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167 Most Important Children's Books

Divided into two lists by age-level, these are classic and contemporary classic children's books that everyone will want to read. You may check each title's location and availability in the Library's catalog by clicking the title of the book.
Books for Younger Readers - by Authors, A-L
This section of 167 Most Important Books for Children includes classic and contemporary classics for younger readers. You may check each title's location and availability in the library's catalog by clicking the title of the book.
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
Verna Aardema
West African legend of why the mosquito has a guilty conscience for all the trouble she caused by telling a lie.
Each Peach Pear Plum
Each Peach Pear Plum
Janet & Allen Ahlberg
Rhymed text and illustrations invite the reader to play "I Spy" with a variety of Mother Goose and other folklore characters.
The Emperor's New Clothes
The Emperor's New Clothes
Hans Christian Andersen
The emperor shows his stupidity when he walks through the city in the invisible suit two rascal tailors made for him.
Anno's Journey
Anno's Journey
Mitsumasa Anno
Records in drawings the author's journey through northern Europe and his impressions of the land, the people at work and play, and their art, architecture, folklore, and fairy tales.
Three Billy Goats Gruff
Three Billy Goats Gruff
Peter Asbjornsen
Retells the traditional tale about three billy goats who trick a troll that lives under the bridge.
The Last Puppy
The Last Puppy
Frank Asch
The last born of nine puppies worries that he will be the last chosen for a pet of a new owner.
A Farmer's Alphabet
A Farmer's Alphabet
Mary Azarian
An alphabet book of woodcuts featuring activities and objects associated with New England farm life, from Apple, Barn, Cow through aX, Yawn, Zinnia.
The Story of Little Babaji
The Story of Little Babaji
Helen Bannerman
A retelling of Little Black Sambo using authentic Indian names.
Madeline
Madeline
Ludwig Bemelmans
Madeline, smallest and naughtiest of the twelve little charges of Miss Clavel, wakes up one night with an attack of appendicitis.
The Five Chinese Brothers
The Five Chinese Brothers
Claire Bishop
Five brothers who look just alike outwit the executioner by using their extraordinary individual qualities.
Father Christmas
Father Christmas
Raymond Briggs
Pictures and brief text follow a rather disgruntled Santa Claus on his annual rounds.
Goodnight Moon
Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown
Goodnight to each of the objects in the great green room: goodnight chairs, goodnight comb, goodnight air.
Pickle Things
Pickle Things
Marc Brown
Describes in rhyme the many things a pickle isn't.
Stone Soup: An Old Tale
Stone Soup: An Old Tale
Marcia Brown
When three hungry soldiers come to a town where all the food has been hidden, they set out to make soup of water and stones, and all the town enjoys a feast.
The Story of Babar
The Story of Babar
Jean de Brunhoff
This story tells of how Babar, the little elephant, became king of the jungle.
Mr. Gumpy's Outing
Mr. Gumpy's Outing
John Burningham
Mr. Gumpy accepts more and more riders on his boat until the inevitable occurs.
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Virginia Burton
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.
The Little House
The Little House
Virginia Burton
A country house is unhappy when the city, with all its buildings and traffic, grows up around her.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle
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.
Fortunately
Fortunately
Remy Charlip
Good and bad luck accompany Ned from New York to Florida on his way to a surprise party.
Over the River and Through the Wood
Over the River and Through the Wood
Lydia Maria Child
Scenes from rural New England illustrate this familiar poem, that became a well-known song, about a Thanksgiving Day visit to Grandmother's house.
Freight Train
Freight Train
Donald Crews
Brief text and illustrations trace the journey of a colorful train as it goes through tunnels, by cities, and over trestles.
Strega Nona
Strega Nona
Tomie DePaola
When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works.
Prayer for a Child
Prayer for a Child
Rachel Field
An illustrated bedtime prayer which gives thanks for the many aspects of a child's world.
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
Eugene Field
In this bedtime poem, three fishermen in a wooden shoe catch stars in their nets of silver and gold.
The Story About Ping
The Story About Ping
Marjorie Flack
A little duck finds adventure on the Yangtze River when he is too late to board his master's houseboat one evening.
Corduroy
Corduroy
Don Freeman
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.
Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
Robert Frost
Illustrations of wintry scenes accompany each line of the well-known poem.
Millions of Cats
Millions of Cats
Wanda Gag
How can an old man and his wife select one cat from a choice of millions and trillions?
The Little Red Hen
The Little Red Hen
Paul Galdone
The little red hen finds none of her lazy friends willing to help her plant, harvest, or grind wheat into flour, but all are eager to eat the cake she makes from it.
Little Toot
Little Toot
Hardie Gramatky
Little Toot the tugboat conquers his fear of rough seas when he single-handedly rescues an ocean liner during a storm.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Brothers Grimm
Retells the tale of the beautiful princess whose lips were red as blood, skin was white as snow, and hair was black as ebony.
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
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.
Bread and Jam for Frances
Bread and Jam for Frances
Russell Hoban
Jam on toast, sings Frances about the food she likes most--until she has it for the sixth meal in two days.
Rosie's Walk
Rosie's Walk
Pat Hutchins
Although unaware that a fox is after her as she takes a walk around the farmyard, Rosie the hen still manages to lead him into one accident after another.
Jump, Frog, Jump!
Jump, Frog, Jump!
Robert Kalan
A cumulative tale in which a frog tries to catch a fly without getting caught itself.
The Snowy Day
The Snowy Day
Ezra Jack Keats
The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day.
The Philharmonic Gets Dressed
The Philharmonic Gets Dressed
Karla Kuskin
The 105 members of the Philharmonic Orchestra get ready for a performance.
The Story of Ferdinand
The Story of Ferdinand
Munro Leaf
Ferdinand likes to sit quietly and smell the flowers, but one day he gets stung by a bee and his snorting and stomping convince everyone that he is the fiercest of bulls.
The Tomten
The Tomten
Astrid Lindgren
At a lonely, old farmhouse on a crisp winter night everyone is sleeping except old Tomten, the troll. Unseen by any human, Tomten moves about the farm comforting the animals in his silent language
Frog and Toad Are Friends
Frog and Toad Are Friends
Arnold Lobel
Five tales recounting the adventures of two best friends - Frog and Toad.



More 167 Most Important Children's Bookslists

Books for Younger Readers - by Authors, M-Z
Books for Younger Readers - by Authors, A-L
Books for Older Readers - by Authors, M-Z
Books for Older Readers - by Authors, A-L