Author: Luisa Perkins
•12:01 AM
The excellent Victoria Mitchell of Toddled Dredge is hosting a very cool blog carnival. It involves books, so 95% of you will want to check it out, I'm sure.

We've been very bookish around this blog lately; it seems appropriate, given this time of year. The summers of my youth are memorable for the quantity of fruit I picked and ate in my grandmother's garden and the huge stacks of library books I'd bring home week after week. Now, as my kids alternate between gathering raspberries in our yard and sprawling around the house with their noses in various volumes of Harry Potter, I feel satisfied that I am passing on great traditions.

Sirdar mentioned in a comment recently that he has been reading Hank the Cowdog with his kids; I heartily approve. If you are laboring under the illusion that it's all Proust, Joyce, and Philip K. Dick around here, let me hasten to disabuse you. I've been a full-time mom for 13.5 years; the bulk of the reading I've done in that time has been out loud from the list below. I have memorized many of these after years of incessant repetition; if called upon, Patrick and I could chant the entire texts for Jamberry or I Am a Bunny, for example, in perfect unison.

I haven't included collections of fairy tales, though those figure heavily in our reading. Maybe I'll make a list of those I consider essential another day. I also haven't included any of the bazillions of Christmas-themed picture books we own; look for that list right here in a few months.

I took my laptop upstairs and typed this list as I supervised the girls cleaning up their room yesterday morning; it was just a matter of looking at the shelves and typing. I started putting them in order; the top 20 (at the bottom) are definitely my favorites. But then I gave up. The rest I left as I typed it; trying to rank them properly is a task beyond my skills of discernment and organization at present.

