100 Picture Books EVERYONE Should Read

100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know

By the NYPL 2011

 

This booklist is posted on nypl.org and includes picture books from the '20s through the 2000s.  While we own many of the books here in Tenafly, if you want to complete the whole list just see a Librarian about requesting titles from other BCCLS Libraries.  Books owned by Tenafly are followed by our call number.  If the call number starts J P the book can be found through the yellow doorways and alphabetical by the call number.

 

ABUELA - Dorros, Arthur
While riding on a bus with her grandmother, a little girl imagines that they are carried up into the sky and fly over the sights of New York City.

ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY Viorst, Judith
Recounts the events of a day when everything goes wrong for Alexander. J P VIORST

ANANSI AND THE MOSS-COVERED ROCK Eric A., Kimmel
Anansi the Spider uses a strange moss-covered rock in the forest to trick all the other animals, until Little Bush Deer decides he needs to learn a lesson. J 398.2 KIM

ANDY AND THE LION Daugherty, James
The lion remembers Andy's kindness to him.

BARK, GEORGE Feiffer, Jules
A mother dog worries about the strange noises her puppy is making.   J P FIFFER

THE BOSSY GALLITO: A TRADITIONAL CUBAN FOLK TALE Gonzalez, Lucia M., retold by; illustrated by Lulu Delacre
In this cumulative Cuban folktale, a bossy rooster dirties his beak when he eats a kernel of corn and must find a way to clean it before his parrot uncle's wedding.

BREAD AND JAM FOR FRANCES Hoban, Russell; illustrated by Lillian Hoban
Frances decides she likes to eat only bread and jam at every meal--until to her surprise--her parents grant her wish. J R HOBAN

BROWN BEAR, BROWN BEAR, WHAT DO YOU SEE? Martin, Bill, Jr.; illustrated by Eric Carle
Children see a variety of animals, each one a different color, and a teacher looking at them.  J P CARLE

BRUNO MUNARI’S ABC MUNARI, BRUNO
Beginning with an "Ant on an Apple," illustrations, simple text, and a pesky fly who will not stay on his page introduce the letters of the alphabet. J PIC M

BUZ - Egielski, Richard
When a little boy swallows a bug along with his cereal, pandemonium breaks out as the bug searches for an escape, the boy searches for an antidote, and Keystone Cops-like pills search for the bug.  J P EGIELSKI

CAPS FOR SALE; A TALE OF A PEDDLER, SOME MONKEYS AND THEIR MONKEY BUSINESS Slobodkina, Esphyr
A band of mischievous monkeys steals every one of a peddler's caps while he takes a nap under a tree. J P SLOBODKINA

THE CARROT SEED Krauss, Ruth; illustrated by Crockett Johnson
A young boy plants a carrot seed and, although the adults tell him that nothing will happen, he just knows it will come up. J BB KRAUSS

A CHAIR FOR MY MOTHER Williams, Vera B.
A child, her waitress mother, and her grandmother save dimes to buy a comfortable armchair after all their furniture is lost in a fire.

CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM Martin, Bill, Jr. and John Archambault; illustrated by Lois Ehlert
An alphabet rhyme/chant that relates what happens when the whole alphabet tries to climb a coconut tree. J P MARTIN

CLICK, CLACK, MOO : COWS THAT TYPE / Cronin, Doreen
When Farmer Brown's cows find a typewriter in the barn they start making demands, and go on strike when the farmer refuses to give them what they want. J P CRONIN

COME ALONG, DAISY! Simmons, Jane
Daisy the duckling becomes so engrossed in playing with dragonflies and lily pads that she temporarily loses her mother. J P SIMMONS

CORDUROY Freeman, Don
A teddy bear in a department store wants a number of things, but, when a little girl finally buys him, he finds what he has always wanted most of all. J P FREEMAN

CURIOUS GEORGE Rey, H. A.
The adventures of a curious monkey. J P REY

DINOSAUR ROAR! Stickland, Paul and Henrietta
Illustrations and rhyming text present all kinds of dinosaurs, including ones that are sweet, grumpy, spiky, or lumpy.

DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! Willems, Mo
When the bus driver leaves the bus for a while, the pigeon wants to drive the bus so badly that he starts to dream himself behind the steering wheel vroom-vroom-vroom. J P WILLEMS

DUCK ON A BIKE Shannon, David
A duck decides to ride a bike and soon influences all the other animals on the farm to ride bikes too.  J P SHANNON

FIRE TRUCK Sís, Peter
Matt, who loves fire trucks, wakes up one morning to find that he has become a fire truck, with one driver, two ladders, three hoses, and ten boots. Features a gate-fold illustration that opens into a three-page spread.

