My Current Most Excellent List of Children’s Books of all time!

Reading the Very Hungry Caterpillar at 6:04 am

I’ve been thinking a lot about children, reading, and books. Amongst other things. But two things triggered it recently for me. One, I had a daycare closure which resulted in a “free” day and a half at home with my youngest.

Good Night Gorilla

Good Night Gorilla

The second is that one of my best friends is pregnant, and flying home today from Spain, and I’m making a cake for her baby shower on Sunday. I have also been thinking a lot about what I wanted to give her as a gift.

When we have free time, (forced or otherwise!) one of the first places we jump at going to is the library. We are famous at our local library possibly because we are basically funding at least one person’s salary there with our overdue fines, or maybe they just like our smiley faces. We have the most amazing local library – it has a whole children’s library to the side, tons of books, and believe me, we have logged a lot of time looking for the perfect books, reading, playing, learning. We’ve even taken out the same books over and over again.  If you could see my kid’s bookshelves at home, you may ask why we bother going to the library. One day we counted (for fun) the books on just Sam’s bookshelves – we stopped at 200  – that didn’t include the books beside my bed, on the floor, in Ben’s room, downstairs, etc. etc.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

I read a lot as a child – my father was a librarian and teacher, and famous for being told to get something out of the freezer downstairs, and getting distracted by the books on our bookshelf which ran the length and height of our stairwell.  When the subject of books comes up with other parents, I find myself saying (probably sounding pretentious) you HAVEN’T READ that BOOK! It’s a CLASSIC!

Grumpy Bird

So I’ll be making a cake for Adriana later this week, but at the moment, I’m gathering a stack of books I want to give to her baby. Some of them she won’t be able to read for a while, some right away. I started reading to my babies at least within their first couple of months. You can give onesies and toys and implements as babyshower gifts, but I honestly cannot think of a better gift to give, really, at any age, than a beautiful stack (or just one!) of thoughtfully chosen books. Books can last forever (except the ones you over-love and need to replace of course!).

So here’s my top (200?) list of our favourite books for kids, in the order I’ve thought of it but not necessarily top listed. If I can’t buy your kids books, at least go to your local library, and try a few. Your kids will thank you for the most excellent read!

Me and My Mammoth

Me and My Mammoth

Feel free to email me your favourites too, I’ll add ’em on.

  1. 365 Penguins – Fromental
  2. A Day in the Life of Murphy
  3. Alphabeasties – Werner, Forss
  4. Alphabeep – Edward Miller
  5. Alphabet – Van Fleet
  6. Are you my Mother? – P.D. Eastman
  7. Bob’s 123 – Simon Bartram
  8. Boo Hoo Bird – Jeremy Tankard
  9. Busy Little Mouse – Kim Fernandes
  10. Carlo Likes Counting – Jessica Spanyol (any of her books are lovely)
  11. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – Jr Bill Martin
  12. Chicken Soup with Rice – Maurice Sendak
  13. Curious George – Margret and H.A. Rey
  14. Dr. Seuss ABC’s
  15. Eric Carle’s ABC
  16. Firetruck – Sis
  17. Freight Train – Crews
  18. From Snowflakes to Sandcastles – Annie Owen (might be out of print)

    Scaredy Squirrel

    Scaredy Squirrel

  19. Good Night Gorilla
  20. Green Eggs and Ham – Dr. Seuss
  21. Grumpy Bird – Jeremy Tankard
  22. Guess How much I love you – Sam McBratney
  23. Gulliver Mickey – Disney
  24. Hand Hand Fingers Thumb – Al Perkins
  25. Hooray for Fish – Lucy Cousins
  26. Hop on Pop – Dr. Seuss
  27. Hug – Jez Alborough
  28. I’m the Biggest thing in the Ocean – Kevin Sherry
  29. In a People House – Dr. Seuss
  30. In the Night Kitchen – Maurice Sendak
  31. It’s Ok to be different – Todd Parr
  32. Kiss Goodnight – Hest Jeram
  33. Me and my Mammoth – Joel Stewart
  34. Me Hungry – Jeremy Tankard
  35. Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel – Virginia Lee Burton
  36. Moo Baa Lalala – Sandra Boynton
  37. What are you doing Sam?

    What are you doing Sam?

    Oh Say can you Say – Dr. Seuss

  38. One Fish Two Fish – Dr. Seuss
  39. One Gray Mouse – Kim Fernandes
  40. Paperbag Princess – Munsch
  41. Sam and Stella – Marie-Louise Gay
  42. Sam and the Firefly – P.D. Eastman
  43. Scaredy Squirrel – by Melanie Watt – any of them – you should have them all
  44. Scuffy the Tugboat
  45. Snuggle Puppy, Not the Hippopotamus, Doggies – Sandra Boynton
  46. Subway Mouse – Barbara Reid (any of her books are lovely illustrations)
  47. Summer – Alice Low
  48. Tails – Van Fleet
  49. The Best Word Book Ever – Richard Scarry – Busytown books
  50. The Little Noisy Book – Katharine Ross
  51. The Periodic Table – Elements with Style – Basher, Dingle (ok, I know, you probably won’t buy it but it’s a huge favourite)
  52. The Very Busy Spider – Eric Carle
  53. The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
  54. What was I scared of? Dr. Seuss



  55. Where the Wild things are – Maurice Sendak
  56. Where’s the Poop – Julie Markes
  57. Who are you Baby Kangaroo – Blackstone Beaton (lovely illustrations)
  58. Z Goes Home – John Agee

    Who are you, Baby Kangaroo?

    Who are you, Baby Kangaroo?

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One Response to My Current Most Excellent List of Children’s Books of all time!

  1. Su says:

    I loved this! The Best Book List Ever! I’m so glad that The Best Word Book Ever – Richard Scarry is on your guys list 🙂 You know I have an ebay saved search for a 70s original hardback – lol!

    And in fact I found my childhood friend on facebook and his mum who used to babysit us after re-telling my husband how I still remember they had all the Mr. Men and Little Miss books (she was a wonderful mum and teacher and encouraged us to read). I could wax lyrical about the Dr.Seuss, Paddington Bear, Silverstein and Sendak books she introduced us to. It made my heart feel big and full to bursting to just think of you guys reading together. Wogglebug has only the attention span for her touch and feel That’s not my “_____” Usborne books but hopefully we will graduate to some of my favourites.

    I wish I could be there to see Adri’s shower and hear all the laughter; I will look forward your blog. keep writing and laughing.

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