This list includes 100 picture books that everyone should know. Stop at the Chidren's Services Desk at the Appleton Public Library and pick up your log to participate in the 100 Picture Book Challenge. Reedeem your finished log for a certificate and small prize at the Appleton Public Library.
This booklist was contributed by Appleton Public Library Children's Services Staff, 9/10 AC
It Looked Like Spilt Milk(1947)Uses illustrations and text to tell about the shapes of clouds.
The Lorax(1971)The Once-ler describes the results of the local pollution problem.
A Chair for My Mother(1982)A child, her waitress mother, and her grandmother save dimes to buy a comfortable armchair after all their furniture is lost in a fire.
A Splendid Friend, Indeed(2005)When a studious polar bear meets an inquisitive goose, they learn to be friends.
Abuela(1991)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(1972)On a day when everything goes wrong for him, Alexander is consoled by the thought that other people have bad days too.
Andy and the Lion(1938)In this retelling of Androcles and the Lion, Andy meets a lion on the way to school and wins his friendship for life by removing a thorn from his paw.
Bark, George(1999)When George's mother tells her son to bark, he meows. She patiently explains that "Cats go meow. Dogs go arf. Now, bark, George." But he quacks! Then oinks. Then moos. Becoming less patient and more exasperated, George's mom takes him to the vet, who reaches deep down inside the errant pup, and, much to everyone's surprise, pulls out a cat! Then a duck, a pig, and finally a cow. George is cured, and barks at last! On the way home, his proud mother wants to show off her convincingly doglike son to everyone on the street. But when she says, "Bark, George," he simply says, "Hello." This is the simplest offering yet from Jules Feiffer--creator of the delightful picture books Meanwhile and I Lost My Bear. Still, his cartoonish drawings are intensely expressive, alive, and hilarious. None of it will be lost on the youngest of readers who will giggle every time George fails to bark, every time the vet extracts a new animal, and at the final punchline, too. In a world of often overdone or underdone picture books, this fine Feiffer creation is just rightAmazon
Barnyard Banter(1994)All the farm animals are where they should be, clucking and mucking, mewing and cooing, except for the missing goose.
Big Fat Hen(1994)Big Fat Hen counts to ten with her friends and all their chicks.
Blueberries for Sal(1976)Little Sal and Little Bear both lose their mothers while eating blueberries and almost end up with the other's mother.
Bread and Jam for Frances(1964)Frances decides she likes to eat only bread and jam at every meal--until to her surprise--her parents grant her wish.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?(1967)Children see a variety of animals, each one a different color, and a teacher looking at them.
Caps For Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business(1968)A band of mischievous monkeys steals every one of a peddler's caps while he takes a nap under a tree.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom(1989)An alphabet rhyme/chant that relates what happens when the whole alphabet tries to climb a coconut tree.
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type(2000)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.
Clifford, the Big Red Dog(1985)Emily Elizabeth describes the activities she enjoys with her very big, very red dog and how they take care of each other.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs(1978)Life is delicious in the town of Chewandswallow where it rains soup and juice, snows mashed potatoes, and blows storms of hamburgers--until the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Corduroy(1968)A toy 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.
Curious George(1941)The curiosity of a newly-captured monkey gets him into continual trouble.
Diary of a Worm(2003)A young worm discovers, day by day, that there are some very good and some not so good things about being a worm in this great big world.
Dinosaur Roar!(1994)Illustrations and rhyming text present all kinds of dinosaurs, including ones that are sweet, grumpy, spiky, or lumpy. Dinosaurs of every size, shape, color, and personality thunder through this fun-filled book that is also a prehistoric primer on opposites. Rainbow bright colors, the infectious rhythm of the simple rhyming text, and the hilarious antics of these unforgettable dinosaurs will leave pint-size paleontologists roaring for more. In this tale about 2 dinosaurs, several antonyms are introduced.
Doctor De Soto(1982)Dr. De Soto, a mouse dentist, copes with the toothaches of various animals except those with a taste for mice, until the day a fox comes to him in great pain.
