red Balloon”, and “I’ll Love you Forever”. Great list though, thanks.


69 bettijo @ July 12, 2011 at 11:54 pm

What a great list! It’s so fun to see some of my old favorites on there as well as some new ones I hadn’t heard of. Thanks for sharing!!


70 Eva July 13, 2011 at 12:41 am

Loved reading through your list! Such goodies on there. Some of my fave that I would add are:
1. Knuffle Bunny by Mo Williams
2. Mr. Cookie Baker by Monica Wellington (mostly because it’s my 2 yr old son’s favorite)
3. I’ll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
4. Anything by Peter Sis (Mozart, The Wall)
5. Emily’s Balloon by Komako Sakai

I’m excited to start putting holds on some of these at the library.


71 marie-annick July 13, 2011 at 8:19 am

I would also add I’ll love you forever by Robert Munsch.
Awesome list of course! :D
As an English as a Second Language teacher, I have to say most of your books on the list are the books I present to elementary kids in my classes.
Thanks for sharing!


72 Eva July 13, 2011 at 12:43 am

Loved reading through your list! Such goodies on there. Some of my fave that I would add are:
1. Knuffle Bunny by Mo Williams
2. Mr. Cookie Baker by Monica Wellington (mostly because it’s my 2 yr old son’s favorite)
3. I’ll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
4. Anything by Peter Sis (Mozart, The Wall)
5. Emily’s Balloon by Komako Sakai

I’m excited to start putting holds on some of these at the library.


73 Brittney July 13, 2011 at 1:03 am

Fantastic list! Have read and love most of the books, can’t wait to read the books I don’t recognize yet. Sharing books with my children will be one of my most favorite parts about motherhood, I think. Another book I love is LOVE YOU FOREVER by Robert Munsch. I cried the first time this book was read to me, I was 5 :)


74 Vanessa July 13, 2011 at 1:07 am

Fantastic list! Makes me have flashbacks too :)
My own list would have to include a Julia Donaldson-Axel Scheffler book. My boys adore “Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book” and, of course “The Gruffalo” is popular with them too.


75 Monica July 13, 2011 at 2:23 am

A Box of picture books would be fantastic for my bookworm kids!
I am surprised that you haven’t listed any of Julia Donaldson’s books – as I notice the previous comment says – (Room on the Broom, What the Ladybird heard,…) they are FANTASTIC! Also the MOG the cat books.
As you are in France, the French classics are not to be missed: ‘les contes du chat perché’ … and as you’re next to Belgium don’t forget the extremely rich comic book culture. One for teaching sexuality is: ‘le guide du zizi sexuel’ – great for answering those difficult questions.


76 Azra July 13, 2011 at 2:27 am

Some of our favorites are:

365 Pengiuns, Jean-Luc Fromental
Anatole, Eve Titus
Where is the Cake, T.T.Khing
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Polo (all of them), Regis Faller

Great list!


77 TN July 13, 2011 at 2:29 am

Sorry been away from blog reading for awhile!

Thanks for this post. How bout doing a post about best story books. My little toddler is getting into story time and I have no idea where to begin.

Since we also live in France it is really important to me to keep his English at the level of those toddlers in the States ;-)

Thanks Gabby!



78 Ann July 13, 2011 at 3:17 am

All Fabulous Books! Would love to win and read!


79 Ashlea Walter July 13, 2011 at 3:40 am

What a great list – I’ve got it bookmarked as we only have a handful from this list so far.

We love anything by Lois Ehlert in our house, especially Planting a Rainbow:


80 Pamela G July 13, 2011 at 3:48 am

What an amazing list of books! Great taste! We have quite a few of these treasures in our own library and those we don’t, I’m taking note and will be on amazon for a bit… There’s one that I didn’t see on the list which my kids LOVE. It’s ‘Iggy Peck, Architect’ by Andrea Beatty. Can’t recommend it enough!!


81 Elizabeth B July 13, 2011 at 3:49 am

Great list!

We live in Sydney, and love Australian author Jeannie Baker’s beautiful collage books.

“Flotsam” is a beautiful book, too (can’t remember the author, but it won a Caldecott medal).


82 Thuy July 13, 2011 at 3:51 am

What a great list! Thank you for putting it together and sharing with us, all.
Here are some of my favorites that I think are worth a look, if you haven’t already…
- The Library by Sarah Stewart
- Adele and Simon by Barbara McClintock (I think you’d mentioned this one pre-France?)
- Pete and Pickles by Berkeley Breathed (great story though there’s a clown pic that scares me more than a little)
- Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J Harvey (a touching story to introduce 9/11 to little ones)
- A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Benton
- The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin, Rosana Faria and Elisa Amado (Stunning!)


83 Marija July 13, 2011 at 4:27 am

What an exciting list of books! We´re a multilingual family, with a bookshelf that holds children books in 4 languages. As our oldest child, who is 4 is about to begin nursery in English, we´re sure to be reading more and more in English. While I´m still crossing my fingers for this prize, knowing which books are worth investing into is a huge help, so thank you Designmom for sharing the list! :)


84 jessica July 13, 2011 at 4:37 am

My boys love I’m bad for a fun quick read


85 Sally Cage July 13, 2011 at 5:03 am

Awesome list!! What a treasure trove of cool books to explore – thank you so much for compiling and sharing!!