100 The Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown & Clement Hurd
99 Dinosaurs, by Angela Royston & Jane Cradock-Watson
98 In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
97 Dr. De Soto, by William Steig
96 The Story about Ping, bu Marjorie Flack & Kurt Wiese
95 The Alexander series, by Judith Viorst & Ray Cruz
94 Mr. Brown & Mr. Gray, by William Wondriska
93 ABCDog, by Connie Sharar & Dennis Mosner
92 The Changing Maze, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder & Charles Mikolaycak
91 Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
90 Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar, by Masaichiro & Mitsumasa Anno
89 Eating the Alphabet, by Lois Ehlert
88 Peter in Blueberry Land, by Elsa Beskow
87 Pete's a Pizza, by William Steig
86 Hi, Pizza Man! by Virginia Walter & Ponder Goembel
85 The Thanksgiving Story, by Alice Dalgliesh & Helen Sewell
84 But No Elephants! by Jerry Smath
83 The Wonderful Lamp from Isfahan, by Jo Farmayan & Harriet Sherman
82 In the Attic, by Hiawyn Oram & Satoshi Kitamura
81 A Boy Wants a Dinosaur, by Satoshi Kitamura
80 When Sheep Cannot Sleep, by Satoshi Kitamura
79 The Reluctant Dragon, by Kenneth Grahame & Michael Hague
78 The Ballad of the Pirate Queens, by Jane Yolen & David Shannon
77 Castle, by David Macaulay
76 Architect of the Moon, by Tim Wynne-Jones & Ian Wallace
75 Sagwa, by Amy Tan & Gretchen Shields
74 Farmer Duck, by Martin Waddell & Helen Oxenbury
73 Hurricane, by David Wiesner
72 Flotsam, by David Wiesner
71 One Morning in Maine, by Robert McCloskey
70 No Fighting, No Biting! by Else Holmelund Minarik & Maurice Sendak
69 Ultra-Violet Catastrophe! by Margaret Mahy & Brian Froud
68 Drummer Hoff, by Barbara & Ed Emberley
67 Freefall, by David Wiesner
66 June 29, 1999, by David Wiesner
65 The Snowman, by Raymond Briggs
64 Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, by Richard Scarry
63 Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen & John Schoenherr
62 Joan of Arc, by Diane Stanley
61 Through the Mickle Woods, by Valiska Gregory & Barry Moser
60 The Three Little Pigs, by David Wiesner
59 Going Lobstering, by Jerry Pallotta & Rob Bolster
58 The Minstrel and the Dragon Pup, by Rosemary Sutcliff & Emma Chichester Clark
57 Planting a Rainbow, by Lois Ehlert
56 What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry
55 The Cookie Tree, by Jay Williams & Blake Hampton
54 The Underwater Alphabet Book, by Jerry Palotta & Edgar Stewart
53 Fox in Socks, by Dr. Seuss
52 You Can Name 100 Trucks! by Randy Chewning
51 Zoom, by Istvan Banyai
50 We're Going on a Bear Hunt! by Helen Oxenbury
49 Clap Hands, by Helen Oxenbury
48 Katy No-Pocket, by Emma Payne & H.A. Rey
47 The Babar series, by Laurent de Brunhoff
46 The Spot series, by Eric Hill
45 The Miss Nelson series, by James Marshall
44 The Eye of the Needle, by Teri Sloat
43 Avocado Baby, by John Burningham
42 The Martha series, by Susan Meddaugh
41 There's a Wocket in My Pocket! By Dr. Seuss
40 Diggers and Dump Trucks, by Angela Royston & Tim Ridley
39 Peter Rabbit, et al. by Beatrix Potter
38 The Real Mother Goose, by Blanche Fisher Wright
37 The Angelina series, by Katharine Holabird & Helen Craig
36 The Serpent Came to Gloucester, by M.T. Anderson & Bagram Ibatouilline
35 The Curious George series, by H.A. Rey
34 The Miffy series, by Dick Bruna
33 Crash! Bang! Boom! by Peter Spier
32 The Max and Ruby series, by Rosemary Wells
31 The Stupids series, by James Marshall & Harry G. Allard
30 The George and Martha series, by James Marshall
29 The Tintin series, by Hergé
28 The Ghosts series, by Jacques Duquennoy
27 The Lonely Doll, by Dare Wright
26 The Little Wooden Doll, by Margery Williams Bianco & Renee Graef
25 Valentine & Orson, by Nancy Burkert
24 Marigold Garden, by Kate Greenaway
23 The Pied Piper of Hamelin, by Kate Greenaway
22 Alligators All Around, by Maurice Sendak
21 Chicken Soup with Rice, by Maurice Sendak
20 The Alfie series, by Shirley Hughes
19 Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman
18 The Sneetches and Other Stories, by Dr. Seuss
17 Untitled, by Kit Williams
16 Tuesday, by David Wiesner
15 The City in Winter series, by Mark Helprin & Chris Van Allsberg
14 Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey
13 Arm in Arm, by Remy Charlip
12 The Frances series, by Russell & Lillian Hoban
11 The Frog and Toad series, by Arnold Lobel
10 Miss Suzy, by Arnold Lobel
9 The Little Bear series, by Else Holmelund Minarik & Maurice Sendak
8 Outside Over There, by Maurice Sendak
7 Piggy in the Puddle, by Charlotte Pomerantz & James Marshall
6 Jamberry, by Bruce Degen
5 The Zoom Trilogy, by Tim Wynne-Jones & Eric Beddows
4 I am a Bunny, by Richard Scarry
3 Richard Scarry's Busy, Busy World
2 A is for Annabelle, by Tasha Tudor
1 Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book

If I had included every book in every series listed, this list probably would have been twice as long. I've tried to include every illustrator, since the illustrations are at least as important as the story in picture books. There are several popular writers and illustrators whom I cannot abide and whose work I don't keep in the house or bring home from the library, but they shall remain nameless.

I'm sure I've left off several of your favorites, so why not make your own list? If you do, be sure to let me know.
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On 24/7/07 , Josi said...

Holy Jello--you've read all those? I thought it was just literary classical things I was uneducated about. I stand corrected and humbled once again.

And it's 8:00 MST and your blog is dated Tomorrow. I guess you have even less time in a day then I do :-)

On 24/7/07 , deb said...

