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100 Best Children's Books

Once a week my sister, mother, and I filled a cardboard box with new library books to read. Now, almost four decades later, I still borrow an excessive amount of library books, not just for me but also for my own children and my K-5 students. Read More »
For me, a lifelong avid reader and book lover, picking the best 100 children's books felt like picking my favorite child: nearly impossible. In order to make the top 100, the book needed to be an all-time children's favorite - not just a book that editors and critics liked. Then, with a little help from my librarian friends, my Goodreads list, and my fellow book-loving buddies, I considered everything about the title: the illustrations, story richness, depth of characters, uniqueness of plot, movement and pacing, vocabulary, and even critics' reviews. Much to my surprise, I discovered that there's actually a bit of debate over whether some of my favorite young-adult books are technically YA, so I decided to cut them from the list: To Kill a Mockingbird, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Little Women, Lord of the Rings, The Chosen, Enders Game, Animal Farm, and Lord of the Flies. If you're wondering about those books, they were in my heart, but I couldn't include them. No matter their ages, kids can be introduced to new worlds through books. If you want to raise readers, surround your children with stories they'll actually enjoy. Introduce them to some of your favorites and let them choose their own at the library or bookstore. In the words of the great philosopher, Dr. Seuss, "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." Here's a guide to some of the best literature for kids from babies to tweens. Don't see your favorite on the list? Nominate it here! - Melissa Taylor

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Fairly Fairy Tales

100 Best Children's Books - Fairly Fairy Tales

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Fairly Fairy Tales’s Rankings

What do you get when you combine fairy tales with a modern twist? A book you can read a million times. For example, what happens when you put a cow, a beanstalk, a giant, and…spaghetti together? This book shows us all the ways in which characters can be mixed and matched to tell a story and will truly stretch your kids’ imaginations.

Get it from: Amazon, $11.89

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11 thoughts on “100 Best Children’s Books 2011

  1. Amanda says:

    Is there any way Babble can get rid of comments that are obvious spam? And I totally agree with A Wrinkle In Time. The thrid book in the series, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, is also amazing.

  2. Rufus Griscom says:

    Amanda — thanks for your note about all the spam in comments — right now we go through a laborious process of manually deleting the spam and it sometimes gets ahead of us, particularly on the weekends. We will soon be making a major change to our commenting system that will fix the problem for good, but in the meantime thank you for bearing with us.

  3. SaveEveryStep says:

    Oh no, where’s the Gruffalo?!!

  4. Jack Murnighan says:

    i loved a wrinkle in time but haven’t read it as an adult. do people still endorse it? and any other favorites we should be adding to the list?

  5. Lyn Dickerson says:

    I need to re-read A Wrinkle in Time, I remember it being magical!

  6. Jill Capewell says:

    Phantom tollbooth counts as a kids’ book, right? Would have loved to see that on here but I’m really liking the other choices, too!

  7. Mandalee Meisner says:

    Shel Silverstein?

  8. Melissa Taylor says:

    oh, I debated about Shel – sorry @Mandalee! Seriously tough choices to narrow it down to 100!

  9. Melissa Taylor says:

    @Jack – I think if teachers use it at school for a read aloud, they skip the Christian references or at least that’s my friends do.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This book is not just for kids. It can be enjoyed by all ages,as has been proven by my own self (57 and just read it for the 1st time this year). Then ^ bought the whole set for when I
    have grandchildren.

  11. yolie clarkson says:

    I loved this book!

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