Top 10 Picture Books of All Time

by Amy Kraft on March 28, 2009

I’m getting caught up on my blog reading, and I saw that A Fuse #8 Production is conducting a poll to find the top 100 picture books of all time. This list will be compiled from top 10 lists submitted by 3/31. I can’t wait to see the results, and thought I’d add in my two cents. I’ve certainly put in enough time lately making top 5 lists on Facebook, so this should be a piece of cake. 

10. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae – I worked on a product based on this book and fell in love with the heartwarming believe-in-yourself story, the wonderful verse, and the incredible detail in the illustrations by Guy Parker-Rees.


9. The Louds Move In! by Carolyn Crimi – because it’s such a funny read-aloud


8. Olive, My Love by Vivian Walsh – a must in our house for obvious reasons, plus illustrations by the always inventive J. Otto Seibold.


7. I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child – Charlie and Lola are such loving, indelible characters, and this book is our favorite. 


6. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats – childhood joy at its finest, with perfection in simplicity.


5. Yoko by Rosemary Wells – it’s about multiculturalism and acceptance, yet manages to be totally engaging and not preachy or pedantic. Plus, I love these characters.


4. Miss Spider’s Tea Party by David Kirk – I’ll never get tired of reading this flowing, beautiful verse. 


3. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems – this gets a spot in the top 3 for the reactions it gets from kids. Olive still delights in yelling out, “No, Pigeon!!!”


2. No, David! by David Shannon – this just barely edged out Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus for the number 2 spot on my list because it’s so much fun watching David be bad


1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak – Hello… did you see my last post? This book is indisputably the best picture book of all time. On my hundredth reading of it, I was still discovering new details and things I had never noticed. It’s resonated with kids and has stood the test of time. 


I have to say, the top 5 were easy. Rounding out the top 10 was hard. Runners-up included Olivia, Grumpy Bird, Goodnight Moon, Pete’s a Pizza, Frederick, Click Clack Moo, and Chrysanthemum. 

Now you tell me… what am I missing?

rault March 30, 2009 at 1:21 am


I am totally buying all 10 of these right now from Amazon and having them shipped to Jenny & Sean, for Liam. You should make a “click here to buy these books” link. I know, overtly commercial… but I would so buy them all. Ooh maybe I’ll buy them for Diana too. Hooray for great books for kids!!

rault March 30, 2009 at 1:22 am

Um, hello — why does it say my post is at 1:21 am? Is it my laptop or does your blog think it’s in LA?

big cheese March 31, 2009 at 3:29 pm

OK, Rault, I think I fixed my time problem. I think my blog came from the future to tell you about kid’s media.

Christopher March 31, 2009 at 7:07 pm

I object to ‘The Giving Tree’ by Silverstein being left out of your excellent list!

big cheese March 31, 2009 at 7:26 pm

And someone on Twitter rightly pointed out that I left off The Little Engine That Could. A glaring omission, though I’m not sure what I’d bump.

BethD May 22, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Totally agree with your #1! But I think Pete’s a Pizza would have to be in my own top ten. Also, have you read Too Many Toys by David Shannon? It is laugh-out-loud funny.

big cheese May 22, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Have I read Too Many Toys? Of course:
Check out our box rocket!

And yes, Pete’s a Pizza is awesome. Probably in my top 20.

Jeff - Rare Children's Books May 29, 2009 at 3:44 pm

This is the best listing of all time children’s favorites I’ve seen in a long time. Especially with the Little Engine That Could inclusion.

Great site. I’ll be checking back for sure.


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