Sunday, November 4, 2012

25+ Picture Books Every Child Should Read

Trying to decide on the best picture book to get that niece or nephew or for the baby to be?  Here is a list of some classics that every child should have at some point.

First of all Authors:
  1.  Anything Dr. Seuss, but especially Horton Hears a Who, The Sneetches, The Lorax, Bartholomew and the Oobleck and Oh the Places will you Go.  You might like to check out "The Bippolo Seed Collection" a post-mortem collection of stories printed in newspapers but never in books.  
  2. We ADORE Mo Willems in this house.  Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and The Knuffle Bunny Series are both spectacular, but we also enjoy the Elephant and Piggy books, Cat the Cat books and The Naked Mole Rat.
  3. But Not The Hippopotamus and Oh my, Oh My, Oh Dinosaurs were handed down to us and we so enjoyed them, we began looking for more books by Sandra Boynton.  She also wrote Barnyard Dance and Barnyard Bath, Hippos go Berserk, Hey Wake Up, Dog Train (really a song book she illustrated), What's the Matter Little Pookie and many, many, more.
  4. Anything written or illustrated by Eric Carle: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Quiet Cricket, A House for Hermit Crab, Pancakes Pancakes, A tiny Seed, Brown Bear Brown Bear, The Very Busy Spider . . .
  5. Maurice Sendak didn't only write Where the Wild Things Are.  He also illustrated the beautiful and wonderful stories of Little Bear, Is responsible for all the books in The Nutshell Library and Zlateh the Goat (another book that should not be missed).  It is almost as though he should have been named Midas Sendak - anything he touched was golden. 
  6. Margaret Wise Brown is probably best known for Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, but she wrote hundreds of wonderful books including The Little Island and Big Red Barn which also definitely belong on this list.
  7. Beatrix Potter is well known for good reason, but aside from the tales of rabbits and Forest critters such as those about Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny and the Flopsy Bunnies; Mrs. Tittlemouse and Jeremy Fisher and of course Gemima Puddleduck.  Beatrix also wrote the Tailor of Gloucester, Two Bad Mice and Wag by Waal - all fabulously engaging tales.
  8. Mem Fox wrote the beloved Koala Lou and Possum Magic along with other wonderful books such as Guess What (which appears on challenged books lists), and Night Noises.
  9. Shel Silverstein is a poet and author best known for The Giving Tree and his collections such as Where the Sidewalk Ends.  Lafcadio and The Missing Piece are also wonderful and shouldn't be forgotten. 
  10. Finally, Ezra Jack Keats also can't be missed.  With winners like, Goggles and The Snowy Day his books continue to help our multi-cultural world grow in understanding toward one another while simply entertaining.


  1. The Hello Goodbye Window by Chris Raschka
  2. Drummer Hoff by Barbara Emberly
  3. Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
  4. Joseph had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
  5. Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully
  6. Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy
  7. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
  8. Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema
  9. Tar Beach by Faith Ringold
  10. A Chair For My Mother by Vera B. Williams
  11. Always Room for One More by Nonny Hogrogian
  12. The Sign of the Seahorse by Graeme Base
  13. Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
  14. St. George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges
  15. The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper.
Of course there are many more books that are also wonderful tales, but these are some of the ones that have been tried and true favorites in my house, classroom, and the homes of the little ones I have cared for.

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