Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What is the Best Childrens Book of All Time?

First up, if you haven't yet entered your funny scene in the Jacob Wonderbar Funny Writing Contest Spectacular Happening Event, please do so! You have until tomorrow! Do it do it!

Meanwhile, this question has not yet been asked on this blog:

Which book do you think is the best children's book of all time?

I know what a difficult question this is. So many incredible books to choose from.

I'm going to close my eyes and choose................. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

What about you?






202 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   1 – 200 of 202   Newer›   Newest»
Christi Goddard said...

Where the Red Fern Grows is my vote.

Shaka Bry said...

Have to name the top 3.

1) Alice in Wonderland
2) Charlotte's Web
3) Phantom Tollbooth

In that order.
:)

Dawn Maria said...

Without a doubt, I'd have to say WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS.

Taylor Napolsky said...

Probably Alice in Wonderland


But my personal favorite: Redwall

Ady said...

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books. It involves children -- but I don't think of it as a childrens book . . . Chronicles of Narnia

mk_moore said...

Bridge to Terabithia.

Liberty Speidel said...

My favorite little kids book growing up was "Happy Birthday Moon".

The first book to make me cry was "Beauty" by Bill Wallace, so that would get my vote.

Cynthia Lee said...

Definitely Alice in Wonderland.

Summer Frey said...

My Side of the Mountain.

Francis Gibbons said...

My favorite growing up was The Westing Game. Also loved The 21 Baloons.

CourtLoveLeigh said...

I liked Frindle by Andrew Clements :]

Simon Haynes said...

The Borrowers, Mary Norton.

Please expunge that cruddy hollywood movie of the same name from your memory.

Watcher55 said...

I remember Watership Down was a favorite of mine nearly forty years ago (what does a ten-year-old know about first editions? sniffle).

Stephanie Barr said...

I know the ones I liked reading the most to my daughter:

I Wish I Were A Butterfly
The Little Engine That Could
How Much Do I Love You

I personally love fairy tales of all types and that's what I remember most fondly from my youth, as well as a book I haven't seen since I was a kid: Matilda and Her Kittens.

I've got a special place in my heart for the Pooh stories by A.A. Milne. If I had to vote for just one, those stories would win.

abc said...

Another vote for Where the Red Fern Grows.

tinkerbell said...

Matilda! Or anything by Roald Dahl, really. And, of course, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

To Kill a Mockingbird is an incredible work of fiction, but I don't necessarily think of it as a children's book.

Caren E. Salas said...

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl

Ben said...

Most of the children's books I read before cutting my teeth on Louis L'Amour westerns were not very good--Hardy boys and Boxcar children type books.

That said, my pick would probably be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the last book in the series that really feels solidly in the category of children's literature.

JD said...

Charlotte's Web.

Brooke Johnson said...

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Nothing compares.

ganymeder said...

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Marlana Antifit said...

Alice in Wonderland hands down. :)

Guilie said...

I agree with Taylor; To Kill A Mockingbird isn't my idea of a children's book, but I LOVE it and, if you hadn't come up with it first, I might have :) But since you did and I can't, I'll say Hurry Home, Candy (Meindert DeJong, 1953). It's harrowing, so well-written and the end just sufficiently "possibly happy" to qualify it as a fantastic story for children. I read it when I was 11 or 12, and I've never forgotten it (and I cried every single time I reread it).

Karen Harrington said...

Where The Red Fern Grows was my favorite as a child. Now, I'm reading The Wizard of Oz to my little girls and they are loving it.

janesadek said...

The children's book which carries my favorite childhood memories is The Littlest Angel

Fuse #8 said...

Yep, I'd agree with the folks who point out that To Kill a Mockingbird may star children but it's not for children.

And this week my favorite is The Secret Garden.

Carrie Filetti said...

'Where the Red Fern Grows'. This book taught me, at a very young age, it was okay to cry.

Giles Hash said...

I gotta say I thought SUMMER OF THE MONKEYS was really good. And THE GIVER. But my favorite? THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE.

L. Shanna said...

Bridge to Terabithia or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Suilan said...

Treasure Island

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

My two favorites are:

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
Phantom Tollbooth

My favorite to read to my kids when they were little:

Goodnight Moon

(Fun question! Tx for asking.)

Laurel said...

Another Narnia vote, here. Also, Half Magic by Edward Eager. And I loved Watership Down, too.

Sommer Leigh said...

You wouldn't think it, but this is such a loaded question for me.

I also love To Kill a Mockingbird, but I read it when I was an adult so I have a hard time thinking about it as a kid's book.

Like others, I would also vote for Where the Red Fern Grows. I still love it, but thanks to my 4th grade teacher reading it out loud in class, and me crying my eyes out in class at the end, I ended up bullied and beat up after school for it, so I kind of associate the event with the book.

So I'm going to have to go with Coraline by Neil Gaiman. I read it as a young adult and then shared it with my step-sister. We read it out loud together and it is the only thing we ever bonded over.

Charli Armstrong said...

Everyone, so far, has named many of the ones I thought of. I'll add "And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street."

Lynnea said...