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus(2003)PreSchool-Grade 2-A brilliantly simple book that is absolutely true to life, as anyone who interacts with an obdurate three-year-old can attest. The bus driver has to leave for a while, and he makes one request of readers: "Don't let the pigeon drive the bus." It's the height of common sense, but the driver clearly knows this determined pigeon and readers do not-yet. "Hey, can I drive the bus?" asks the bird, at first all sweet reason, and then, having clearly been told no by readers, he begins his ever-escalating, increasingly silly bargaining. "I tell you what: I'll just steer," and "I never get to do anything," then "No fair! I bet your mom would let me." In a wonderfully expressive spread, the pigeon finally loses it, and, feathers flying and eyeballs popping, screams "LET ME DRIVE THE BUS!!!" in huge, scratchy, black-and-yellow capital letters. The driver returns, and the pigeon leaves in a funk-until he spies a huge tractor trailer, and dares to dream again. Like David Shannon's No, David (Scholastic, 1998), Pigeon is an unflinching and hilarious look at a child's potential for mischief. In a plain palette, with childishly elemental line drawings, Willems has captured the essence of unreasonableness in the very young. The genius of this book is that the very young will actually recognize themselves in it. Amazon
Duck! Rabbit!(2009)Two unseen characters argue about whether the creature they are looking at is a rabbit or a duck.
Farmer duck(1991)When a kind and hardworking duck nearly collapses from overwork, while taking care of a farm because the owner is too lazy to do so, the rest of the animals get together and chase the farmer out of town.
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed(1989)A counting book in which one by one the little monkeys jump on the bed only to fall off and bump their heads.
The story of what happens when a camera becomes a piece of flotsam.
Frederick(1967)Frederick the field mouse stores up something special for the long cold winter.
Freight Train(1979)Brief text and illustrations trace the journey of a colorful train as it goes through tunnels, by cities, and over trestles.
Froggy Gets Dressed(1992)Rambunctious 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.
Go Away, Big Green Monster!(1992)Die-cut pages through which bits of a monster are revealed are designed to help a child control nighttime fears of monsters.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears(1988)Three bears return home from a walk to find a little girl asleep in baby bear's bed.
Good Night, Gorilla(1994)An unobservant zookeeper is followed home by all the animals he thinks he has left behind in the zoo.
Goodnight Moon(1947)Goodnight to each of the objects in the great green room: goodnight chairs, goodnight comb, goodnight air.
Harry, the Dirty Dog(1956)When a white dog with black spots runs away from home, he gets so dirty his family doesn't recognize him as a black dog with white spots.
How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?(2000)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 Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly(1980)A cumulative folk song in which the solution proves worse than the predicament when an old lady swallows a fly.
I Want My Hat Back
A bear almost gives up his search for his missing hat until he remembers something important.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie(1985)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.
Is Your Mama a Llama?(1989)A young llama asks his friends if their mamas are llamas and finds out, in rhyme, that their mothers are other types of animals.
Jamberry(1983)A little boy walking in the forest meets a big lovable bear that takes him on a delicious berry-picking adventures in the magical world of Berryland.
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat(1999)A very old overcoat is recycled numerous times into a variety of garments.
Jumanji(1981)Left on their own for an afternoon, two bored and restless children find more excitement than they bargained for in a mysterious and mystical jungle adventure board game.
Kitten's First Full Moon(2004)When Kitten mistakes the full moon for a bowl of milk, she ends up tired, wet, and hungry trying to reach it.
Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale(2004)After Trixie and daddy leave the laundromat, something very important turns up missing.
Leo the Late Bloomer(1971)Leo, a young tiger, finally blooms under the anxious eyes of his parents.
The Little Engine that Could(1976)The unknowing progenitor of a whole generation of self-help books, Wally Piper's The Little Engine That Could is one of the greatest tales of motivation and the power of positive thinking ever told. In this well-loved classic, a little train carrying oodles of toys to all of the good boys and girls is confronted with a towering, seemingly impassable mountain. As nicely as they ask, the toys cannot convince the Shiny New Engine or the Big Strong Engine--far too impressed with themselves--to say anything but "I can not. I can not." It is left up to the Little Blue Engine to overcome insurmountable odds and pull the train to the other side. The Little Engine That Could is an entertaining and inspirational favorite, and the Little Blue Engine's rallying mantra "I think I can--I think I can" will resonate for a lifetime in the head of every child who hears it.Amazon
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear(1990)Little Mouse worries that the big, hungry bear will take his freshly picked, ripe, red strawberry for himself.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything(1986)A little old lady who is not afraid of anything must deal with a pumpkin head, a tall black hat, and other spooky objects that follow her through the dark woods trying to scare her.
Lost and Found(2006)While trying his best to help a penguin that has shown up at his door, a boy journeys all the way to the South Pole, only to realize that the penguin was never lost.
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile(1965)Lyle is perfectly happy living with the Primms on East 88th St. until irritable Mr. Grumps next door changes all that.
