Saturday, August 10, 2013

25 Best Picture Books to Pass Down to Your Kids

When I think about passing books down to children, I think about the story itself, the illustrations, and the characters and story lines that have become ingrained in our minds over the years.  Examples that come to mind are "I think I can, I think I can" from The Little Engine that Could, that beloved curious monkey from the Curious George series, and America's favorite Pooh bear.

It all started when I received an email from with an article entitled The Best Books to Pass Down to Your Kids. Of course I clicked on it to find out what made their list and was so disappointed that it was a random and LAME compilation of books chosen by random people. I disagreed with more than half of the books on the list. I decided that I needed to compile my own list of books, but I have to break them into two parts - picture books and chapter books (which will be in a separate post.)

I also wanted to LIMIT this list to those books from MY childhood and before, so my cutoff date is 1990. I also want to explain that I left out the amazing and wonderful fairy tales and nursery rhymes we all know to be fabulous like Cinderella, Snow White, Peter Pan, The Story of the Three Bears, even 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, etc. There are so many versions of each one, it would be difficult to choose.

These are in no particular order:

  1. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, 1947
  2. Curious George by H.A. Ray, 1941
  3. Stone Soup by Marcia Brown, 1947
  4. The Mitten by Jan Brett, 1989
  5. The Cat and the Hat by Dr. Seuss, 1957
  6. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, 1928
  7. The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper, 1930
  8. The Berenstain Bears Series by Stan and Jan Berenstain, 1962 and on
  9. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beattrix Potter, 1902
10. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton, 1939
11. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, 1939
12. The Story of Ferdinand by Robert Lawson, 1936
13. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff, 1985
14. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, 1941
15. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, 1963
16. Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel, 1970
17. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish, 1963
18. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, 1960
19. Brown, Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr., 1967
20. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, 1972
21. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss, 1957
22. Little Bear's Friend by Elsie Holmelund Minarik, 1984
23. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson, 1955
24. Clifford, the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell, 1963
25. Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne, 1926