James and Giant Peach has always been my favorite, but the previous comment is right, Coraline is excellent too. Dilemma.

Loree Huebner said...

Lot's of good picks there.

I still say Charlotte's Web.

Leila said...

Chiming in to agree with the folks who don't consider To Kill a Mockingbird a children's book.

Current favorite: Anastasia Krupnik. And Harriet the Spy. And The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

Okay, also The Westing Game.

Richard Gibson said...

A vote for The Wind in the Willows.

Valentina Hepburn said...

I loved Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome, first released in 1930, about two groups of kids sailing their boats across to an island. I so wanted to be part of the crew.

Amy Rogers said...

For read-out-loud fun, Tingleberries, Tuckertubs, and Telephones by Margaret Mahy, one of the most underappreciated children's writers.

Sierra McConnell said...

I had a book I carried with me a lot. I think it was called "A Rainbow in My Pocket and Other Short Tales". I know that's a book no one else probably remembers, but I had it in third grade and I remember having it and I remember reading it over and over.

I just don't remember what happened to it. It probably got tossed out by my mother who liked to clean and she would throw out EVERYTHING.

But I remember the story of the princess with the screaming hair. The paintings that came alive because of the monster living in them. The boy who was cursed to be made of glass because he cussed a lot. The rainbow that got shorter and shorter with every wish. And I know there were others. But those I think must have been my favorite. Because the princess had a cat (that's why she had screaming hair, she cut his whiskers and he cursed her).

Ah...I don't think I'll ever forget those stories.

Matthew MacNish said...

Interesting that you said best and not favorite. For best I guess I would go with The Call of the Wild, although it might not be considered a children's book anymore.

Kathryn Elliott said...

I’m going with The Secret Garden. I’ve tried to get my kids to read it – but alas – they are boys, and much more interested in stories involving mass destruction, bodily functions or zombies. Ah..parenthood.

The Sasquatch said...

"It" by Stephen King

J E S S I C A said...

The Giver by Lois Lowry. Changed my life as a kid, changed it again as an adult. SO GOOD.

Vivacia said...

Difficult to choose just one, but Tom Sawyer is definitely up there. I still love that book.

Rebecca said...

The Hobbit.

Elanor Lawrence said...

The Hobbit by Tolkien, and The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Two books that I loved as a child and that have changed my life.

Anonymous said...

It's between two:

Horton Hires a Ho

And

Wake UP! Grandma's Dead!

Erin M. said...

Hands down ultimate favorite: A Wrinkle In Time.

Rick Daley said...

"Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" by Judy Blume. It made me want to keep reading and opened me up to her greater body of work.

I guess it's a gateway book ;-)

WORD VERIFICATION: carbu (Carb U). A higher learning institute for carbohydrates.

Deb said...

Are these the BEST ever? I don't know. But certainly worthy of being on a list ...

Are You There God, It's Me Margaret - Judy Blume

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - E. L. Konigsburg

Where the Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silverstein

Carmen Webster Buxton said...

I'm going with THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I was surprised to see only one other vote for it. I have read it probably 20 times, including the two times I read it aloud to my two kids-- who both loved it, BTW.

One reason I love it so much is the two kids in it change from spoiled rotten to fairly nice people.

Sara said...

My favorite was/is ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. Also, THE SECRET GARDEN. Loved both.
PS: That post a week or so ago about the challenge of managing many different social media is becoming more and more apparent. Posted my picks in G+ this morning, then wondered if I should also post here. lol. Ah, to be a modern human ;)

mageraine said...

THE PINK MOTEL by Carol Ryrie Brinks. It's fun while teaching acceptance on a large scale. It will always hold a very special place in my heart. <3

Robena Grant said...

The Box-Car Children.

cwsherwoodedits said...

Anne of Green Gables.

(Also agree that To Kill a Mockingbird is an adult book)

D.G. Hudson said...

Alice in Wonderland for its use of imagination, or Black Beauty, one of the first books I read by myself.

As for small quick read books: Robert Munsch.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

To Kill a Mockingbird is my all time favorite book. Love it!

Neil Larkins said...

Little House on the Prairie series. Read to my daughter in the 70's - she loved them. (NOT the TV series. Awful. Original TV movie based on the book was OK, but still nothing like the book.) Anne of Green Gables. (TV series good, but mostly the first set. Early Megan Fellowes was good. Anything after mostly cloying.) All the first All Creatures Great and Small series. Personal faves as a boy in the fifties: Hardy Boys mysteries. Maybe not the "best" children's books but to me thoroughly enjoyable.

Stephanie McGee said...

My top 3 (in no specific order):

Charlotte's Web
Champion Dog Prince Tom
The Trumpet of the Swan

Mira said...

Best Children's Book of all time? Not MG or YA, but children?

My pick: Winnie-The-Pooh.

Close runner up: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

People are picking all of my favorite, beloved children's books! I'd like to add that as much as I love the Secret Garden, I love The Little Princess even more. But that's probably gender specific...

mary-j-59 said...

I also don't consider "To Kill a Mockingbird" a children's book. It was not written or published as such.

