Great Children’s Books

Awhile ago I was asked by some friends about children’s books and I prepared the following list.  I’m posting it here with some edits for form in the event that it is useful to others.  It’s organized by author in no particular order.

Richard Scarry

Cars and Trucks and Things That Go
Busy, Busy Town
Richard Scarry’s What Do People Do All Day
Richard Scarry’s A Day at the Airport
Richard Scarry’s Best Storybook Ever!

… and many others.  The older versions (from the ’60’s and ’70’s) are a bit better as they were larger (more pages) than the versions that have been sold in the past 20 or so years.  The current ones are still good though.  I loved these books as a kid and my kids enjoyed them as well.

Robert McCloskey

Make Way for Ducklings
Blueberries for Sal
One Morning in Maine
Time of Wonder
Burt Dow, Deep Water-man

all absolutely wonderful, especially the first four.  And once the kids are a bit older (4-6+) you must add:

Homer Price
Centerburg Tales: More Tales of Homer Price

My boys (and I) really enjoyed reading Homer Price.  I’m fairly certain he would have grown up to be an engineer.  Homer Price was (is?) one of my absolute favorite characters.  Wouldn’t it have been great to have grown up in Centerburg?  I believe it was a suburb of Mayberry.

Virginia Lee Burton

The Little House
Katy and the Big Snow
Choo Choo

and others, including the the very best of all “Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.”

Doris Burn

Andrew Henry’s Meadow

Probably my absolute favorite book as a kid.  You will understand why when you read it.

Bill Peet

He worked for Walt Disney and wrote a number of great children’s books.  My favorite is “The Caboose Who Got Loose.”

Maurice Sendak

He wrote a fair amount and did a lot of illustrating but his absolute best was “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Theodor Suess Geisel (aka, Dr. Suess)

You’ve obviously seen and read “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham” and such but his best works are his longer books:

Bartholomew and the Oobleck
The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
Horton Hears a Who
Horton Hatches the Egg
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
If I Ran the Circus
The Lorax
McElligot’s Pool
Scrambled Eggs Super
The Sneetches, and Other Stories
Yertle the Turtle, and Other Stories
Oh, the Places You’ll Go

The Lorax and McElligot’s Pool being my favorites of the bunch though they’re all great.

H.A. Rey

Obviously all the old Curious George books but my favorites are “The Stars: A New Way to See Them” and “Find the Constellations.”  I still refer to them today.

We’ve got all but a couple of these books among the several thousand books at home.  It was fun as my children grew to build a library of all the books that I loved as a kid and watch them grow to love them as well.  If I had to pick my top 10, the ones I’d like to have with me if I was stuck on a desert island, I’d pick:

1 –  Andrew Henry’s Meadow
2 –  Homer Price
3 – Centerburg Tales: More Tales of Homer Price
4 –  Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
5 – The Lorax
6 – Where the Wild Things Are
7 – McElligot’s Pool
8 –  Make Way for Ducklings
9 – Lentil
10 – Blueberries for Sal

I commend all of these books to you and your kids.  Look what they did for (to?) me! : )

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