This list of seventy authors and their books is in no way complete. Each author may have written many titles, of which only one or two are included here. Many great children’s authors and books have not been included – not because they are not worthy, but because to include them all would require another volume! This list includes books and authors that are recommended by experts in the field of children’s literature. Our family has read and enjoyed many of these books over the years.
The best way to learn which books your child enjoys is to read children’s books – lots of them. Read not only award winners, but also award-losers. (Some of the best-loved books are runners-up!) Read books about children’s books, too.
Make the children’s room of your library your second home. Get to know the librarians and ask for their recommendations. The most popular books are usually checked out as soon as they are returned, so reserve them if you can. If you have access to a computer, you can often reserve books from home. This service is a lifesaver for those who visit the library with infants and toddlers! If this service is not available to you, visit the library one afternoon or evening without toddlers in tow and spend some time getting to know the best in children’s books, both old and new.
Ahlberg, Janet and Allan. The Baby’s Catalogue; Peek-A-Boo.
Bang, Molly. Ten, Nine, Eight; Yellow Ball.
Becker, Bonny. The Quiet Way Home.
Brown, Margaret Wise. Big Red Barn; Goodnight Moon; The Runaway Bunny.
Bruna, Dick. Dick Bruna’s Animal Book; I Can Count; I Can Dress Myself; “Miffy” series; My Shirt is White.
Burningham, John. Mr. Gumpy’s Outing.
Carle, Eric. My Very First Book of Colors; The Very Busy Spider; The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Carlstrom, Nancy White. Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?
Carter, Noelle and David. I’m a Little Mouse: A Pat and Play Book.
Cooke, Trish. So Much.
Cooney, Barbara (illustrator). Chanticleer and the Fox.
Cousins, Lucy (illustrator). The Little Dog Laughed: And Other Nursery Rhymes from Mother Goose.
Crews, Donald. Freight Train; Truck.
De Angeli, Marguerite (illustrator). Book of Nursery and Mother Goose Rhymes.
De Regniers, Beatrice Schenk. May I Bring a Friend?
Demarest, Chris L. My Blue Boat.
dePaola, Tomie. Charlie Needs a Cloak; Pancakes for Breakfast.
Dunn, Judy. The Little Rabbit.
Eastman, Philip D. Are You My Mother?
Eichenberg, Fritz. Ape in a Cape: An Alphabet of Odd Animals; Dancing in the Moon.
Ets, Marie Hall. In the Forest; Gilberto and the Wind; Play with Me.
Flack, Marjorie. “Angus” series; Ask Mister Bear; Walter the Lazy Mouse.
Freeman, Don. Corduroy; The Chalk Box Story.
Fujikawa, Gyo. Let’s Eat; Puppies, Pussycats and Other Friends.
Ga’g, Wanda. The ABC Bunny.
Galdone, Paul (illustrator). The Little Red Hen; The Monkey and the Crocodile: A Jataka Tale from India; Old Mother Hubbard and Her Dog; Old Woman and Her Pig.
Gilham, Bill. The First Words Picture Book.
Goudey, Alice. The Day We Saw the Sun Come Up.
Gramatky, Hardie. Little Toot.
Greenaway, Kate. A Apple Pie.
Hill, Eric. “Spot” series.
Hoban, Tana. Circles, Triangles, and Squares; Is It Red? Is It Yellow? Is It Blue?; Push, Pull, Empty, Full.
Hughes, Shirley. Bathwater’s Hot; Noisy; Two Shoes, New Shoes; When We Went to the Park.
Jam, Teddy. Night Cars.
Johnson, Crockett. Harold and the Purple Crayon.
Keats, Ezra Jack. Peter’s Chair; The Snowy Day.
Kraus, Robert. Whose Mouse Are You?
Krauss, Ruth. Bears; The Carrot Seed; The Happy Day; A Hole Is to Dig: A First Book of First Definitions; You’re Just What I Need (formerly titled The Bundle Book).
Lansky, Bruce. The New Adventures of Mother Goose: Gentle Rhymes for Happy Times.
Lionni, Leo. Frederick; Fish is Fish; Swimmy.
Martin, Bill Jr. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?; Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom.
McCloskey, Robert. Blueberries for Sal.
McMillan, Bruce. Here a Chick, There a Chick.
Ormerod, Jan. 101 Things to Do with a Baby.
Oxenbury, Helen. Helen Oxenbury’s ABC of Things; “Tom and Pippo” series.
Parish, Peggy. I Can! Can You?
Payne, Emmy. Katy No-Pocket.
Pienkowski, Jan. ABC; Colors; Numbers; Shapes.
Piper, Watty. The Little Engine That Could.
Potter, Beatrix. The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit.
Ransom, Candice F. The Big Green Pocketbook.
Reid, Barbara. “Zoe” series.
Rey, H. A. Curious George.
Rockwell, Anne F. Come to Town.
Rosen, Michael. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.
Scarry, Richard. Early Bird; Richard Scarry’s Please and Thank You Book; Best Word Book; Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.
Sendak, Maurice. Alligators All Around.
Slobodkina, Esphyr. Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business.
Spier, Peter. Big Trucks, Little Trucks; Fast Cars, Slow Cars; Fast-Slow High-Low; Here Come the Fire Trucks; Noah’s Ark; Trucks that Dig and Dump.
Tafuri, Nancy. Early Morning in the Barn; Have You Seen My Duckling?; Two New Sneakers; One Wet Jacket.
Tresselt, Alvin. White Snow, Bright Snow.
Tudor, Tasha. “A” Is for Annabelle.
Waddell, Martin. Owl Babies.
Wells, Rosemary. “Max” series.
Wildsmith, Brian. Wild Animals; Brian Wildsmith 1, 2, 3.
Williams, Garth. The Chicken Book.
Williams, Vera B. “More More More,” Said the Baby.
Wood, Audrey. The Napping House.
Zion, Gene. Harry the Dirty Dog.
Zolotow, Charlotte. The Sleepy Book; Big Sister and Little Sister; Some Things Go Together; William’s Doll.