FREIGHT TRAIN Crews, Donald
Brief text and illustrations trace the journey of a colorful train as it goes through tunnels, by cities, and over trestles. J P CREWS

FROGGY GETS DRESSED London, Jonathan
Froggy hops out into the snow for a winter frolic but is called back by his mother to put on some necessary articles of clothing. J P LONDON

THE GARDENER  Stewart, Sarah
A series of letters relating what happens when, after her father loses his job, Lydia Grace goes to live with her Uncle Jim in the city but takes her love for gardening with her. J P STEWART

GEORGE AND MARTHA Marshall, James
Relates several episodes in the friendship of two hippoppotamuses. J P MARSHALL

GO AWAY, BIG GREEN MONSTER! Emberley, Ed
Die-cut pages through which bits of a monster are revealed are designed to help a child control nighttime fears of monsters. J P EMBERLEY

GOIN’ SOMEPLACE SPECIAL McKissack, Patricia
In segregated 1950s' Nashville, a young African American girl braves a series of indignities and obstacles to get to one of the few integrated places in town: the public library.

GOOD NIGHT, GORILLA Rathmann, Peggy
An unobservant zookeeper is followed home by all the animals he thinks he has left behind in the zoo.

GOODNIGHT MOON Brown, Margaret W.; illustrated by Clement Hurd
A little bunny says goodnight to all the familiar things in his little room. J P BROWN

GOSSIE Olivier, Dunrea
Gossie is a gosling who likes to wear bright red boots every day, no matter what she is doing, and so she is heartbroken the day the boots are missing and she can't find them anywhere. J R DUNREA

GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY Say, Allen
A Japanese American man recounts his grandfather's journey to America which he later also undertakes, and the feelings of being torn by a love for two different countries. J P SAY

HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON Johnson, Crockett
Harold goes for a walk in the moonlight with his purple crayon and created many fantastic adventures. J P JOHNSON

HARRY THE DIRTY DOG Zion, Gene; illustrated by Margaret Graham
A little dog who hates baths hides his scrubbing brush then becomes so dirty that his family does not recognize him. J P ZION

HENRY HIKES TO FITCHBURG Johnson, D. B. (Donald B.)
While his friend works hard to earn the train fare to Fitchburg, young Henry Thoreau walks the thirty miles through woods and fields, enjoying nature and the time to think great thoughts. Includes biographical information about Thoreau.

HORTON HATCHES THE EGG Seuss, Dr.
When a lazy bird hatching an egg wants a vacation, she asks Horton, the elephant, to sit on her egg--which he does through all sorts of hazards and waits until he is rewarded for doing what he said he would. J P SEUSS

HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOOD NIGHT? Yolen, Jane
Mother and child ponder the different ways a dinosaur can say goodnight, from slamming his tail and pouting to giving a big hug and kiss.

I KISSED THE BABY! Murphy, Mary
Various animals tell how they saw, fed, sang to, tickled, and kissed the new duckling. J P MURPHY

IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE Numeroff, Laura J.
Relating the cycle of requests a mouse is likely to make after you give him a cookie takes the reader through a young child's day. J P NUMEROFF

IT COULD ALWAYS BE WORSE: A YIDDISH FOLKTALE Zemach, Margot.  Unable to stand his overcrowded and noisy home any longer, a poor man goes to the Rabbi for advice.

JOHN HENRY Lester, Julius; illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Retells the life of the legendary African American hero who raced against a steam drill to cut through a mountain. J 398.2 LEST

JULIUS Johnson, Angela; illustrated by Dav Pilkey
Maya's grandfather brings her a pig from Alaska and the two of them learn about fun and sharing together.

KITTEN’S FIRST FULL MOON Henkes, Kevin
When Kitten mistakes the full moon for a bowl of milk, she ends up tired, wet, and hungry trying to reach it. J P HENKES

LILLY’S PURPLE PLASTIC PURSE Kevin, Henkes
Lilly loves everything about school, especially her teacher, but when he asks her to wait a while before showing her new purse, she does something for which she is very sorry later. J P HENKES

THE LINE-UP BOOK Marisabina, Russo
Sam lines up blocks, books, boots, cars, and other objects, all the way from his room to his mother in the kitchen.

THE LITTLE RED HEN: AN OLD STORY Zemach, Margot
A retelling of the traditional tale about the little red hen whose lazy friends are unwilling to help her plant, harvest, or grind the wheat into flour, but all are willing to help her eat the bread that she makes from it.

LON PO PO: A RED RIDING HOOD STORY FROM CHINA Young, Ed.
Three sisters staying home alone are endangered by a hungry wolf who is disguised as their grandmother.

LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE Waber, Bernard
The helpful, happy crocodile living on East 88th St. causes a neighborhood feud. J P WABER

MABELA THE CLEVER MacDonald, Margaret Read
An African folktale about a mouse who pays close attention to her surroundings and avoids being tricked by the cat.

MACHINES AT WORK Barton, Byron
During a busy day at the construction site, the workers use a variety of machines to knock down a building and begin constructing a new one.

MADELINE Bemelmans, Ludwig
The story of a school girl in Paris. J P BEMELMANS

MAISY GOES SWIMMING Cousins, Lucy
The reader helps Maisy the mouse undress and put on her bathing suit for a dip in the pool.

MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS McCloskey, Robert
Mr. and Mrs. Mallard found a quiet place to raise their babies then took them to the pond in the Boston Public Garden where there were peanuts to eat. J P MCCLOSKEY

MAMA CAT HAS THREE KITTENS Fleming, Denise
While two kittens copy everything their mother does, their brother naps. J P FLEMING

THE MAN WHO WALKED BETWEEN THE TOWERS  Gerstein, Mordicai
A lyrical evocation of Philippe Petit's 1974 tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers.  J 791.3 GER

MARTHA SPEAKS Meddaugh, Susan
Problems arise when Martha, the family dog, learns to speak after eating alphabet soup.  J P MEDDAUGH

MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL Burton, Virginia L.
The story of an Irish steam-shovel artist and his old-fashioned steam-shovel, Mary Anne. J P BURTON

MILLIONS OF CATS Gág, Wanda
The story of a peasant who goes off in search of one kitten and returns with trillions of cats.

MISS NELSON IS MISSING! Allard, Harry and James Marshall
The kids in Room 207 take advantage of their teacher's good nature until she disappears and they are faced with a vile substitute. J P ALLARD

MR. GUMPY'S OUTING Birmingham, John
Mr. Gumpy accepts more and more animals on his boat until the inevitable occurs.

MUFARO'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS: AN AFRICAN TALE Steptoe, John, retold and illustrated by
Mufaro's two beautiful daughters, one bad-tempered, one kind and sweet, go before the king, who is choosing a wife.

MUNCHA! MUNCHA! MUNCHA! Fleming, Candace
After planting the garden he has dreamed of for years, Mr. McGreely tries to find a way to keep some persistent bunnies from eating all his vegetables. J P FLEMING

MY FRIEND RABBIT Rohmann, Eric
Something always seems to go wrong when Rabbit is around, but Mouse lets him play with his toy plane anyway because he is his good friend. J P ROHMAN 

THE NAPPING HOUSE Wood, Audrey
In this cumulative tale, a wakeful flea atop a number of sleeping creatures causes a commotion, with just one bite. Illustrated by Don Wood. J P WOOD

NO, DAVID! Shannon, DAVID
A young boy is depicted doing a variety of naughty things for which he is repeatedly admonished, but finally he gets a hug. J P SHANNON

OFF TO SCHOOL, BABY DUCK! Hest, Amy 

Baby Duck experiences the fear of the first day of school, but with a little help from Grampa, everything turns out okay in the end.

 

OLD BLACK FLY Aylesworth, Jim
Rhyming text and illustrations follow a mischievous old black fly through the alphabet as he has a very busy bad day landing where he should not be. Illustrations by Stephen Gammell.

 

OLIVIA Falconer, Ian
Whether at home getting ready for the day, enjoying the beach, or at bedtime, Olivia is a feisty pig who has too much energy for her own good. J P FALCONER

 

OWEN Henkes, Kevin
Owen's parents try to get him to give up his favorite blanket before he starts school, but when their efforts fail, they come up with a solution that makes everyone happy. J P HENKES

 

PAPA, PLEASE GET THE MOON FOR ME Carle, Eric
Monica's father fulfills her request for the moon by taking it down after it is small enough to carry, but it continues to change in size. Some pages fold out to display particularly large pictures. J P CARLE

 

PIERRE: A CAUTIONARY TALE Sendak, Maurice
The story of a boy who learned to care.

 

THE POLAR EXPRESS Van Allsburg, Chris
A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus. J P VANALLSBURG

 

PUSS IN BOOTS Perrault, Charles
Translation of Chat botte´ illustrated by Fred Marcellino. J 398.2 PER

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THE RANDOM HOUSE BOOK OF MOTHER GOOSE: A TREASURY OF 386 TIMELESS NURSERY RHYMES Lobel, Arnold
An illustrated collection of Mother Goose nursery rhymes, including well-known ones such as "Bah, Bah, Black Sheep" and "Little Boy Blue" and less familiar ones such as "Doctor Foster went to Gloucester" and "When clouds appear like rocks and towers." Selected and illustrated by Arnold Lobel.

 

ROUND TRIP Jonas, Ann
Black and white illustrations and text record the sights on a day trip to the city and back home again to the country.

 

RUMPELSTILTSKIN Zelinsky, Paul O.
A strange little man helps the miller's daughter spin straw into gold for the king on the condition that she will give him her first-born child. Retold and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. J 398.2 ZEL

 

THE SNOWY DAY Keats, Ezra Jack
A story of a young boy explores the magic world of snow -- snowball fight, snowman making, sliding down the snow way, etc. He loves the snow fall. J P KEATS

 

SPOTS, FEATHERS AND CURLY TAILS Tafuri, Nancy
Questions and answers highlight some outstanding characteristics of farm animals, such as a chicken's feathers and a horse's mane.

 

THE STORY OF FERDINAND Leaf, Munro
The story of a bull that would rather sit quietly under a tree than fight. Illustrations by Robert Lawson. J P LEAF

 

THE STRAY DOG Marc, Simont
A family befriends a stray dog, names him Willy, and decides to keep him. From a true story by Reiko Sassa. J P SIMONT

 

STREGA NONA De Paola, Tomie
A retelling of an old Italian tale about what happens when Strega Nona leaves her apprentice alone with her magic pasta pot, and he is determined to show the townspeople how it works.

J P DEPAOLA

 

SWIMMY Lionni, Leo
Swimmy, the only black fish of the entire school, devises for himself and his adopted brothers and sisters a safer way to live in the sea. J P LIONNI

 

SYLVESTER AND THE MAGIC PEBBLE Steig, William
In a moment of fright Sylvester the donkey asks his magic pebble to turn him into a rock but then can not hold the pebble to wish himself back to normal again. J P STEIG

 

THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT Potter, Beatrix

Peter disobeys his mother by going into Mr. McGregor's garden and almost gets caught.

J P POTTER

 

TAR BEACH Ringgold, Faith
A young girl dreams of flying above her Harlem home, claiming all she sees for herself and her family. Based on the author's quilt painting of the same name. J P RINGGOLD

 

TEN, NINE, EIGHT Bang, Molly

THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A FLY Taback, Simms
Presents the traditional version of a famous American folk poem first heard in the U.S. in the 1940s with illustrations on die-cut pages that reveal all that the old lady swallows. J P TABACK

 

THE THREE BEARS Galdone, Paul
Three bears return from a walk and find a little girl asleep in baby bear's bed. J P GALDONE

 

TRASHY TOWN Zimmerman, Andrea Griffing
Little by little, can by can, Mr. Gillie, the trash man, cleans up his town. J P ZIMMERMAN
 

THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS BY A. WOLF Scieszka, John
The wolf gives his own outlandish version of what really happened when he tangled with the three little pigs. Illustrated by Lane Smith. J P SCIESZKA
 

TUESDAY Wiesner, David
Frogs rise on their lily pads, float through the air, and explore the nearby houses while their inhabitants sleep. J PIC WIESNER

UPTOWN Bryan, Collier
A tour of the sights of Harlem, including the Metro-North Train, brownstones, shopping on 125th Street, a barber shop, summer basketball, the Boy's Choir, and sunset over the Harlem River.

 

THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR Carle, Eric
Follows the progress of a little caterpillar as he eats his way through a varied quantity of food until, full at last, he forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep. J P CARLE
 

THE WHEELS ON THE BUS Zelinsky, Paul O., adapted and illustrated by
Through the use of movable illustrations, the wheels on the bus go round, the wipers swish, the doors open and close and the people go in and out in this adaptation of the traditional song.
 

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE Sendak, Maurice
After Max was sent to bed for misbehaving, he escapes by imagining that he sails away to a wild land full of monsters. J P SENDAK

WHERE'S SPOT? Hill, Eric
It's time for supper, so Spot's mother searches for him. J P HILL

WHISTLE FOR WILLIE Keats, Ezra Jack
A little Black boy tries very hard to learn how to whistle for his dog.

 

THE WOLF’S CHICKEN STEW Kasza, Keiko
A hungry wolf's attempts to fatten a chicken for his stewpot have unexpected results.

YOKO Wells, Rosemary
When Yoko brings sushi to school for lunch, her classmates make fun of what she eats--until one of them tries it for himself.

 

ZOMO THE RABBIT: A TRICKSTER TALE FROM WEST AFRICA McDermott, Gerald,

Zomo the Rabbit, an African trickster, sets out to gain wisdom.