Top 101 Children’s Picture Books

Betsy over at the School Library Journal put this together last year (this year’s project is children’s novels). It’s basically the results of the “best books” submissions by her readers. The way she put it is:

As many of you know I conducted a picture book poll. I asked my readers to send me their Top 10 Picture Books of All Time, to be rated and combined.  Participants rated their preferences from 1 to 10, with their first choice getting 10 points, their second 9 points, etc. Then, throughout the month of March as the submissions rolled in, I calculated the results.  I took into account where people ranked their favorites, what they wrote about them, etc.  And at long last, we had our Top 100.

Anyway, I missed it last year, and I’m guessing so did some other people. So I’m resurrecting The List here for your pleasure.


#1: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1963)
#2: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (1947)
#3: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (1979)
#4: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (1962)
#5: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems (2003)
#6: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (1941)
#7: Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (1955)
#8: Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (1939)
#9: Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag (1928)
#10: Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems (2004)
#11: The Story of Ferdinand by Monroe Leaf, ill. Robert Lawson (1936)
#12: Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann (1994)
#13: Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey (1948)
#14: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, ill. Lane Smith(1989)
#15: Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes (1996)
#16: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen (1987)
#17: Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina (1947)
#18: In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (1970)
#19: Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (1982)
#20: George and Martha by James Marshall (1972)
#21: Bark, George by Jules Feiffer (1999)
#22: The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone, ill. by Mike Smollin (1971)
#23: Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Lillian Hoban (1964)
#24: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault, ill. Lois Ehlert (1989)
#25: The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton (1942)
#26: Corduroy by Donald Freeman (1976)
#27: The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (1902)
#28: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, ill. Ray Cruz(1972)
#29: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig (1969)
#30: Brown, Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? by Bill Martin Jr., ill. Eric Carle (1967)
#31: No, David by David Shannon (1998)
#32: Click Clack Moo, Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin, ill. by Betsy Lewin (2000)
#33: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi and Ron Barrett (1978)
#34: Olivia by Ian Falconer (2000)
#35: Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel, ill. Blair Lent (1968)
#36: Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka, ill. Lane Smith (1992)
#37: Eloise by Kay Thompson, ill. Hilary Knight (1955)
#38: Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, ill. by Margaret Bloy Graham (1956)
#39: The Napping House by Audrey and Don Wood (1984)
#40: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton (1939)
#41: The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, ill. Stephen Gammell (1985)
#42: Curious George by H.A. Rey (1941)
#43: Tuesday by David Wiesner (1991)
#44: Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola (1975)
#45: The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg (1985)
#46: Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt (2006)
#47: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff  (1985)
#48: The Big Orange Splot, by Daniel Pinkwater (1977)
#49: King Bidgood is in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood, ill. Don Wood (1985)
#50: Black and White by David Macaulay (1990)
#51: Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg (1981)
#52: Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard, ill. James Marshall (1977)
#53: The Snowman by Raymond Briggs (1978)
#54: The Three Pigs by David Wiesner (2001)
#55: The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, ill. George & Doris Hauman (1961)
#56: Frederick by Leo Lionni (1967)
#57: Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin, ill. Harry Bliss (2003)
#58: Flotsam by David Wiesner (2006)
#59: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears (1975) by Verna Aardema, ill.Leo and Diane Dillon (1975)
#60: Chicken Soup With Rice: A Book of Months by Maurice Sendak (1962)

#61: Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers (2005)

#62: The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack (1933)
#63: Traction Man is Here!, by Mini Grey (2005)
#64: “I Can’t,” Said the Ant: A Second Book of Nonsense by Polly Cameron (1961)
#65: Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner (2003)
#66: Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann (1995)
#67: Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni (1959)
#68: The Arrival by Shaun Tan (2006)
#69: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, ill. Helen Oxenbury (1989)
#70: Miss Fanshawe and the Great Dragon Adventure by Sue Scullard (1986)
#71: The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, ill by Michael Martchenko (1980)
#72: The Little Brute Family by Russell Hoban, ill. Lilian Hoban (1966)
#73: The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant (1933) by Jean de Brunhoff
#74: Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown (1942)
#75: Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss (1940)
#76: Zoom at Sea by Tim Wynne-Jones, ill. Eric Beddows (1983)
#77: The Library by Sarah Stewart, ill. David Small (1995)
#78: How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
#79: Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm, by Alice and Martin Provensen (1974)
#80: The Jolly Postman: or, Other People’s Letters by Janet Ahlberg  (1986)
#81: Possum Magic by Mem Fox, ill. Julie Vivas (1983)
#82: Who Needs Donuts? by Mark Alan Stamaty (1973)
#83: The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (1971)
#84: Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes  (1988)
#85: Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats (1964)
#86: Yoko by Rosemary Wells (1998)
#87: Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes (2004)
#88: Stellaluna by Janell Cannon (1993)
#89: A Hole is to Dig: A First Book of First Definitions by Ruth Krauss, ill. Maurice Sendak (1952)
#90: Not a Box by Antoinette Portis (2006)
#91: Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures With the Family Lazardo by William Joyce (1988)
#92: Swimmy by Leo Lionni (1963)
#93: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (1964)
#94: The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey and Don Wood (1984)
#95: The Gardener by Sarah Stewart, ill. David Small (1997)
#96: The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle (1990)
#97: Where Is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox, ill. Judy Horacek (2004)
#98: Anatole by Eve Titus (1956)
#99: Little Pea by Amy Krause Rosenthal, ill. by Jen Corace (2005)
#100: Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley (1992)
#101: More, More, More Said the Baby: Three Love Stories by Vera B. Williams
Now, the fun thing is, how many of these have you read with your kids? I can only count 19, and I’m not certain of even that, because there are a number of them that I’ve heard so much about that I feel like I *must* have read them by now. I guess it’s time for me to hit the library catalog again!
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