What about Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (Russell Hoban), How Fletcher Was Hatched (Wende and Harry Devlin), and Gordon the Goat (Munro Leaf)? I read those books a thousand times as a kid and they still hold a place of honor on my bookshelf.

These days, I'm obsessed with Maira Kalman's Max ... Max in India, Max Makes a Million, Max in Love, Max in Hollywood, Baby.....

On 25/7/07 , Julie said...

GREAT list! I saw many of our favorites among them: "I am a Bunny. My name is Nicholas. I live in a hollow tree..."

I had been contemplating a snarky post that would list the worst picture books of all time -- a Caldecott-in-reverse kind of thing -- but now you've got me all sappy thinking about our favorites. :)

On 25/7/07 , p said...

can't believe you put "But No Elephants" in your top 100. You hate that book

On 25/7/07 , Luisa Perkins said...

P--I should clarify and state that this is a list of 'our' (including the kids') favorites. I couldn't leave that one out, since it was a popular request for so many years.

And I do have fond memories of reading it to Christian in his very first bedroom on 98th Street....

On 25/7/07 , Veronica Mitchell said...

Wonderful list. I'm glad you included Richard Scarry. He doesn't seem as popular as he used to be, but we love him.

I would add The Dragons Are Singing Tonight by Jack Prelutsky and Peter Sis, The King of the Birds by Helen Ward, the Gossie series from Olivier Dunrea, and Antarctic Antics by Judy Sierra, Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey.

On 25/7/07 , jammin' said...

Lovely list, indeed. I have fond memories of reading many of these to a young Christian on those happy occasions when he was left in my care.

A few more off the top o' my head:

Owl Babies. Gorgeous. "You knew I'd come back." So sweet.

The Littlest Matryoshka (sniff).

Anything illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger.

Patrica Polacco's books, especially Rechenka's Eggs.

Do you have Mr. Putter and Tabby here?

You could easily add another hundred, I know. Maybe I'll make a list. Wait. I need to make a blog first.

On 25/7/07 , yahman said...

One more thing: I like the freshened up look of your rockin' blog.

On 25/7/07 , Hevansrich said...

Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino and Steven Kellogg

Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown and Felicia Bond

Bus Stops by Taro Gomi

On 25/7/07 , Anne Bradshaw said...

Whoa! What a grand list. You almost have a library in your home.

I'm another Richard Scarry fan, as were my kids when they were young, and as are the grandchildren. In fact, any picture books with pages filled with a zillion things to find, appeals to my lot. Busy books, I call them. Keeps them busy while I'm busy. Except it usually ends up with me sitting down and admiring all the surprises and discoveries.

On 25/7/07 , Annette Lyon said...

Now I'm feeling culturally illiterate. :) We must have a couple hundred picture books too, but I recognize maybe a fourth of these. Great list, though--I'll have to keep it in mind for future reference.

On 26/7/07 , Christie said...

Awesome list - I'm definitely going to have to copy some of these down for the next library adventure...

On 27/7/07 , Anne Bradshaw said...

By the way, Luisa, you've been tagged (hope you haven't been through it already) this morning on my Moaning Meme blog. Enjoy!

On 28/7/07 , Luisa Perkins said...

Thanks, all, for your suggestions. Now I have some new ideas for upcoming library trips.

Josi--D'oh! My Time-Turner stopped working!

Anne--Thank you! I'll check it out.

On 30/7/07 , dawn said...

Thank you for your extensive list. We have an extensive library of our own some of which are on your list. I have read extensively to the kids as part of their schooling, and a few years back, they would get anywhere from 2 to 5 hours a day of my reading from 1 to 3 books we had going at once. Now that they are older and having greater amounts of school work and they are working, we don't read as much as a family. Our last completed books was "Cat of Bubastes" by G. A. Henty. We started "By Far Euphrates" by Deborah Alcock, this spring, but haven't finished it. Thanks again for your list.