That said, I do love it. I also really, really love "The Chronicles of Narnia" and L.M. Boston's beautiful books. Of those, "The Children of Green Knowe" is my favorite.

I really don't think it's possible to choose a single "best" title - there are just too many. Good question for discussion, though!

Nathan Bransford said...

On TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD being a children's book, it may not be how it was originally conceived, but it's a book that just about everyone in America reads when they're a child. Seems to me like whether or not it was the intent it is a children's book.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I too don't think of To Kill A Mockinbird as a children's book.

My picks are Watership Down and almost anything by Dr. Seuss but especially The Lorax for its underlying environmental theme. Perfect.

Javid Suleymanli said...

THE LITTLE PRINCE

Lauren B. said...

Agree that this question is too broad! Just childrens, or also MG and YA?

Some of my favorites as a kid were:

The Redwall Series
Little House On the Prairie
A Wrinkle In Time
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Little White Horse
The Secret Garden
The Serendipity series
anything by Bill Peet
And, of course, Harry Potter, though I was not a child when it came out :)

If I have to pick *one* as the best of ALL TIME, I'd go with "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe", closely followed by "Redwall" and "A Wrinkle In Time".

Lauren B. said...

Oh! "Matilda" is pretty awesome, too. I love children's books where empowerment is the theme :)

Becky Levine said...

My Father's Dragon, by Ruth Stiles Gannett. PERFECTION.

Second place tie between The BFG & Anne of Green Gables.

Laurapoet said...

Gosh thats a tough one. Personally, I was never a fan of books where a main character/dog dies, which for some reason my elementary and middle school loved making us read. We probably read 5 or 6 books like that from 4th through 7th grade. I know it's important for children to understand how to cope with death, but really, enough is enough!

Anyway, I love pretty much all children's classics:
The Wind in the Willows
The Secret Garden
A Little Princess
Alice in Wonderland
Peter Pan
etc.

But if I had to choose my favorite one of all time...
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate Dicamillo :)

Anonymous said...

What a fun question--I look forward to checking out some of the books I've never heard of.

Books I read over and over as a kid:

The Birthday Bird (Dr. Seuss)
The Pooh books
King of the Wind (my favorite of all the horse books by Marguerite Henry)
A Wrinkle in Time
The Hobbit

Anonymous said...

Taking "children" to mean 12 and under, for me it's a tie between Charlotte's Web and Wind in the Willows. - Jean

Taylor Napolsky said...

To Kill A Mockingbird is high school reading, and high schoolers aren't children, they're teenagers.

Mister Fweem said...

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, by Robert C. O'Brien or Melba the Brain, by Ivy Ruckman.

Katherine Hyde said...

Winnie the Pooh. There simply is no childhood without Winnie the Pooh.

elephanta said...

Right now I am feeling like: Charlotte's Web. That book is really special to me.

Stephanie Garber said...

The Chronicles of Narnia.

Those books are the reason I wanted to become a writer

Christy Elkins said...

“The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein by far! I love most everything he wrote and out of past true “Children’s” books I think this is the one that has the best message. He helped shaped my writing so today’s best children’s book is my own “Willy Nilly Sorta Silly”. :D

Christy Elkins said...

Oh sorry one more…this is one I read not too long ago and falls more in the preteen category but it’s “Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning” by Danette Haworth. It was a feel good coming of age story; very well written.

Megan Stirler said...

So many of my favorites have already been said... I echo the Chronicles of Narnia and the Little House books, but also The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit and The Maze in the Heart of the Castle by Dorothy Gilman. That book was an epiphany - both as a child and an adult.

Jennifer Cary Diers said...

"The View from Saturday" by E.L. Konigsburg.

Stephanie Allen said...

My favorite growing up was Little House on the Prairie, and that was the book series that really got me to love reading. So that is my answer.

Darlene Underdahl said...

Although I loved The Secret Garden, I'd have to give the honor to The Dagger, the Fish and Casey Mckee.

I read it twice. I almost never do that.

Steve Masover said...

Stuart Little

GalaktioNova said...

And I'd say...

The Wizard of Oz. Plus The Lord of the Rings and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as close seconds.

I don't really think Alice in Wonderland qualifies as a CHILDREN's book... I remember myself as a child, I couldn't care less, it seemed so boring and meaningless... "grownups' stuff". Original illustrations didn't help much, either :-)

Jenny Maloney said...

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing - Judy Blume. (It's also my favorite.)

But it's the BEST because it's funny, heartfelt, and perfect both in tone and matter for the age group that reads it (about 2nd-4th grade). And...right along with with your contest...there are certain things in there that are always funny. We know what it's like to have siblings and pets and parents....

salima said...

So hard!

i love so many of the books that have already been mentioned, but also: The Neverending Story, The Last Unicorn, Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, A Little Princess, Jacob Have I Loved, The Light Princess, Peter Pan, James and the Giant Peach, The Dark is Rising....

SBJones said...

I liked Summer of the Monkeys. Also all of the Zork style choose your own adventures were great too.

Lydia said...

A Wrinkle in Time~Madeleine L'Engle.

