I feel I need to confess my addiction. I am a bibliomaniac. In spite of the fact that I have a library card, which gives me access to plenty of wonderful books, and which I enjoy using regularly, I still find the need to OWN them. I just love books! It doesn’t help that my husband feels the same way. Who’s going to put on the brakes?
In our home library we have one side of shelves filled with children’s picture books (largely my doing), and another side filled with a mixture of leather-bound literary greats, biographies of historical figures, and Tom Clancy-type novels (all my husband’s forte). Of course between those two collections there is also a smattering of how-to’s, neighborhood book club favorites, and of course a bit of Calvin and Hobbes. We just love books around here! I feel like it’s a justifiable guilty pleasure.
So with all that said, I hope you appreciate the hazard of what I’m about to do. A friend of mine asked if I could find a list of the 100 books you should read to your preschooler and post it here. I agreed to do it, but I hope you know that because of that, I’ve discovered about 20 fantastic books that I don’t own, and now feel the compulsive need to find them! (So while you’re perusing the list, I’ll probably be over at half.com!)
I found my favorite 100s list at Children’s Book Guide, complete with cover shots, summaries, and individual links to amazon.
Reading Rockets also has several other lists, including Caldecott and Newberry winners and the most notable books for the years 2010 and 2009. (I’m afraid to even look at them!)
What do you think? Was there a book on the top 100 list that brought back memories of sitting “criss-cross-applesauce” on the reading rug of your first-grade classroom? What book did you not find on the list that you would definitely have in your personal top 100? Go ahead. I already want 20 more books. What’s another 10?
Top photo by Horton Group.
Haha!! I´m a bibliomaniac as well! I convinced husband about ten years ago that collecting children´s books was one of the best things you could do in life and lovingly he agreed, being picture books my favorites. So we´ve got hundreds of wonderful children´s books (literally). Words and illustrations are just Art Works. And Children´s Book Fair held in Buenos Aires every year is my perdition…
When talking about books in English, there are many classic ones, such as Eric Carle´s books. But I have some rare pieces, such as the ones I bought at South Africa´s airport, which I dearly recommend: “Pumpkin Soup” and “Handa´s surprise”. Preschoolers and young kids love these two, no matter how many times we read them. “All I see is part of me” and “Fun is a Feeling” edited by Illumination Arts give a great spiritual insight and Taro Gomi´s books like “Spring is Here” bring all the minimalist beauty of eastern culture in a poetic and beautifully illustrated way to our kids. (Don´t miss Taro Gomi´s other books. They are all amazing, fun, poetic, beautiful).
When talking about humor, one of our favorites is “The Fish who could wish” by John Bush and Korky Paul and “The time it took Tom”, by Nick Sharrat, as well as “The Happy Rag” by Tony Ross (this is great for kids in need of a transitional object such as security blankets).
Want to read in Spanish? Then, don´t miss “Hamamelis, Miosotis y el Señor Sorpresa”, a heart touching story about friendship and gratitude told in a poetic and beautiful way.
“Del otro lado del árbol”, by Mandana Sadat edited by Fondo de Cultura Económica (México) is a book without words that is really awesome and reflects about literature itself.
When talking about longer stories, Michael Ende is my hero and in Spanish, you should give a read to Graciela Montes literature. She is simply perfect in every way. I think she makes jazz with literature: her words are like improvised music, free, beautiful, fun and with all the swing you can imagine. Of course there are many, many other favorites, but I don´t want to feel responsible for your compulsive tendencies to by books… I already have enough dealing with my own addiction!
Have fun finding those 20 indispensable books for your home library!
So many great suggestions! I can’t wait to check them out!
Oh! I HAD to come back to apologize to my beloved Anthony Browne for not mentioning him in my previous comment. He is perfect in every way. Voices in the park, My Mum and My Dad are one of my favorites ever.
Thanks, Mandy! These lists are great, even better than the ones I remember! Love the links, although my budget might not agree! Have you read any Karen Katz? Her books are so colorful and simple. I’ve loved them with my toddlers!
I can’t wait to head to the library with my list! 🙂
Karen Katz is great! Just like you said – colorful and simple!
Catherine McMahon says
I too love books. My husband says I have a serious book illness. I told him it’s better than shoes or jewlery 🙂
That’s a good way to look at it! I’ve enjoyed some fun shoes, but I’ve never snuggled up with my boys to share them!
My favorite picture book not on the list is Silly Sally by Audrey Wood. It has been a favorite of both my children and a favorite of all the children I’ve given it to as a present.
My kids love that one as well!
I had to add some of my own favorites omitted from the list –
I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt and
The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman
Hmmm….I’m so tempted to go on, but I’ll stop there!
I didn’t see Roxaboxen by Alice McLerranon the list. It’s a favorite that my 12 yr old still asks for. The Children of Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren should surely be added. And all the Elsa Maartman Beskow books. Sweet, simple stories that children never outgrow. And one last — The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston. And the Anno Counting Book and Counting House.
I wish my kids were awake so I could go look at the shelves. There are some titles that just won’t come to this sleepy brain.
I love book lists!
Thanks for your additions, Mariah! I’ll have to find The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree for this year’s new Christmas story!
As a child my Mom would purchase Little Golden Books” on our weekly trip to the grocery store. My favorites were: Nurse Nancy, The Tawny, Scrawny Lion and The Saggy, Baggy Elephant. Not exactly classic but I bet a lot of children had their first reading experiences from these books. As an adult who has been in the preschool profession for going on thirty years I have to say my all time favorite book is The giving Tree. Favorite new author is Steve Jenkins. He writes wonderful science books like Actual Size. My favorite new find, Lizards For Lunch by Conrad J. Storad, will probably never hit the best 100 List . There are so many great authors and great books that the masses will never be able to enjoy so this is my tribute to them. Thanks to all the great authors, illustrators and to you for this inspiring post.
Jeannine and I are constantly giving children’s books away on our weekly blog. Thanks again for all your thought provoking post! 🙂 joyce
Great title suggestions AND free books! You sure know how to make friends!
I agree that with so many wonderful books out there, there are so many that will never get recognized on these “top” lists — but they are still SO good! I’ll have to check out the Steve Jenkins books. They sound right up my 6 yr old’s alley! And I know a certain 4 year old that would probably get a kick out of Lizards for Lunch! Thanks for suggesting them!
And I agree –Thank you! Thank you! To all the talented authors and illustrators out there!
I was surprised to see “Don’t let the pigeon ride the Bus” on the Children’s Book Guide list. I think it only gives the children the idea to throw a tantrum.
Melissa Taylor says
I didn’t know what I was called – I am a bibliomaniac, too. Who knew? We have so many books, it’s crazy. And three library cards which routinely get maxed out.
I love these lists – there are never too many recommendations. I wrote a post about my top picks for 2010 in kids books here if you’re interested:
Thanks for your great posts!
Thanks for adding your list! There are so many great books out there and so many individual readers. There could never be too many lists. (Or too many books!) :0)
Suz Flee says
Yikes – two were on that list that aren’t at my library. I have some reading to do!
Mandi S. says
I, too, have many books from teaching school and now being with my kids. There are so many good books out there, but one in particular comes to mind: Too Many Mangoes by Tammy Paikai. We found this book in Hawaii last year, and our 3.5 year old loves it.