Children’s Books

I did a poll on Facebook the other day. Here was the question: What are your three favorite children’s books? Within an hour, 50 people had responded. They’re still responding. I do polls all the time because I’m curious about the collective We…and this was the one that had the most immediate and passionate  response. This not just enlightened me as to what people love to read, but what people want to share bout.

And here’s the thing: there weren’t a lot of bad guy books. My son always wonders why there has to be a bad guy in all the movies and books in our lives. Why can’t it just be easy? Why does there always have to be conflict? We might, as parents, want to answer, “Because life is FULL of conflict.” But you know…sometimes life isn’t full of conflict.

In the books that people loved, I found that there wasn’t as much conflict as love. Few mentioned Harry Potter, in fact. More mentioned Winnie the Pooh and Dr. Seuss. Sure Pooh and the rest had their fair share of befuddlements. And rising to the sky holding a balloon, bees swarming all around, is not opportune. But the books people loved most weren’t full of real evil or real villains. It was more heart language. Here is that list. yrs. Laura

Laura Munson wrote: I’m doing a poll. What are your favorite children’s books? Mine are THE GIVING TREE, AMOS AND BORIS, and…THE COUNTRY BUNNY. And FLICKA RICKA AND DICKA too.”

Then thanks to people jogging my memory, I added: A TIME OF WONDER. THE HAPPY DAY. A TIME TO KEEP. And EB White. And of course ELOISE. And so much more…

Miss Rumphius
I’ll Love you Forever
Horton Hears a Who
Tigers in the Cellar
Plum Pudding for Christmas
Polar Express and Eloise
Ping the Duck
The Giving Tree
Gerald McBoingBoing
Betsy-Tacy series
The Monster at the End of this Book

The Little House
Carl Goes Shopping
The Peculiar Miss Picket
Mary Poppins
I’ll Love You Forever
The Fall of Freddie The Leaf
Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See”
Where the Wild Things Are
The Three Trees
Green Eggs and Ham
Skippy Jon Jones
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Alligator Pie book
Cat in the Hat
Jelly Beans for Breakfast

Henry and Mudge
Mr Putter and Tabby
Good Night Moon
Pigs Ahoy!
Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches and Other Stories– my favorite being “What Was I Afraid Of?”
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
Mrs. Pigglewiggle
Anything Will Steig
And Barbara Cooney
The Happy Day
Ferdinand the Bull
The Five Chinese Brothers
Miss Rumphius
A Time to Keep
Emma’s Pet
All three books by E.B. White, especially Trumpet of the Swan.
Jellybeans for Breakfast
The Kissing Hand!
Llama, Llama Mad at Mama
Blueberries for Sal
One Morning in Maine
Miss Rumphius
Goodnight Moon
Make Way for Ducklings
Wrinkle In Time
all of the E.B.White books, especially “Stuart Little”
Seven Silly Eaters
A Fly Went By
Goodnight Moon
Now We Are Six (AA Milne)
The Story of Babar
The Velveteen Rabbit
A is for Annabelle

I Can’t, Said the Ant
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Sahara Special
Harriet the Spy
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Little Bear
Now we are Six
Winnie the Pooh
Goodnight Moon
Wodney Wat
Edward the Emu
I’ll Love You Forever
All I See Is Part of Me
Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book
Shel Silverstein

Harry Potter
Oh, The Places You’ll Go
The Tar Baby books
The Giving Tree
Guess How Much I Love You
Little Bear
Frog and Toad

It’s Mine: the Greedy Book
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Now We Are Six
Epandimondas and his Auntie
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Be Nice to Spiders
Alice in Wonderland
The Little Princess
Amelia Bedelia
Wynkyn, Blinkin & Nod
Goodnight Moon
I’ll Love You Forever
Velveteen Rabbit
What is God
A House is A House for Me
The Polar Express
Dr. Seuss
Harry Potter

The Country Bunny
Make Way for Ducklings
Blueberries for Sal
Goodnight Moon
Judy Blume
A Wrinkle in Time
A Wind in the Door
A Swiftly Tilting Planet
The Day the Babies Crawled Away
Goodnight Gorilla
Guess How Much I Love You
The Giving Tree
The Lorax
Old Hat New Hat
Oh the Places You’ll Go
Winkin’ Blinkin’ and Nod
Now We are Six
When Luis Armstrong Taught me Scat
In the Night Kitchen
James and the Giant Peach
Winnie the Pooh
Trucks, Trucks Trucks
Guess How Much I Love you
The Henry and Mudge books
Theasaurux Rex
Miss Twiggly’s Tree
The “Fancy Nancy” books
Anne of Green Gables
The “Little House” books
Little Women
The Ox Cart Man by Donald Hall
Ollie’s Ski Trip
Iggy Peck Architect
And Now Miguel
Farmer Boy
Ballet Shoes
Where The Wild Things Are
Little Bear
The Giving Tree
Ballet Shoes
The Five Little Peppers and How they Grew

Esme Raji Codell’s blog: The Planet Esme Plan,


Filed under Motherhood, My Posts

12 Responses to Children’s Books

  1. Alison Bolshoi

    I missed the original post! If it’s not too late, my favorite children’s books are ARM IN ARM, by Remi Charlip; THE GIVING TREE (which you already have listed) and OLD BLACK WITCH, by Wende and Harry Devlin.

  2. Ooooooo! I want to read them all again – but my 17 and 15 year old won’t be sitting in my lap when I do.

  3. Jeanne Gallagher

    Just In Case You Ever Wonder by Max Lucado
    Silly Sally by Audrey Wood

  4. Leanne Cooper

    Very hard to hone it down to 3 favorites. My 3 favorite children’s authors are Cynthia Rylant – Henry and Mudge, and Mr. Putter series. William Steig – Dr. De Soto, Amos and Boris, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Crockett Johnsin – Harold and the Purple Crayon. Jan Brett – Berlioz the Bear, The Mitten. That’s more than 3, I know!

  5. What a fantastic list! I spent so many wonderful hours reading these books with my children. I recently found the box of them in the garage, but couldn’t bear to load them into the car to take them to donate.

  6. Three? Only three? Okay, it’s easy =)
    Black Beauty – I learned to see through a horse’s eyes and heart
    Charlotte’s Web – what can I say? We all know how dear that story is, and the lessons within
    Stuart Little – anthropomorphism and courage at it’s best in both mice AND men
    P.S. Garth Williams’ illustrations are STILL the BEST!

  7. Wonderful post and poll, Laura, thanks for doing this. Off the top of my head, Winnie the Pooh + House at Pooh Corner, the whole Mary Poppins series, and Alice + Through the Looking Glass. I especially enjoyed reading all these with my children.

  8. Miriam

    An excellent Canadian children’s author is Robert Munsch. As a family, we loved everything he wrote and would pick up a new one or two every time we went to Canada. Incidentally he wrote LOVE YOU FOREVER, which I chose to list as one my my all times. I was given this book when I had my first child and instantly read it and dissolved into a puddle of tears. To this day, when I read it the same thing happens!

  9. This is so helpful. . There are so many I still don’t know. I really don’t know if I could boil it down. Probably Ramona the Pest, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and hmmmm, Harriet the Spy? Ramona is my girl though. Seriously.

  10. Forgot all the Louisa May Alcott books. And Secret Garden. And the Little Princess.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>