Kristi said...

Depends on the age of the child.

For the 3-and-under-set, I'd vote for any number of Sandra Boynton books. Moo, Baa, La La La, Hippos Go Berserk, Barnyard Dance (Shall I begin reciting them? think I know them by heart...)

My 7-year old daughter loves Junie B Jones and The Magic Treehouse series.

I remember reading Beverly Cleary (The Mouse and the Motor Cycle, Ramona, etc) and Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, James and the Giant Peach, etc).

Jasmine Walt said...

A lot of the classic ones were mentioned in the other comments that I really love, but I'd have to say that my favorite series I read as a child were the Artemis Fowl books.

Cynthia said...

This is hard there are so many!
THe Velveteen Rabbit
Alice In Wonderland
The Chronicals of Narnia
A Separate Peace
Grapes of Wrath
Are all some of my favorites.

The English Teacher said...

Since WHEN is To Kill A Mockingbird a "children's book"?!
You've GOT to be kidding me!

Nathan Bransford said...

The English Teacher-

Since when is it not one? What's your definition of a children's book?

Laura Marcella said...

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite novels! I don't consider it a children's book, though. It's told from the POV of a child, but I think it's more an adult book.

So you if you mean the best book of all time from a child's POV, I agree Mockingbird is it! But the best book of all time actually written for children would have to be, in my opinion... Anne of Green Gables or James and the Giant Peach!

jesse said...

If we're including YA, my vote goes to Enders Game. Otherwise I'd pick any Berenstain Bears book, or the series as a whole.

Hart Johnson said...

Where the Red Fern Grows is the first book I deeply loved (I was 9)--it's a great one.

As a mom, I think I'd go with Roald Dahl's BFG, and the Harry Potter series.

Dawn Pier said...

I must have read Watership Down five times by the time I was 13. I didn't do that with any other books except perhaps Dr. Suess's Green Eggs and Ham.

abc said...

Horton was a john?

There are so many wonderful books being listed here. Although I stick with Where the Red Fern Grows, many are bringing back lovely memories--The Velveteen Rabbit and The Secret Garden! And as a parent I'm appreciating children's books in a whole new way and having new experiences as my daughter's taste runs more towards fantasy. She's currently obsessed with the Warriors' books about cats. And together we are reading The Phantom Tollbooth which is pretty darn awesome. Dahl is fantastic, too!

As for picture books, I have to give props to everything by Martin Waddell, Kevin Henkes, Margaret Wise Brown, Jane Yolen, Jan Brett, and Astrid Lindgren. They top my favorites list. There are countless others, though.

I have to say my favorite part of parenting has been all the glorious children's books and trips to the library and bookstores and discovering new authors and illustrators.

Emily White said...

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

Is there any child who hasn't read that?

Cossette said...

My favorite children's books growing up were, without a doubt, The Chronicles of Narnia, and King of the Wind and Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry. Also, the Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald is amazing. Golly, ya'll are making me want to go grab a stack of children's books right now and start reading!

SonyaTerjanian said...

My kids and I found the Mary Poppins series to be absolutely enchanting, but if we're judging by literary merit I'd have to go with Charlotte's Web.

Joanna Roddy said...

The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables

M.A. Leslie said...

Bridge to Terabithia & The Chronicles of Narnia. Can I have a tie?

Anonymous said...

Charlotte's Web

Jaime said...

For me it's definitely

Charlotte's Web.

E.B. White is my hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darley said...

I'm gonna say The Little Prince.

The Pollinatrix said...

As a child, I loved a lot of the books already mentioned here, but would add the Black Stallion books, which I didn't see mentioned. And one I'd add that I discovered as a parent and read to my kids is Abel's Island by William Steig.

Susie said...

Nathan, you and Posh Spice share a favorite book! (she named her daughter Harper). I love that one too...I also love (still love!) Lloyd Alexander's Prydain series, as well From the Mixed up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, all the Anne of Greene Gables books, all the Betsy-Tacy-Tib books, and everything by Madeleine L'Engle. I also loved "Little Women," which maybe this crowd wouldn't say was a kid's book either, but I read that and To Kill a Mockingbird when I was about 9 or 10.

Anonymous said...

"On TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD being a children's book, it may not be how it was originally conceived, but it's a book that just about everyone in America reads when they're a child. Seems to me like whether or not it was the intent it is a children's book."

I'm with you on this one. What you said.

Maia Powloski said...

Three-way tie between "Half Magic" by Edward Eager, "Ella Enchanted" by Gail Carson Levine, and "The Secret of Platform 13" by Eva Ibbotson.

I re-read these books countless times between the ages of 9 and 14. Later, as a teenage camp counselor, I read a chapter or two of "The Secret of Platform 13" to my campers each night before they went to bed, and sometimes during the day as a coveted reward for good behavior. (If you haven't read "The Secret of Platform 13"...Eva Ibbotson came up with the idea of a London train station platform as a portal to a magical world before Rowling wrote about Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.)

Heather said...

Either The Indian In the Cupboard or Shiloh. The former was the first book I read where I felt like I was really inside the story instead of reading it. And the latter because it deals with bravery and how kids can do big things in small ways.

