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Did you know that this week is the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week? This year in honor of the 100th anniversary there will be two week-long celebrations…this week, April 29th-May 5th, 2019 and then again November 4th-10th, 2019. This is my kind of celebration. An entire week dedicated to celebrating children’s books…yeah, sign me up! Do you think they will have balloons? Cake?
Anyway, in honor of this most amazing of weeks, I have created a list of my Top 10, All Time FAVORITE Children’s Books! This was no easy task friends. This took time, may have caused a sleepless night or two, and most certainly ended up being way more difficult than anticipated. But, I did it. So, without further ado, my Top 10 Favorite Children’s Books EVER…disclaimer…there are so so so many more books that I want to add to this list…but I will behave…mostly.
MY TOP 10 ALL TIME FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOKS
So, you might be wondering, what are the criteria for choosing an all-time-favorite children’s book? Well, in a nutshell…I have no idea. Why do we choose a favorite of anything? A favorite color, a favorite animal, a favorite sports team? It is just something that feels right…it brings joy…it makes you smile…it triggers memories. There is no one reason that I have chosen each of these books. I have chosen some books that I have loved since I was a kid…and some books that are brand new favorites. There may be no rhyme or reason, but that is ok, there doesn’t need to be. Right? We will just go on assuming that you agreed with me…so, let’s get to the books!
Where the Wild Things Are
Oh, good gravy do I love this book. This has been a favorite of mine for years and years. I mean, my son is named Max…soooo. Every time I pick up this book, which is frequently, I just get lost looking through the illustrations. It isn’t a complex book with a million words, but it is so beautifully done that I think it will always be a treasure! Where the Wild Things Are is a Caldecott winning book…and with good reason! I wish I had created a Where the Wild Things are themed nursery when my son was little…how awesome would that have been? I just love this book full of imagination!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
I adore Eric Carle. Truly a gift to children’s books. The Very Hungry Caterpillar was published in 1969 and is still as beloved today as it was back then. I chose this book because I absolutely love Eric Carle’s unique and beautiful art style. This is a book that I read again and again and again with my kiddos…but I never grew tired of it because it was so beautiful! I was very tempted to cheat and add all of my favorite Eric Carle books, but I will behave. Just incase you were wondering though, I also LOVE The Tiny Seed, Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me, The Mixed-Up Chameleon…ok…all of them.
The Napping House
I have read The Napping House approximately 6, 473 times…and I still love it. The Napping House is by Audrey Wood and illustrated by Don Wood. It is an absolutely beautifully illustrated book that is so cleverly written. We love the repetition and sequencing of the story. This is a book I love not just because it is beautifully written and illustrated, but also because it is full of so many memories of reading to my kiddos!
Sigh. I love this book. Cordelia is written and illustrated by the absolutely fantastic Michelle Nelson-Schmidt. I had the pleasure of hearing Michelle read this book aloud at an Usborne Books & More National Convention in Tulsa, OK. The book wasn’t even available to purchase yet but we all received a signed copy. We knew that Michelle was going to be revealing her new book and we were so excited to be able to hear her read it aloud. Y’all, the room was silent. There were tears. Ooohs and ahhs. This book hits you right in the feels. Cordelia is all about a little girl who can fly. She loves to fly. Until one day, people question her and tell her that she can’t. Cordelia is heartbroken…until she realizes…who is anyone else to say what she can and cannot do! Such an inspiring book about believing in yourself! Cordelia is available through your Usborne Books & More Consultant…here is a link to my page if you don’t have one! We also have the SWEETEST Cordelia plush doll! https://l4353.myubam.com/p/5956/cordelia
Hello Lighthouse is the winner of the 2019 Caldecott Medal…and for good reason. This book is breathtaking. The illustrations make you feel like you are a part of the story. This is not only a book full of some of the most gorgeous illustrations I have ever seen, but it is a wonderful story. Author/Illustrator Sophie Blackall’s words and illustrations will make you feel like you are standing on the coast looking at the lighthouse. You can imagine the sea breezes and waves crashing. It is just a spectacular book and absolutely deserving of the Caldecott!
