Our Favorite Children’s Books, So Far

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

My daughters have a great love of books. In fact, they were convinced that the “JK” on their Valentine conversation hearts referred to JK Rowling. (They also thought that “Chicks Rule” referred to their chickens! And, no, I didn’t correct them – on either account.) When this list of 100 great children’s books appeared in USAToday last week, it generated a lot of discussion at our dinner table. “Why is Harry Potter only #6?!” “How didCaptain Underpants make the list?,” my girls implored. I challenged them to compile a list of their own. And last night, with soccer practice rained out, this is what they came up with. (Note: these aren’t ranked and instead are listed alphabetically by title. Why? Because it was 10 Minutes Till Bedtime!)

 Our Favorite Picture Books:

  • Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
  • Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry (be sure to find the hidden Goldbug)
  • Chester the Wordly Pig by Bill Peet
  • Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (and all the pigeon books) by Mo Willems
  • The Garden of Abdul Gasazi by Chris Van Allsburg
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
  • The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
  • Knuffle Bunny trilogy by Mo Willems
  • Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
  • Miss Nelson Is Missing! by Harry Allard
  • Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
  • Olivia series by Ian Falconer
  • Pretend Soup by Mollie Katzen (a cookbook for little chefs)
  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  • Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth
  • Strega Nona by Tomie dePaula
  • Swamp Angel by Anne Isaacs
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
  • Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester
  • The Tale of the Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt
  • Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
  • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • The Wingdingdilly by Bill Peet

Our Favorite Chapter Books:

  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (1st chapter book that I read to the girls)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • Clementine by Sarah Pennypacker
  • Finally by Wendy Mass
  • Frindle by Andrew Clements
  • Freckle Juice by Judy Blume
  • Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Gossamer by Lois Lowry
  • Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
  • The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks (1st chapter book that Tim read to the girls)
  • James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • A Long Way from Chicago trilogy by Richard Peck (what we’re currently reading)
  • Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • Messenger by Lois Lowry
  • The Mother-Daughter Book Club series by Heather Vogel Frederick
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM by Robert C. O’Brien
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall
  • Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
  • Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  • Ramona the Pest series by Beverly Cleary
  • Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Shiloh trilogy by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Fudge series) by Judy Blume
  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
  • The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene Du Bois
  • Warriors series by Erin Hunter
  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Our Favorite Authors (anything by them is worth reading):

  • Blume, Judy
  • Dahl, Roald
  • Henkes, Kevin
  • Lowry, Lois
  • Peet, Bill
  • Rowling, JK
  • Van Allsburg, Chris
  • Willems, Mo

Our Favorite Resources for Finding Good Reads:

That’s our list, so far. We’ll call them “Martin Medal” winners. By next month, I’m sure we’ll have more titles to add and realize ones we’ve omitted. We haven’t yet read two of my all-time favorite books, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (I even lobbied to name our firstborn “Scout”) and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I can’t wait to share these with the girls as they get a bit older.

So, now that you have our list, it’s your turn. What children’s books do you love? Which ones should we read to enlarge our world?

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