Kristin Laughtin said...

ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS by Scott O'Dell was my favorite as a child, but I think overall Roald Dahl has to take top honors. THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE; BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, and anything by Shel Silverstein or Louis Sachar ranks pretty highly, too. Ahh, it's too hard to choose--which is funny, because my word verification is "comit", and makes me think of how I'm unable to commit to anything in this post.

The Sentence Sleuth said...

The children's book that sticks in my mind the most is "Blubber," by Judy Blume.

Pete Grimm said...

I like your choice because of the life lessons To Kill a Mockingbird can teach young people. However, when you said children, I imagined myself even younger than the child ready for To Kill a Mockingbird. My parents read short stories, fables from the bible or Hans Christian Anderson or the Brother's Grimm to my sister and me. Most were just the right length for a bedtime story. Later the Wizard of Oz books (there were many not just the one made into the movie) became favorites, before I graduated to anything by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Cheers, Pete Grimm

MJR said...

really hard to pick one:

My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

James and the Giant Peach

Goodnight Moon, Madeline, Babar

Chronicles of Narnia

The Secret Garden and The Little Princess

Jamberry

Martha Speaks

Eloise

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Pat the Bunny

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

I also love Voyage to the Bunny Planet, a boxed set of 3 small books by Rosemary Wells

Jadi said...

When children's books were considered age-appropriate for me, well, I didn't read.

Now as a YA reading children's, I like Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles.

Diana said...

Now see, when you say "children's book," I think little kids. And the best of the true children's book for me will always be "Goodnight Moon."

:)

Ramona's Story Time said...

I think "Holes" by Louis Sachar is one of the most perfect books ever written. Pure/unadulterated gold.

Janie Mason said...

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Jaimie said...

Gonna go with my favorite as a child, THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE.

Anonymous said...

The Horse and His Boy. But any of the Narnia series, really. Closely followed by The Hobbit, and The Prydain Chronicles.

G said...

"Rumble Fish" and "The Outsiders" has my vote.

Raquel Byrnes said...

ooh! Girl with the Silver Eyes.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Anne of Green Gables or The Chronicles of Narnia

sally apokedak said...

I don't think this is the best children's book ever, because, come on...how can we possibly pick? There's Narnia, Treasure Island, Airman, The Bark of the Bog Owl, City of Ember, The Giver...no way can I pick. So I'll tell you the book I've read more often than any other: The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

Marta said...

Pick one, huh? I'm cheating, too.

A Wrinkle in Time
Lassie Come-Home
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Hollister Ann Grant said...

I'm reading To Kill A Mockingbird right now -- bought it for 50 cents at the public library sale last weekend. I saw the classic movie ages ago, but never read the book. It's fabulous... but while it has a child telling the story, it's definitely not a children's book. They don't give the Pulitzer to kid's books (I don't think, anyway).

Best kid book? I can't think of a single book, but these are among my favorites:

Wind in the Willows
A Wrinkle in Time
Half Magic
Alice in Wonderland
Chronicles of Narnia
The Hobbit
Charlotte's Web
Phantom Tollbooth

Margie said...

Mine was Where The Red Fern Grows and my daughter's would be
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkeban.

Nathan Bransford said...

hollister-

The Yearling won the Pulitzer as well.

writingbabe, aka Flora said...

I agree with so many: Charlotte's Web, The Hobbit, A Wrinkle in Time.

I'll add a couple I didn't notice in the list: The Neverending Story and the Little House books, which I checked out of the Marcy Elementary School library again and again.

And for the very littlest kids, Goodnight Moon.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

The Phantom Tollbooth. I make everyone read it.

Robert said...

For me, it's Where The Wild Things Are.

Unknown said...

Five Children and It

Anonymous said...

Another vote for Wizard of Oz, though I'd add the Chronicles of Prydain and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe as close seconds.

(And another vote for Mockingbird being an adult book, not a kid book. ^_^)

Laurie

Reina said...

I adore To Kill a Mockingbird too, but agree with those who said it is not a children's book. When I was a girl, I loved the Little House books, E.B. White, The Snowy Day (Ezra Jack Keats), Goodnight Moon, Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad, Little Bear...I still read children's books of all kinds (not just beacuse I have 2 young sons) and newer favorites include Karen Cushman's books, The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, and Steamboat A'Comin (a picture book and fabulous tribute to Mark Twain)...I could go on--I love children's books! :)

Deborah said...

My favorite books when I was a kid were Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss and The Black Stallion books by Walter Farley.

Laura said...

GOODNIGHT MOON, definitely.

But also Charlotte's Web, A Wrinkle in Time, anything by Roald Dahl, Peter Pan, The Westing Game, anything by James Howe, and Tuck Everlasting.

As for To Kill A Mockingbird... I would agree that it's a children's book in the way that The Outsiders is a children's book.

In other words, if you consider teenagers children (which I don't).

Hollister Ann Grant said...

Hi, Nathan.

