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Top 100 Children’s Novels Poll #10: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

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#10 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (1977) 128 points I had read many other books where characters died, but it was always for a “good” or “glorious” reason. This was the first time I read a book that reflected real life, where death is sudden, pointless, and gut-wrenching. I was so upset that I […]

Top 100 Picture Books #10: The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone, illustrated by Mike Smollin

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#10 The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone, illustrated by Mike Smollin (1971) For the pure joy of watching your audience’s faces as you read this aloud. – DaNae Leu I had to look up the author – don’t think I ever read his name! I just thought of it as […]

Top 100 Picture Books #11: Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

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#11 Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes (1996) 89 points I could make a top 10 list of Kevin Henkes titles. Love everything he does. But Lilly is one of the most unforgettable characters in children’s literature. And I believe many young girls may have been named after her. – DeAnn Okamura It’s dramatic […]

Top 100 Picture Books #12: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

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#12 Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (1960) 86 points Because, “Try them, you may like them,” are words to live by. – DaNae Leu One of the great questions of childhood is: What’s with parents putting bizarre items on your plate and expecting you to eat them? Dr. Seuss’s answer to the question […]

Top 100 Picture Books #13: Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

#13 Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (1982) 79 points This is such a great lesson book without being preachy. I remember my 20 year old son coming home and telling me all about this book after his teacher read it in class. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I knew all about […]

Top 100 Picture Books #14: Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

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#14 Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina (1947) 78 points What I REALLY love about this book is that it is possibly the most fun book to read aloud to a kid (or many kids) ever. I can’t separate my feelings for the book itself from the experience of reading it interactively. What kid doesn’t […]

Top 100 Picture Books #15: Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel

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#15 Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel (1970) 74 points I put a lot of thought into which Frog and Toad book to put on here. They are all brilliant, but I find Frog and Toad Together a bit trippy with Toad’s crazy dream sequence and the seriously snake in “Dragons and Giants.” […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #16: Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

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#16 Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (1955) 73 points It’s like the best kind of dream! It’s surreal and meta and mindbending! And also funny! I found it haunting when I was a kid, reality being created as you go; now that surrealism is one of my favorite things about it. I […]

Top 100 Picture Books #17: The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson

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#17 The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson (1936) 73 points I remember liking this as a child, but I love it even more as a parent, when my children love to listen to it. It’s a gentle story, and can sometimes be calming at bedtime, but they also love to […]

Top 100 Picture Books #18: A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead

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#18 A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead (2010) 71 points Too soon to appear? I think not. Amos and his friends feel as if they have been with us forever, as they will be. Also because the penguin’s red socks are just so irresistible. – DaNae Leu […]

Top 100 Picture Books #19: The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

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#19 The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (1902) 69 points Potter never wrote down to children. The size is perfect for little ones to hold and pour over the detailed illustrations. – Natalie Forever classic. – Rose Marie Moore Introducing the oldest book to appear on the Top 100 picture book list.  I’m […]

Top 100 Picture Books #20: Pete the Cat – I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean

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#20 Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean (2010) 68 points Once the song is downloaded and played, it will never leave your head! Catchy in a good way. Also, it teaches an important lesson to “not sweat the small stuff.” Great for kids and adults alike. […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #11: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

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#11 When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (2009) 102 points I sell this to kids in the library by saying it’s a cross between Beverly Clearly and Lost. And I always say “the ending will BLOW YOUR MIND.” Because it does. – Sharon Ozimy This is a book you can give to any kind […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #12: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

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#12 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (1999) 101 points After all these years, this one is still my favorite: it’s the last true Middle Grade novel of the bunch, and it’s got everything: adventure, scary sequences, a daring escape, and time travel. And I can’t beat that my kids still […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #13: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

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#13 The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (1997) 93 points I wish this series had been out when I was a kid! One of the best written ever. – Martha Sherod A classic adventure story that’s still less than 20 years old. I love Gen, and loved being completely surprised by the ending the first […]