Madeline(1939)Set in picturesque Paris, this tale of a brave little girl's trip to the hospital is as appealing today as it was in 1940. The combination of spirited heroine, timelessly appealing art, cheerful humor, and rhythmic text makes "Madeline" a perennial favorite with children of all ages.Amazon
Make Way for Ducklings(1969)Mr. and Mrs. Mallard proudly return to their home in the Boston Public Garden with their eight offspring.
Mama Cat has Three Kittens
While two kittens copy everything their mother does, their brother naps.
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel(1939)When Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, Mary Ann, lose their jobs to the gasoline, electric, and diesel motor shovels, they go to a little country town where they find that one new job leads to another.
Miss Nelson is Missing!(1977)The kids in Room 207 take advantage of their teacher's good nature until she disappears and they are faced with a vile substitute.
Miss Rumphius(1982)As a child Great-aunt Alice Rumphius resolved that when she grew up she would go to faraway places, live by the sea in her old age, and do something to make the world more beautiful--and she does all those things, the last being the most difficult of all.
The Monster at the End of this Book(2004)Grover worries page by page about meeting the monster at the end of this book.
Mouse Paint(1989)Three white mice discover jars of red, blue, and yellow paint and explore the world of color.
Move Over, Rover!
When a storm comes, Rover expects to have his doghouse all to himself but finds that various other animals, including a skunk, come to join him. It's raining cats and dogs! Good thing Rover is snuggled safe and dry inside his doghouse--until, one by one, a soggy menagerie of creatures shows up looking for a cozy place to sit out the storm. But who's the very unwelcome surprise visitor? Skunk, of course. Suddenly that doghouse isn't quite so crowded after all!
Mr. Gumpy's Outing
Mr. Gumpy accepts more and more riders on his boat until the inevitable occurs.
Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present
Mr. Rabbit helps a little girl find a colorful present for her mother's birthday.
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters : An African Tale(1987)Mufaro's two beautiful daughters, one bad-tempered, one kind and sweet, go before the king, who is choosing a wife.
Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!
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.
A rhinoceros does only two things: pop balloons and poke holes in kites. But rhinoceroses can really do more--so much more--than that!
The Napping House(1984)In this cumulative tale, a wakeful flea atop a number of sleeping creatures causes a commotion, with just one bite.
Not a Box(2006)To an imaginative bunny, a box is not always just a box.
Olivia(2000)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.
When three baby owls awake one night to find their mother gone, they can't help but wonder where she is. Stunning illustrations from unique and striking perspectives capture the owls as they worry about their mother: What is she doing? When will she be back? What scary things move all around them? Not surprisingly, a joyous flapping and dancing and bouncing greets her return, lending a celebratory tone to the ending of this comforting tale. Never has the plight of young ones who miss their mother been so simply told or so beautifully rendered.
Owl Moon(1987)On a winter's night under a full moon, a father and daughter trek into the woods to see the Great Horned Owl.
The Paper Bag Princess(1980)Elizabeth, a beautiful princess, lives in a castle and wears fancy clothes. Just when she is about to marry Prince Ronald, a dragon smashes her castle, burns her clothes with his fiery breath, and prince-naps her dear Ronald. Undaunted and presumably unclad, she dons a large paper bag and sets off to find the dragon and her cherished prince. Once she's tracked down the rascally reptile, she flatters him into performing all sorts of dragonly stunts that eventually exhaust him, allowing her to rescue Prince Ronald. But what does Prince Not-So-Charming say when he sees her? "You smell like ashes, your hair is all tangled and you are wearing a dirty old paper bag. Come back when you are dressed like a real princess." (At least he has the courtesy not to mention that the princess's crown resembles a dying sea anemone.) In any case, let's just say that Princess Elizabeth and Prince Ronald do not, under any circumstances, live happily ever after. Canadian author Robert Munsch celebrates feisty females everywhere with this popular favorite, and Michael Martchenko's scratchy, comical, pen-and-ink drawings capture the tongue-in-cheek quality of this read-aloud crowd pleaser.Amazon
Pat the Bunny(1968)A first touch book for toddlers.
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
Pete the Cat gets into colorful adventures while out walking in his new white shoes.
Instructs the reader on how to interact with the illustrations to create imaginative images.
Quick as a Cricket
A young boy describes himself as "loud as a lion," "quiet as a clam," "tough as a rhino," and "gentle as a lamb."
The Rainbow Fish(1992)The most beautiful fish in the entire ocean discovers the real value of personal beauty and friendship.
The Runaway Bunny(1942)A little rabbit who wants to run away tells his mother how he will escape, but she is always right behind him.
