Three years ago I had the idea to have a Top 100 Picture Book Poll here on the blog. Actually, I didn’t have the idea. My husband did and he got the idea from the Comics Should Be Good Top 100 Comic Book Runs poll. My poll was such a success that I followed it up the next year with the Top 100 Chapter Books Poll. Both of these were a lot of fun but they were not without problems. The Picture Book Poll, for example, was so new that I didn’t get a lot of votes (in a relative sense) so the bottom of the list was fun but haphazard. It also didn’t include easy books, a choice I later regretted. The Chapter Book Poll fared better but when SLJ switched to a new format all the images I included in my posts disappeared. With that in mind, let us make up for old time with . . .
The All New Top 100 Picture Book and Chapter Book Polls!
With polls so nice we’re doing ’em twice. No, they’re not new but the results will be. A lot can change in two or three years.
We are doing two polls concurrent with one another at the same time. You may vote on both. The rules are essentially the same with some significant changes. Observe:
1. Send me two lists. On the first you will vote for your top ten fictional picture books. On the second you will vote for your top ten fictional middle grade books of all time (not just this year or last year), both by 11:59 Eastern on April 15, 2012. On the picture book side you may include easy books. On the chapter book side you may include early chapter book titles and series. This will NOT include young adult books (for kids 13 and up).
2. Can’t tell if a book should be on the easy book poll or chapter book poll (like Bink & Gollie)? Use your best judgement. Does it feel like a picture book or a chapter book? Feel free to write a justification for a book if you feel it really does belong on one list or another. Just know that I have the final right of refusal.
3. List these books in your order of preference. I cannot stress this enough. Your #1 chapter book would be the one you feel is the most important, so I will give it 10 points. Your #2 choice will be only 9 points. And so on and such. So be very careful how you order your books. It could make all the difference between what does and does not make the list.
4. Submit the two lists to me at Top100Poll@gmail.com. I’d rather you didn’t leave your votes in the comment feature on this site since it’s finicky and difficult to use (plus I want everyone’s votes to be a surprise).
5. If you like, you can submit what you like about each title. Mid-April my team and I will tally up the totals and I will pull from the submitted pieces why one reader or another liked a particular book (naming the reader, of course). That way we’ll be able to hear from a whole mess of people why they love one book or another. I will then count down from 100 to 1 the top choices of what folks feel the best picture books and chapter books of all time are. If you’re not sure how this looks just click on the Top 100 Polls in my sidebar and look at some of the titles there. They’ll give you a good sense of how things fall out. The more original or heartfelt your comment the more likely it is to be included. Comments are, however, optional.
6. Last time we ran the poll we got a lot of votes from students. Child votes are fantastic but we had a lot of kids who would just list all the Rick Riordan books in order, or all the Wimpy Kids. I think these votes count for something so if you would like your kids to submit their own votes I’m all for it! I will create a separate list of Kid Poll Results so that we can see what REAL children really like. If you would like to do this poll with your class it can be a great way to get them to think critically about the books they currently read or those they grew up with. Just indicate on your email that the results come from kids. I consider anyone between the ages of 0-18 a child.
7. For the chapter book poll we are asking that if you like a series please include only one book from that series. Last time all the Harry Potter books but one made the list, which wasn’t a problem and may have only happened because of child votes. However, to allow as many different kinds of books on this list I ask that you limit your love to a single book in a series and that if you cannot decide on a favorite then please just list the first one.
8. I was disappointed with the last two polls that there wasn’t a lot of diversity. I would encourage you to consider including one book on each of your lists that could be considered diverse in some way. This is not a requirement, merely a suggestion.
9. Finally, if you only like picture books and don’t care about chapter books or you adore chapter books but don’t give a fig for picture, that is okay. You can send me just one list. However, you can only send me your votes once. No double voting please.
I would like to thank my incredible team of Number Crunchers who will be helping me compile the results. With the aid of Eric Carpenter’s amazing algorithm he alongside Dick, Emily, Joy, Kate, Katie, Laurel, Sam, and Sondra have graciously agreed help me out. Without them I am nothing.
If you would like to repost this word for word on your own blog, go for it! I mind not a jot.
So go to it! The deadline, as I said, is midnight on 4/15. If you have questions, need clarification, or want to know if a book belongs on one list or another feel free to ask me. Most importantly, have fun!