I'm sorry to say The Yearling is another classic I haven't read. I just looked it up and interestingly enough, Gregory Peck played in both the film versions of The Yearling and To Kill A Mockingbird (obviously representing a type of character). I will add The Yearling to my TBR pile.

I can't win a discussion about whether To Kill A Mockingbird is truly a children's book or not. I'm on page 80 right now. So far, while the author tells the story from the point of view of a child, she includes many adultlike nuances that would have gone over my head if I'd picked the book up as a kid.

I think I could have appreciated the book if I'd read it in my late teens, though, after I'd suffered a little and seen a few things in life. When we talk about children's books, we are looking at a huge range of ages.

JJ Toner (euclid) said...

Daft question. How old is a child? How long a piece of string. Going with the spirit of the question, I would choose

The Wind in the Willows.

I hated Alice in W and Through the Looking-glass. They gave me nightmares.

Karen Rickers said...

Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery was a childhood touchstone! I also loved Harriet the Spy and The Pushcart Revolution!

Moonbird said...

Nathan, you shouldn't have left it so wide-open! I divided mine roughly into ages - they were all my favorites for at least a while:
If I Ran the Circus - Dr. Seuss
Ramona Quimby - Beverly Cleary
Half Magic - Edward Eager
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
The Hobbit - JRR Tolkein
Huck Finn - Mark Twain
and, when I was a teen I loved
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden - Joanne Greenberg
...and just about every book mentioned above. ;-)

CageFightingBlogger said...

Roald Dahl's Matilda. Taught me one thing: ALWAAYS question the authorities. They are not always right. Aside from this, an entertaining story for all. 8+

irishoma said...

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
The Little Engine that Could
Red Shoes for Nancy

Trish said...

I agree with CageFightingBlogger. Matilda by Roald Dahl.

I love the story, the humour and best of all, the writing. This book shows kids that they don't have to believe everything that adults say, especially rotten ones. I had a teacher just like The Trunchbull, really I did. She was a bully and stopped me from learning. So to me, Matilda rocks!!! She kicks ass. Go Matilda and God bless Roald dahl.

Anonymous said...

A Little Princess.
Goodnight Moon.


I don't think of To Kill a Mockingbird as a children's book at all, though it is an all-time favorite.

Lani Wendt Young said...

I agree with a lot of the previous comments - TO kill a mockingbird - wouldnt have thought that was a kids book. Hmm.

Best Childrens book in the entire universe and all the other parallel universes and all the other rabbit hole type universes and even those go through a black hole and emerge into a new universe? In all of those...Best Kids book is: Narnia Lion, witch and the Wardrobe.
And if you doubt me, you just need to go check out allllll those other universes and see they're all rockin the Narnia book too. (No lie.)

Anonymous said...

Best PB "mike and the steamshovel", Harold and the Purple Crayon,because they unleashed my imagination and I could waste hours wondering about their lives after the book finished and giving them different endings.

I was animal buff as a middle grader so, Old Yeller, Black Beauty and any of the works of Marguerite Henry. Still LOVE, LOVE Misty and the Chinquoteague.

Still am a HUGE fan of Judy Blume but my number one YA book was Saturday The 12th of October. I have always resolved to buy a copy and if it isn't in print to buy the rights and republish it.

HEE HEE, still have my purple crayon dreams!

mbb

Lem Thomas said...

Lots of greats in the comments already, but Ben and Me by Robert Lawson deserves a nod.

Anonymous said...

Same Anonymous from above...

Shoot just typed in Sat 12th of October published in 1971 by Norma Mazer. Still in print. Still quadzillion stars on Amazon

But I forgot one... The Rats of Nimh. Lost days of my life inside my imagination... Still also in print with bazillion stars on Amazon.


Sharpening my purple crayon... again.

mbb

Anonymous said...

Silly Fred

kllamp said...

I read To Kill a Mockingbird in highschool.

I have 2 picks, one a younger picture book, the other an older novel:
Possum Magic by Mem Fox, great australian children's author

Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery

But really there are so many amazing children's fiction to choose from, we really are spoilt for choice. I think I need to boost my kid's library with some more classics! Or at least get them to the library more!

Melissa

Marie R said...

Anne of Green Gables
The Last Unicorn
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (series)

It may not hold up to an adult reading, but one of my favorite books as a kid was The Forgotten Door by Alexander Key. About a boy with amnesia and the ability to read minds. I think I still have my original battered copy. I remember so clearly the images that flooded my mind as I read it.

To me, the best children's books are the ones you remember on a visceral level. The scenes and characters are all jumbled together with your memories of your mom making spaghetti and that time you first rode a bike.

Anne R. Allen said...

No one has mentioned the Wizard of Oz. My favorite after the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur said...

"Maniac Magee"

"Holes"

and my daughters all loved "Star Girl" so I'll give it a vote for them.

Ken Williams said...

More Pies!
by Robert Munsch

Tess Cox said...

Charlotte's Web
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
James and the Giant Peach

Melissa Adams said...

OMG, I've read and loved them all, from Alice to Winnie, The Borrowers, Wrinkle in Time, Red Fern, Charlotte, Half Magic, Dr. Seuss & Wind in the Willows. My daughter wanted to hear Goodnight Moon for a solid year before bed when she was young. For my son it was Where the Wild Things Are. I studied Alice in Wonderland in college (Victorian lit). While it's a book many kids enjoy, there's ample fodder for adults that will go over most kids' heads. Great post...makes me want to stop writing and just READ!

JScott said...

Star-Crossed Rascals by Patricia Puddle. I don't think I've ever heard my kids laugh so hard. A second one would be I Capture the Castle by Dodi Smith. I found the atmosphere in that one brilliant.

Natasha said...

This Can Be Happening At McDonald Hall
-Gordon Korman

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
-Judy Blume

PatG said...

My top 3:

1:The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

2:Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

3:Now We Are Six (children's verses) by A.A Milne

Tempest Wylde said...

My vote is for Harriet the Spy (Louise Fitzhugh)

I was going prevaricate it with Judy Blume, but someone beat me to it.

it is showing my age, but I SO wanted to be Harriet when I was young (despite being a boy) and I had a crush on Sport (again despite being a boy)

Erica Naylor said...

I'm too indecisive to have a favorite and of course as I read everyone else's vote, I want to change my answer.

Still, I would vote for the Nancy Drew Series, The Mixed-Up Files Basil E. Frankweiler and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which is the book I pull off the shelf year after year.

CJ Black said...

Charlotte's Web

Not sure if this is considered a children's book but a close runner up would be Black Beauty.

Rebecca Burke said...

The titles in these comments have brought back so many sweet memories--of my own fave books and my kids'. We all liked the Pooh books, with their magical drawings, and after that anything by Roald Dahl, especially The Phantom Tollbooth and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Then came the Harry Potter years...

I have always felt the book I was most fervent about as a young bookworm was Harriet the Spy. The humor, the characters, the predicaments Harriet got herself stuck in . . . just delicious reading. As yet another adolescent girl in love with horses, I also could not get enough of Misty of Chincoteague, The Black Stallion, or anything else with horses in it.

And of course Charlotte's Web and The Secret Garden. I could go on . . .

Nicole said...

Oh, SO many great books in this comments thread! I'm feeling a sudden need to pull out all my old favorites (Boxcar Children! Island of the Blue Dolphins!). There are so many, but the ones that stuck with me most over the years are:

- Where the Red Fern Grows
- Bridge to Terabithia
- A Wrinkle in Time

Angela Brown said...

Another vote for Narnia.

But I was also into Judy Blume...my favorite being Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret. Perhaps I got into it a little before I should have, but I loved it.

Nathan Oser said...

Best of all time...?
I'm thinking Peter Pan or The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Favorite of all time...?
Chancy and the Grand Rascal by Sid Fleischman

Good question though! Reading through the comments brings back a lot of good memories

Heather G. Davis said...

For a picture book, I vote for MILLIONS OF CATS by Wanda Gag. Happily, it's back in print. My teenaged son still brings up the refrain..."Hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats!"

This is a little off subject, but the best books I found for getting little boys to read are Calvin and Hobbes compilations and Tin Tin comics.

Others have covered most of my other candidates.

John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur said...

The 21 Elephant Restaurant is absolutely brilliant and - sadly - out of print last time I checked.

Lindsey said...

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

It was the first book that told me the truth about life: that it wasn't all sweetness and light and that cruelty, in fact, existed.

Bryan Russell said...

The Hobbit
Watership Down
The Prydain Chronicles

Anonymous said...

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD isn't classified as children's literature. It's classified as one of the first YA novels with mature themes.

Holly Vance said...

Superfudge and Where the Red Fern Grows.

And remember when Are You There God, It's Me Margaret was like porn to us tweens?

Tammy said...

My personal favorite is Shadow Castle by Marian Cockrell.

adam.purple said...

Barbara Byfield's, "The Haunted Spy". Long out of print, but beautifully written and illustrated. Find it if you can.

Urban Scribe said...

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is on the 7th/8th summer reading list at my daughter's school (ages 11-14). It also is required summer reading for my other daughter's high school freshmen class. Many of the kids were excited to hear this because they already read it in junior high. Check out this website:http://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews
See what they say about the age level. Go Nathan! You know your books.
My book picks = THE SECRET GARDEN
LITTLE WOMEN
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

Anonymous said...

the Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

Reagan Philips said...

Watership Down

Favorite children's book to hate every time I read it, but still read it because I love/hate it though:

Animal Farm

Sheila JG said...

Wolf Story, by William McCleery.

I cannot believe that it's out of print.

John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur said...

"The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norton Juster (not Dahl, he did the illustrations but Juster wrote the book) is excellent.

And another out-of-print classic, "Prince Umbra," the best book I've ever seen in terms of taking the elements of fantasy and myth and putting them into everyday life. Really unparalleled, but sadly out of print.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

When I was a kid we moved a lot and my family had it pretty hard. Someone gave us four books from one of the young readers classics sets and I read them all until the bindings cracked and wore thin. Still the best in my opinion because they took my reading to the next level:

1. Wonderful Wizard of Oz
2. The Peterkin Papers (taught me a ton about comedic timing)
3. Pinnochio
4. Grimm's Fairy Tales

And I just happen to have all four on my Kindle right now from a public domain collection!