Sheep in a Jeep(1986)Records the misadventures of a group of sheep that go riding in a jeep.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee
"Amos McGee, a friendly zookeeper, always made time to visit his good friends: the elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, the rhinoceros, and the owl. But one day--'Ah-choo!'--he woke with the sniffles and the sneezes. Though he didn't make it into the zoo that day, he did receive some unexpected guests."
The Snowman(1978)When his snowman comes to life, a little boy invites him home and in return is taken on a flight high above the countryside.
The Snowy Day(1962)The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day.
Stellaluna(1993)After she falls headfirst into a bird's nest, a baby bat is raised like a bird until she is reunited with her mother.
Stone Soup(1947)This old French tale about soldiers who trick miserly villages into making them a feast won a Caldecott Medal when Brown retold and illustrated it in 1947.Amazon
The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant(1961)An orphaned baby elephant goes to live in the city with an old lady who gives him everything he wants, but eventually returns to the forest where he is crowned king of the elephants.
The Story of Ferdinand(1964)What else can be said about the fabulous Ferdinand? Published more than 50 years ago (and one of the bestselling children's books of all time), this simple story of peace and contentment has withstood the test of many generations. Ferdinand is a little bull who much prefers sitting quietly under a cork tree-- just smelling the flowers--to jumping around, snorting, and butting heads with other bulls. This cow is no coward--he simply has his pacifist priorities clear. As Ferdinand grows big and strong, his temperament remains mellow, until the day he meets with the wrong end of a bee. In a show of bovine irony, the one day Ferdinand is most definitely not sitting quietly under the cork tree (due to a frightful sting), is the selfsame day that five men come to choose the "biggest, fastest, roughest bull" for the bullfights in Madrid.Amazon
Strega Nona(1975)When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit(1903)Naughty Peter Rabbit disobeys his mother by going into Mr. McGregor's garden and almost gets caught.
Ten, Nine, Eight(1983)Numbers from ten to one are part of this lullaby which observes the room of a little girl going to bed.
The Three Pigs(2001)The three pigs escape the wolf by going into another world where they meet the cat and the fiddle, the cow that jumped over the moon, and a dragon.
Time for Bed(1993)As darkness falls parents everywhere try to get their children ready for sleep.
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs(1989)The wolf gives his own outlandish version of what really happened when he tangled with the three little pigs.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Follows the progress of a hungry little caterpillar as he eats his way through a varied and very large quantity of food until, full at last, he forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep and wakes up a butterfly.
Waiting for Wings(2001)Lois Ehlert, beloved illustrator of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and many other bold, beautiful picture books has outdone herself with this gorgeous (seriously breathtaking) celebration of butterfly metamorphosis. "Out in the fields, eggs are hidden from view, / clinging to leaves with butterfly glue. / Soon caterpillars hatch. They creep and chew. / Each one knows what it must do." As the gentle rhyme unfolds, we turn the small, partial pages that form the larger spread of fabulous foliage in this lush, oversized book. Before our eyes, the eggs turn to caterpillars, the caterpillars to cases, the cases to lovely butterflies. "They pump their wings, get ready to fly, then hungry butterflies head for the sky." The colors become increasingly dazzling, each butterfly springing to life with Ehlert's color-soaked cut-paper magic. Several pages of background material conclude the book, labeling different kinds of butterflies at different stages of development, from the buckeye butterfly to the painted lady to the monarch. A "Butterfly Information" page clearly labels butterfly anatomy and answers basic question about these fascinating fluttery insects, a "Flower Identification" page showcases butterfly-attracting flowers such as the purple coneflower (echinacea), phlox, and lantana, and the last page offers a few pointers on growing a butterfly garden.Amazon
We're Going on a Bear Hunt(1989)Brave bear hunters go through grass, a river, mud, and other obstacles before the inevitable encounter with the bear forces a headlong retreat.
When Sophie Gets Angry--Really, Really Angry...(1999)A young girl is upset and doesn't know how to manage her anger but takes the time to cool off and regain her composure.
Where the Wild Things Are(1963)A naughty little boy, sent to bed without his supper, sails to the land of the wild thing where he becomes their king.
Where's My Teddy?
When a small boy named Eddie goes searching for his lost teddy in the dark woods, he comes across a gigantic bear with a similar problem.
Who Sank the Boat?
he reader is invited to guess who causes the boat to sink when five animal friends of varying sizes decide to go for a row.
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears(1975)Reveals the meaning of the mosquito's buzz.