Ocean Meets Sky
Ocean Meets Sky has quickly become one of my very favorite books of all time. This is a newer book, just published in 2018…but it is stunning. Written and illustrated by the amazingly talented Fan Brothers, Terry and Eric, this book will be an amazing addition to your home library. This book sits on my picture ledge bookshelf so that I can always see it. It is breathtaking from cover to cover. You will join Finn as he sets sail in search of the place where the ocean meets the sky. Together, you will visit the Library Islands and see 100 bookish birds. You will take an adventure full of imagination and love. I just can’t say enough wonderful things about this book. If you haven’t read this one yet, I highly recommend it. I also adore The Night Gardener which is also written and illustrated by The Fan Brothers.
Mary Wears What She Wants
Another new title. Mary Wears What She Wants is the story of Mary Edwards Walker who was a pioneer in womens rights…years ahead of her time! Mary is known for wearing pants…which is something that was quite unheard of at that point in history. This book is about what Mary might have been like as a child. Such bright vivid illustrations, this book encourages children (and adults) to be themselves and not to care what others or society says they should do! The message is delivered in such a wonderful way and I love that I was introduced to Mary Edwards Walker. Biographical Picture Books have become some of my very favorite books because I have been introduced to so many people that I have never heard of! This is definitely one you will want to read. Mary Wears What She Wants is written and illustrated by Keith Negley! You can read a little bit more about Mary Wears What She Wants in a previous blog post right here.
The Bluest of Blues
Another brand new release, The Bluest of Blues is one of the most gorgeous books I have ever seen. I was immediately drawn in by the incredible illustrations. In fact, I purchased this book solely based on the stunning cover. I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I couldn’t help it. Let me tell you, the inside is just as beautiful as the outside. This book quickly became a favorite because not only were the illustrations intoxicating, but it is a biographical story as well. The Bluest of Blues is about the life of Anna Atkins. Anna was a botanist and the creator of one of the first books of photographs. She was also a pioneer for her time, much like Mary Edwards Walker. Anna entered the field of science when it was practically unheard of for women to do so. Anna is known for her gorgeous cyanotype prints. This book is a keeper for sure. It not only is gorgeous to look through but it serves as a great introduction to a wonderful woman! The Bluest of Blues is written and illustrated by the amazingly talented Fiona Robinson. You can read my full review of The Bluest of Blues right here.
Oh, Matilda. I have read this gem by Roald Dahl at least 20 times. When I first started my favorite book list I was only thinking in terms of picture books…but there are so many amazing chapter books for kids (ahem…and adults) that I couldn’t leave them out! Matilda is the sweet story of a little bookworm. I think that is part of the reason I love the story so much…because I relate so much to sweet Matilda! She is such a special girl but stuck with the worst couple of parents a kid could have. This story is so heartwarming, but in true Dahl fashion, is also hilarious! This is a book that I enjoyed as a child and also got to enjoy again as an adult when I read it to my kids. This is definitely one to read with your kiddos!
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin is pure magic. This is a chapter book but it is also filled with the most delicate and gorgeous illustrations. What an amazing storyteller Grace Lin is…it was truly a mesmerizing book for me. I read it in one sitting…and have since read it again. My oldest daughter has also read it and fallen in love. I plan to read this aloud to my kids when we learn about China next year. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is the story of Minli who sets off on a journey to find the Man on the Moon to change her families fortune. The story is woven with Chinese folktales and is absolutely beautiful. I am already looking forward to reading this one again.
There are so many amazing books that I want to add to this list…in fact, I have already thought of 5 more that I really should add, ahem…Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein. But, I promised 10, so 10 it is. I have a feeling there will be several more of these posts in the days and weeks to come!
What are your favorite children’s books of all time??