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Books For KidsBooks For Kids

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.
George and Martha
by James Marshall
Relates several episodes in the friendship of two hippopotamuses.

A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog
by Mercer Mayer
Tells in pictures a boy's unsuccessful attempts to catch a frog.

There's a Nightmare in My Closet
by Mercer Mayer
At bedtime a boy confronts the nightmare in his closet and finds him not so terrifying after all.

Blueberries for Sal
by Robert McCloskey
Little Sal and Little Bear both lose their mothers while eating blueberries and almost end up with the other's mother.

Make Way for Ducklings
by Robert McCloskey
Mr. and Mrs. Mallard proudly return to their home in the Boston Public Garden with their eight offspring.

Anansi the Spider: a Tale From the Ashanti
by Gerald McDermott
In trying to determine which of his six sons to reward for saving his life, Anansi the Spider is responsible for placing the moon in the sky.

Mousekin's Golden House
by Edna Miller
A whitefoot mouse makes a home for the winter in a jack-o'-lantern discarded after Halloween.

Little Bear
by Else Minarik
Little Bear's four adventures include taking a trip to the moon and having a birthday party.

The Night Before Christmas
by Clement C. Moore
Presents the well-known poem about an important Christmas visitor.

Tikki Tikki Tembo
by Arlene Mosel
When the eldest son fell in the well and most of the time getting help was spent pronouncing the name of the one in trouble, the Chinese, according to legend, decided to give all their children short names.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
by Laura Numeroff
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.

The Church Mouse
by Graham Oakley
A lonely mouse living in a church with only a friendly, sleepy cat for company devises a plan to get all the mice in town to move in with him.

Cinderella
by Charles Perrault
In her haste to flee the palace before the fairy godmother's magic loses effect, Cinderella leaves behind a glass slipper.

The Little Engine That Could
by Watty Piper
When the other engines refuse, the Little Blue Engine tries to pull a stranded train full of dolls, toys, and good food over the mountain.

Song of the Swallows
by Leo Politi
Sad when the swallows leave for the winter, young Juan prepares to welcome them back to the old California Mission at Capistrano on St. Joseph's Day the next spring.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit
by Beatrix Potter
Peter disobeys his mother by going into Mr. McGregor's garden and almost gets caught.

Peter and the Wolf
by Sergei Prokofiev
Retells the orchestral fairy tale in which a boy ignores his grandfather's warnings and proceeds to capture a wolf.

Curious George
by H.A. Rey
The curiosity of a newly-captured monkey gets him into continual trouble.

Henry and Mudge
by Cynthia Rylant
Henry, feeling lonely on a street without any other children, finds companionship and love in a big dog named Mudge.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs: By A. Wolf
by Jon Scieszka
The wolf gives his own outlandish version of what really happened when he tangled with the three little pigs.

The Nutshell Library
by Maurice Sendak
Including: Alligators All Around; One Was Johnny

Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak
A naughty little boy, sent to bed without his supper, sails to the land of the wild things where he becomes their king.

The Cat in the Hat
by Dr. Seuss
Two children sitting at home on a rainy day are visited by the Cat in the Hat who shows them some tricks and games.

Horton Hatches the Egg
by Dr. Seuss
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 until he is rewarded for doing what he said he would.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
by Dr. Seuss
The Grinch tries to stop Christmas from arriving by stealing all the presents and food from the village, but much to his surprise it comes anyway. Could Christmas be more than presents?

It Looked Like Spilt Milk
by Charles Shaw
Describes the different things a cloud appeared to be, from spilt milk to a bird, rabbit, or tree.

Caps for Sale
by Esphyr Slobodkina
A cap peddler falls asleep under a tree while wearing all his wares, and when he wakes up he finds that they have been taken by mischievous monkeys.

London Bridge is Falling Down
by Peter Spier
Illustrates the nursery rhyme and children's game about London Bridge falling down. Includes a history of the bridge and music score.

Many Moons
by James Thurber
Though many try, only the court jester is able to fulfill Princess Lenore's one wish.

White Snow, Bright Snow
by Alvin Tresselt
When it begins to look, feel, and smell like snow, everyone prepares for a winter blizzard.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
by Judith Viorst
On a day when everything goes wrong for him, Alexander is consoled by the thought that other people have bad days too.

The Napping House
by Audrey Wood
In this cumulative tale, a wakeful flea atop a number of sleeping creatures causes a commotion, with just one bite.

Umbrella
by Taro Yashima
Momo eagerly waits for a rainy day so she can use the red boots and umbrella she received on her third birthday.

Sleeping Ugly
by Jane Yolen
When beautiful Princess Miserella, Plain Jane, and a fairy fall under a sleeping spell, a prince undoes the spell in a surprising way.

Harry, the Dirty Dog
by Gene Zion
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.