My 101 Favorite Children’s Books


I LOVE books. And I particularly love children’s books. They’re beautifully illustrated, they create fantastical worlds in young readers’ minds, and they bring to life valuable life lessons in creative ways. Summer is an awesome time to take on a reading list with your kids, and I thought I’d help inspire you by sharing with you the children’s books that inspire me.

This is a long-awaited post, one that has taken me months to create, because I have always wanted to share with you my absolute favorite children’s books. These are not necessarily all award winning {although some most certainly are}, and some of the titles may not be the most familiar to you, but I think that’s what is so delightful about collecting book recommends from a variety of people. You might just discover a treasure you didn’t know existed.

These books, in my opinion, are the most lovely stories, the most beautiful illustrations, the best imagination-sparking tales, the funniest experiences, and just the most beloved children stories out there. So here it is, in no particular order, my {ultimate} children’s book list:

101. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

100. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

99. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

98. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

97. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

96. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

95. The Berenstain Bears Series by Stan and Jan Berenstain

94.Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

93. There’s a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer

92. Sidney and Norman: A Tale of Two Pigs by Phil Vischer

91. Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco

90. Corduroy by Don Freeman

89. Little Bear’s Trousers by Jane Hissey

88. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

87. Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

86. Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino

85.The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

84. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch

83. The Seven Chinese Brothers by Margaret Mahy

82. Olivia by Ian Falconer

81. The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy

80. Ben and Me: An Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin by His Good Mouse Amos by Robert Lawson

79. The Wingdingdilly by Bill Peet

78. Stone Soup  by Marcia Brown

77. Tikki Tikki Tembo  by Arlene Mosel

76. Eloise Collection by Kay Thompson

75. I Wanna Iguanaby Karen Kaufman Orloff and David Catrow

74. Barn Dance!by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

73. The Stinky Cheeseman and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka

72. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

71. Miss Nelson is Missing! by Harry Allard and James Marshall

70. Miss Nelson is Back by Harry Allard and James Marshall

69. The Monster at the End of this Bookby Jon Stone

68. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

67. The Night I Followed the Dog by Nina Laden

66. The Principal’s New Clothes by Stephanie Calmenson

65. No Jumping on the Bed! by Tedd Arnold

64. Sammy the Seal by Syd Hoff

63. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

62.  Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola

61. George and Martha by James Marshall

60. Sam and the Firefly by P.D. Eastman             

59. Chugga Chugga Choo Choo by Kevin Lewis

58. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

57. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

56. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion

55. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See? by Bill Martin

54. On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman

53. Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff

52. The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack

51. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

50. The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss

49. Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems

48. Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things that Go  by Richard Scarry

47. The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills

46. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

45. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

44. Now One Foot, Now the Other by Tomie dePaola

43. The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones

42. Just In Case You Ever Wonder by Max Lucado

41. Franklin by Paulette Bourgeois

40. The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell

39. Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner

38. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

37. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka

36.The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

35. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

34. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly From Childs Play

33. Welcome to Trucktown! by Jon Scieszka

32. Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh

31. Dr. DeSoto by William Steig

30. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale by Verna Aardema

29. A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams

28. A Fly Went By by Mike McClintock

27. Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

26. Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson

25.“Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!” by Patricia Thomas

24. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker

23. Lyle, Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Waber

22. Sally’s Room by Mary K. Brown

21. Arthur Adventure Series by Marc Brown

20. Old Bear by Jane Hissey

19. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

18. Little Bear Series by Else Holmelund Minarik

17.The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

16. Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss

15. Beatrix Potter Complete Series by Beatrix Potter

14. A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond

13. David’s Father by Robert Munsch

12. I Was So Mad by Mercer Mayer

11. If You Give…Series by Laura Numeroff

10. The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone

9. How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen

8. The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen, Illustrated by John Pinkney

7. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss

6. Curious George by H.A. and Margaret Rey

5. Little Toot by Hardie Gramatky

4. Thomas’ Snowsuit by Robert N. Munsch

3. The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey

2. Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

1. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Happy Summer reading!




Filed under Activities, Creative Ideas and Crafts, Learning at Home

19 responses to “My 101 Favorite Children’s Books

  1. Keadie

    This is a wonderful, wonderful list and I’m so glad that you grew up with some of the older classics. I just scooped up Ferdinand and One Morning in Maine at Amelie’s school library clearing (freebie) box. Unwanted! Can you imagine?

    • That’s a shame {but a win for you!} I have always always read. I don’t remember not having a book in my hands, and some of these are definitely classics, but I also made sure to include some newer charming ones as well. I’m glad you like the list 🙂

  2. I just remembered some of my childhood in there. LOL. You did leave out one of my favorite books as a child though. “The Story about Ping” by Marjorie Flack. I used to read that book over and over again lol.

  3. It’s there Dannie, #52 🙂 I loved it when I was little too

  4. now how on earth did I miss it? I was looking specifically for it LOL

  5. Great list! You might enjoy Sherman Alexie’s thoughts on “The Snowy Day”:

  6. Thank you so much for including my book, “I Wanna Iguana” along with so many classics! Most of those books on your list are among my favorites, too!

  7. The world is a better place because children’s authors take the time to share their magic with children.

  8. I love writing for kids, and it’s especially fun when I go into schools and can talk about the joy and importance of reading. I always tell them, “If you want to be a writer, you have to first be a READER.”

    • I totally agree with you, Karen. I love reading and that has certainly contributed to my love of writing. I grew up reading and simply could not get enough of books. I think I read Roald Dahl’s “Matilda” about a dozen times one summer. When I found a book that captured my imagination, I really could not get enough of it. I actually saw “I Wanna Iguana” featured on PBS’s “Between the Lions” a couple of years ago when I was watching with my son, and I replayed it about a dozen times because I just loved it! Maybe I’m a book fanatic, but I’m more excited about your comments on my post today than I would be if you were Brad Pitt! 🙂

  9. Oh, you are funny! But I appreciate the kind words. How great that you saw the “Between the Lions” show. That was very exciting for me, to see my words animated like that. (Of course, if didn’t hurt to have David Catrow’s amazing illustrations.) Have you seen our last collaboration, the companion to the Iguana book? It’s called “I Wanna New Room.” I hope we can do more one day.

    • I imagine that it was just wonderful to see your book come to life like that. It makes me miss “Reading Rainbow”! I have not yet read “I Wanna New Room,” but I certainly will now! David Catrow is just amazing!! Some of my favorite children’s book illustrations ever ever. So beautiful.

  10. Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

    Oh Wow Kat! That was such a HUGE task! So many of these are some of our favorites as well and some I have never run across. I love how you have Miss Nelson is Missing and Miss Nelson is Back back-to-back. Apparently when she’s back, it’s slightly better than when she is missing! 😉 Love your list!

    Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop! Please check out our upcoming Kid Lit Giveaway Hop – sign-ups are now OPEN! Best, Renee

    • Renee, thank you!! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I tried to throw some in there that aren’t the “usual” favorites that you see on every book list. It took me months to compile. 🙂 Thanks for the link!! I’ll be sure to sign up!

  11. Pingback: The Imagination Station Book Review | Love Makes A Family {by mommyponders}

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