Anonymous said...

Some old faves: Horton Hatches the Egg; The Lorax

Some new (the kids and I both dig them): Bosch's Secret Series and Ardagh's Eddie Dickens and Unlikely Exploits series...dark and hilarious.
NickB

Gail Shepherd said...

I don't know if it's the best of all times, but I have a soft spot for The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

Just Another Day in Paradise said...

Funny, that everyone should get so "hot about "Mockingbird". Whether you think it's a children's book or not; it should be. Read it to your children, discuss it with them. It's never to early for great literature and especially the lessons therein.

veela-valoom said...

Somehow this feels terribly cliche BUT at the same time I feel like while we're so sentimental about older books maybe we don't recognize the greatness that is still growing.

So I'm going to say Harry Potter.

Maybe in 20 or 30 years I'll be proved wrong. But I think it's brilliant and it's gong to live on for years and years. It may not have been my childhood, but it's been a wonderful adulthood. I expect that it will define a lot of childhoods still yet to come.

chitrader said...

Best children's book depends on the age. To me, in that middle ground, ages 10-14, has to be Treasure Island.
Other finalists: Johnny Tremain, Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Curious George (I can still remember the picture of his house alone on the top of the hill, or was it alone on planet earth?), Twas the Night Before Christmas (depending on how richly illustrated your copy was--it was a family tradition of ours on Christmas Eve. How can you top that for lasting memories?)

Chris

marion said...

Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.
Holes by Sachar comes close second.

Anonymous said...

Superior post Nathan. I am going to print it out so I can read some of the ones I haven't yet... There is nothing like reading or re-reading these books in the summer time to remind you where your summers have gone...

I even came back a second night to peak at the last entries.

mbb

Diana said...

When I was a kid, we didn't have the middle grade readers, young adult, and all the other categories of children's books that we have now. I went from reading The Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew to reading Gone With the Wind and James Michener. To Kill a Mockingbird and The Hobbit were shelved with the adult books, so it's kind of difficult to think of them as children's books.

My contribution of great children's not young adult books would be: The Dr. Seuss books, the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy series, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the Harry Potter series.

bcomet said...

Bed-Knob and Broomstick (A Combined Edition of: "The Magic Bed-Knob" and "Bonfires and Broomsticks") by Mary Norton.

This, and not the Disney movie, read to us in two different grades of elementary school by teachers, was a book to take you to different lands.

(There are so many wonderful children's books. This one came immediately to mind upon hearing the question.)

Jan Morrill said...

Picture book: I'll Love You Forever
Reader book: Charlotte's Web

Kim Miller said...

Add my votes for

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Howl's Moving Castle

Literature Gold, in my opinion.

Scott Stillwell said...

I have the most personal attachment to "My Side of the Mountain," and the entire "Choose Your Own Adventure" series. I wonder if that's in any way a reflection on my secret nerd desire to be a rebellious free spirit.

Matt Phillips said...

I agree with those not classifying TKAM as a "children's" book. To me, a children's book is one that's appropriate for children from a wide range of ages to read (or have read to them). A novel in which a black man is accused of raping a white woman doesn't fit that definition for me. Appropriate for high school, maybe middle, but not elementary.

My vote would go to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; the Prydain Chronicles; and/or The Hobbit.

Brittany said...

I just thought, "Nobody's said My Side Of the Mountain yet!"and lo and behold, it was the next comment.

I side with the opinion that TKAM, as I fondly call it, is not a children's book.

I am a young adult. This book was my required reading for junior year. I am sure I can safely say that no one in my class has read it before, for more than one reason. One, it's a "classic." I have read a lot of classics and consider myself well-educated and well-read, more so than others my age, and I would not have picked up TKAM if it had not been required and I had not heard so many good things about it. No teenager or child reads "classics" because they think they're going to be just like Dickens (which, I confess, I haven't had the courage to pick up again.)

Secondly, this book has some adult themes-rape being among them. I don't know about you, but I don't want my seven year-old reading about rape. (Yeah, I know Scout's seven or eight.) It's good for kids to learn about prejudice and death and life, and if you'll excuse the mild languge that's going on, it's a great book for middle grade-age and YA. But there are some things I don't think are for kids, and besides, isn't one of the best points of the book that we're looking at this from a child's eyes but we understand the bigger things that are going on? A child looking through a child's eyes isn't the same.

I enjoyed TKAM but I don't think it's a children's book.

Ms. McClory said...

The Giver- by far it will forever be my favorite!

chris said...

I can't believe I got so far down the page until someone mentioned Where the Wild Things Are. Has there ever been so much said with so few words?! And the illustrations are unsurpassed! A true children's book.

N. Rudolph said...

I'll have to go with THE LION THE WITCH AND THE WARDOBE.

Anonymous said...

My new favorite children's book of all time is, "A LOVE DOODLE" by Jordi Solari (a modern-day Dr. Seuss!)

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