Thursday, November 12, 2015

50+ Fun Children's Books (That Won't Make You Cringe When Your Kids Ask You to Read Them)

I am an ardent proponent of good picture books. There are way too many children's books out there that I just don't want to read--inane, mediocre, boring or just dumb. There have been times when I have dreaded reading to my kids at bed time because I knew they were going to pick that one book again. You know what I'm talking about: picture books about TV or movie characters (Backyardigans, Power Rangers, Disney Princesses. et al.) or popular toys (my grandma had a book about the Care Bears at her house. I'm not hating on Care Bears--heck, I had at least two of them when I was in elementary school--just little pointless story books about them). Writing is hard. I get it. I was an English major and I've never even written a Care Bears book, so I mean no disrespect to the authors. I'm sure it helps put food on the table, but because I was an English major I'm also a little snobbish when it comes to children's books (and for the sake of clarity, in this post I'm talking about picture books when I say "children's books"). There are so many excellent books out there, why not give your children quality? Reading bedtime stories with your kids might even become your favorite part of the day.

  1. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
  2. CDC? by William Steig
  3. A Hole is to Dig by Ruth Krauss, pictures by Maurice Sendak
  4. The Carrot Seed story by Ruth Krauss, pictures by Crockett Johnson
  5. Strega Nona by Tomie DePaola 
  6. Four Scary Stories by Tony Johnston, pictures by Tomie DePaola
  7. Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell, pictures by Helen Oxenbury
  8. We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, pictures by Helen Oxenbury
  9. The Napping House by Audrey Wood, illustrated by Don Wood
  10. Heckedy Peg by Audrey Wood, illustrated by Don Wood
  11. Freight Train by Donald Crews
  12. Drummer Hoff adapted by Barbara Emberley, illustrated by Ed Emberley
  13. Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley
  14. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Bill Martin Jr./Eric Carle
  15. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  16. Time for Bed by Mem Fox illustrated by Jane Dyer
  17. Fabels by Arnold Lobel
  18. Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel
  19. Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
  20. The Snowy Day Ezra Jack Keats
  21. Corduroy Don Freeman
  22. The Three Robbers by Tomi Ungerer
  23. Happy Birthday Moon by Frank Asch
  24. Rain by Peter Spier
  25. Noah's Ark by Peter Spier
  26. Owen by Kevin Henkes
  27. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
  28. Pierre by Maurice Sendak
  29. Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak
  30. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  31. The Funny Little Woman retold by Arlene Mosel, pictures by Blair Lent
  32. Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
  33. Each Peach, Pear, Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  34. Bye Bye Baby by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  35. Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
  36. Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky
  37. Little Bear by Elsa Holmlund Minarik, pictures by Maurice Sendak
  38. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by James Marshall
  39. St. George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
  40. Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban, Pictures by Lillian Hoban
  41. A Was Once an Apple Pie by Edward Lear and Suse Macdonald
  42. Zin, Zin, Zin, A Violin by Lloyd Moss and Marjorie Priceman
  43. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham
  44. The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, pictures by Clement Hurd
  45. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, pictures by Clement Hurd
  46. Three Little Kittens Paul Galdone
  47. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  48. Always Room for One More by Sorche Nic Leodhas, illustrated by Nonny Horigan
  49. The Lady with the Alligator Purse by Nadine Bernard Westcott
  50. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
  51. The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese
  52. Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
  53. Won't Somebody Play with Me? by Steven Kellogg
  54. No, David! by David Shannon
  55. How I Became a Pirate by David Shannon
  56. Ashanti to Zulu by Leo and Diane Dillon
  57. The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, pictures by Beth Krommes
  58. Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
Once I got going it was hard to stop. There are tons of quality picture books out there. Don't settle. You'll notice some authors make my list multiple times. In the past when we have found an author we loved, we read everything by them that we could get our hands on. If you like a book, see what else is available by that author. You're sure to find some new favorites.

 I'm not going to include reviews of all these books. It's just a list. They are mostly short. Read them yourselves and find out why my kids and I love them.

What books would you add to the list?

Things I'm Thankful for:
--Books! Books! Books!
--Did I mention books?


Unknown said...
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Chelsey said...

Pumpkin soup
Big red barn by Margaret Wise Brown
The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman