Saturday, September 22, 2012

13 of the Top Picture Books Ever

In light of yesterday's rant on a picture book adaptation, here are some of the best of that format of book of all time:

13. “The Sneetches and Other Stories” by Dr. Seuss

The first story here is my favorite Seuss fable, and I think his most impactful.

12. “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter

Any of Potter’s stories are the perfect example of a “picture book.” Great, cautionary stories about great characters with wonderful illustrations.

11. “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein

This one feels very preachy, even to a kid, but it is an important sermon.

10. “The Spider and the Fly” by Tony DiTerlizzi

In a picture book the illustrations are just as important as the story. Here we get amazingly developed and elaborate pictures, but the story is delightful as well as having a point.

9. “Were Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen

This was my favorite one to read out loud to my children and I love the illustrations.

8. “Harry the Dirty Dog” by Gene Zion

I loved the story of the dog that learned to appreciate the good things he had in life.

7. “Frog and Toad are Friends” by Arnold Lobel

All of the Frog and Toad books are charming on a level that I would compare, in novel form, with the Winnie the Pooh books.

6. “The Monster at the End of this Book” by John Stone

I was absolutely fascinated with this story that introduced me to the concept of “meta” as a little kid, and I have been ever since.

5. “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak

In this case everyone is right when they say this is a wonderful book. See also “Chicken Soup with Rice” and “I am a Hunter.”

4. “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams

This short little picture book might bring you to tears. It has incredible heart. The original is very good, but I like the Donna Green illustrations even better.

3“Tinker and Tanker”

A hard to find treasure from my favorite picture book creator as a kid. Perhaps that is why it ranks so high on my list as well. I would love to have these story books again.

2. “Anatole”

Eve Titus’ mice Characters—both Anatole and in slightly longer form, “Basil of Baker Street” are my favorite mice. Read any and all of her books that you can get your hands on!

1. “Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy World” by Richard Scarry

This was, and is, my favorite picture, story book of all time. It rewards endless rereading.

OK, what was I missing?  I know there have got to be other great examples out there!

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