My fav book as a wee one was a book by Fulvio Testa called “A Short Step”



86 Sally Cage July 13, 2011 at 5:05 am

Oh, and Enid Blyton books! ie.The Folk of the Faraway Tree” and “Snugglepot & Cuddlepie”

Also, The Magic Pudding and Possum Magic (I’m Australian :)


87 Tara J Hannon July 13, 2011 at 5:19 am

This is GOLD! Thank YOU! As an illustrator AND Children’s book LOVER you have made my Morning… {Cheers} xox … Always the biggest fan of Where the Sidewalk Ends…


88 Clare July 13, 2011 at 5:23 am

Alfie and Annie Rose Stories were a major classic at our house when I was little

This is one of our favourite favourite Christmas books

With a Swedish husband, Pippi Langstrump would definitely be on our list



89 Joy July 13, 2011 at 6:03 am

You should check out Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathman. It’s brilliant and my favorite picture book. The illustrations reveal so much humor and the text is very re-readable.


90 sarah July 13, 2011 at 6:22 am

a lot of our favorites are on your list, and my son is still at the board book phase so we haven’t explored many of the more recently published regular picture books yet. a couple of my favorites from when i was little (that i thought had really lovely illustrations) were the polar express and the velveteen rabbit. my dad also had a beautiful volume of hans christian andersen fairy tales, and he had a collection of time-life books called the enchanted world–the dragon volume was my favorite, although all of them had incredible pictures.


91 Molly K July 13, 2011 at 6:35 am

You have a great breath of books here…… I would also add, Dear Zoo.


92 sarah July 13, 2011 at 6:43 am

a great list….many on there that i read as a young girl growing up….blueberries for sal among the favorites.
i will say you must look at duck for president….one of our favs right now.


93 ina July 13, 2011 at 6:44 am

I second Miss Rumphius. I’d add The Man Who Walked Between the Towers or The Wild Boy. We also love The Lion and the Little Red Bird and the Paper Princess. Over at my whiskeyina youtube page (hopefully hyperlinked on my name), there are videos of me reading several other children’s books we love (none of which are on this list, so it might be fun to see/hear them). The production values of the videos are a bit weak — I was a novice, taping readings after bedtime — but the books are all great. There are also videos of me singing and one political “children’s book,” but you can ignore those ;-) Keep reading!


94 jude July 13, 2011 at 6:50 am

Great list! A Million Chameleons and I Love My White Shoes would make my top fifty.


95 Paula July 13, 2011 at 6:57 am

What a great list. I love to see so many Caldecotts in there! My boys love love love the books with no words, that I just have to make up for them, like Noah’s Ark and The Lion and the Mouse. But they also are currently in love with Drummer Hoff, Caps For Sale and A House is a House for Me.


96 Jet July 13, 2011 at 6:58 am

I keep my fingers crossed. This is such a different list than our Dutch childrenbooks. I’m very curious.


97 Betsey Holley July 13, 2011 at 7:16 am

Lots of my favorites! I’d add The Buggliest Bug, The Gruffalo, Stick Man, and The Big Red Barn. Any by Julia Donaldson are so witty and great.


98 Shelley July 13, 2011 at 7:28 am

The Little Blue Truck has been a favorite at our house. And Tikki Tikki Tembo.


99 Naomi July 13, 2011 at 7:38 am

I really love Big Sister, Little Sister by LeUyen Pham but I was happy to see The Story of Ferdinand, my all-time favorite!


100 elz July 13, 2011 at 7:39 am

Many you listed are our favorites, but I’d add what a couple previous commenters suggested- Knuffle Bunny and Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems (actually anything by Mo Willems), and Little Pea and Little Oink by Amy Krouse Rosenthal are favorites of ours. We also love the Babar books. Last, but not least, my girls LOVE Tickle Monster, which is a picture book, but more an activity book.


101 Tara Jane July 13, 2011 at 7:41 am

Love that Calef Brown made your list, My son Wyatt (4) and I recited Kansas City Octopus at a talent show. (He was so proud!)

If you have not checked out the Mr. Magee books and all other books by Chris Van Dusen, they are amazing and SO fun to read.


102 MeredithB July 13, 2011 at 7:41 am

Awesome list! One of our favorites is All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee. A sweet gentle story for all ages. Has become my go-to first birthday present (with an inscription it makes for a timeless heirloom).


103 wordplayhouse™ July 13, 2011 at 7:45 am

As a children’s book illustrator, I fully appreciate beautiful illustrations. Here is a selection of four I recently chose:


104 Anne July 13, 2011 at 8:04 am

What a fabulous list. It must have been so hard to limit yourself to 50 books. For me, I would have definitely added one of Sibylle Olfers books, like the root children, as well as one of ElsA Beskows books, such Peter in Blueberry Land. Such fantastic stories with lovely nature inspired drawings.


105 Heather W. July 13, 2011 at 8:10 am

I’m so glad my son’s favorite made it in! (Green Eggs and Ham) I loved the Stinky Cheese Man and forgot all about it. Thanks for reminding me!


106 Krystle July 13, 2011 at 8:17 am

I love your book posts!! I want to instill in my son and my newest baby (due in 8 weeks!!) a love, or at least, a liking, of reading. Thanks for the suggestions! We already have Good Night Moon but ones that I liked as a kid and forgot about was Strega Nona, Harold and the Purple Crayon, & the Stinky Cheese Man. I also like the Jamie Lee Curtis books. I’ve been getting them since my son was born.


107 steph t. July 13, 2011 at 8:23 am

awesome list!
my kids are obsessed with books!
this is a great list to check back on for bday party ideas.
having three girls i know a lot of girlie books too.
i like ‘pinkalicious’ and ‘strawberry freckle face’.
both fun and great reads with lots of good ‘advice’ for kidlets!


108 Bri (like the cheese) July 13, 2011 at 8:55 am

So thrilled to see Strega Nona made the list! I am a lifelong Tomie DePaola fan. I remember going to a book signing of his as a child we had his ‘The Clown of God’ inscribed and autographed.
I would have to have ‘The Story About Ping’ by Marjorie Flack & Kurt Wiese on my list too.


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