What are Your Favorite Children’s Books?

What are your favorite children’s books?  From present day or years past!

This post isn’t brought to you by the Decatur Book Festival, which just highlighted it’s Children and Teen Program slate in a press release.  But it was inspired by it!

The ninth annual Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical (AJC DBF) will feature a wide range of children and teen’s programming, including designated Children and Teen’s Stages, the third annual Kidnote Address, two festival parades, and a special screening of the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival winners.

Children and Teen’s Programming Manager, Diane Capriola — owner of Decatur bookstore Little Shop of Stories — coordinates the children and teen’s programming for the 2014 festival. “It’s so great to be back working on the children and teen’s line-up for DBF,” said Capriola. “This year’s schedule is as exciting and diverse as ever; we will truly have something for every young festivalgoer.”

This year’s Children’s Stage is packed with new and engaging programming. Participating authors and illustrators include: Tom Angleberger, Mac Barnett, Kimberly and James Dean, Angela DiTerlizzi, Tony DiTerlizzi, Jennifer Holm, Molly Idle, Mike Lane, Peter Lerangis, Eric Litwin, Loren Long, Jude Watson, William Wegman, and Deborah Wiles.

This year’s Teen Stage moves to the MARTA Plaza and features some of the best and brightest names in young adult fiction. Participating authors and illustrators include: Adele Griffin, Ellen Hopkins, Kazu Kibuishi, Lauren Myracle, Jandy Nelson, Stephanie Perkins, Andrew Smith, Maggie Stiefvater, and Len Vlahos.

This year’s Kidnote Address will be given by Jon Scieszka, author of the beloved children’s book, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. Scieszka brings his new, middle-grade chapter book, Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor, to Agnes Scott College’s Presser Hall on Friday, Aug. 29, at 5 p.m. for this Kidnote Address. No tickets are required, but the event is first come, first seated.

Festival parades will be held on Saturday and Sunday mornings during the weekend event. On Saturday at 9:30 a.m., Music in the Park ATL brings their mission — to experience live music by playing with professional musicians out in the real world — to the “Whistle Blowers Parade” orchestrated and led by Kebbi Williams. Kids of all ages are encouraged to bring whistles, kazoos, and other homemade instruments and join the first march to the Children’s Stage. On Sunday at 11:30 a.m., attendees are invited to dress up as their favorite character from The Wizard of Oz and once again march to the Children’s Stage, where actors from Serenbe Playhouse and puppets from Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts will perform a scene from the beloved story. Guests are invited to congregate on the south lawn of the DeKalb County Courthouse (556 N. McDonough Street) for both parades.

AJC DBF is proud to host a special screening of the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival winners at this year’s festival. This annual nationwide contest allows kid filmmakers to create movies retelling the plots of Newbery winning books in 90 seconds or less. The showing will be held at the Decatur Library Stage on Sunday, Aug. 31, at 3:45 p.m.

For more information about AJC DBF’s children and teen’s programming, visit these links:

https://www.decaturbookfestival.com/2014/activities/childrens.php

https://www.decaturbookfestival.com/2014/activities/teens.php

Little Shop of Stories,

58 thoughts on “What are Your Favorite Children’s Books?”


  1. These would be MY favorites, which may nor not make my kids’ lists.

    The Seven Silly Eaters, by Mary Ann Hoberman; what really makes the book are the illustrations by the brilliant Marla Frazee.

    The Animal Family, by Randall Jarrell, illustrated by Maurice Sendak.

    Tales from Shakespeare, by Charles and Mary Lamb. (Should be read aloud and requires some “translation” of the difficulty English as you go)

    Tanglewood Tales (Greek mythology), Nathaniel Hawthorne (also requires some “translation”)

    Aesop, several well illustrated editions out there.

    1. +1 on the parent favs, or better known as the ones that are ratty, dog-eared, and in our attic because we can’t bear to give them away!

      My favorite set of young child books are those by Robert Munsch. We’re all familiar with Love You Forever, but he has a whole set of silly books with illustrator Robert Martchenko that never fail to make me laugh.

  2. The Circus Ship – I have it memorized. It has beautiful artwork, a fun story and some of the most expressive, fluid rhymes I’ve ever seen in a children’s book. Each page demands its own voice when you read it to your kids, as the language adjusts to fit the characters.

  3. The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
    Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back (or most anything) by Shel Silverstein
    The works of the fabulous Judy Blume

  4. Our current favorite “Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey” by Emily Winfield Martin. It is a beautiful book. Highly recommended for the 3 year old in your life.

  5. Probably showing my age, but growing up I loved the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and Laura Ingall’s series of books. For the younger folks, any of the Dr. Seuss books (Fox in Socks was my favorite and I apologized to my mom for making her read that tongue twister to me so many times) and also the Beatrix Potter books. Teen years, yes, Judy Blume reigned but so did Paul Zindel and S.E. Hinton.

  6. New infant: Goodnight Moon

    Older infant: Jamberry, Brown Bear Brown Bear

    Toddler: Sandra Boykin, Bartholomew Bear, Richard Scarry, Oh Anna, Thomas the Tank Engine books, The Story of Ferdinand, Love You Forever, The Little Engine that Could

    Preschool: Mo Willems, Olivia, Shel Silverstein, Tomi De Paulo, Jan Brett, Virginia Lee Burton (Mike Mullilgan) , Robert McClusky (Blueberries for Sal) books, Curious George, Arthur, Lily books, The Story about Ping, Horton Hears a Who, Princesses Aren’t Quitters, Fraidy Cats

    Elementary: Miss Nelson is Missing, George and Martha books, Martina the Beautiful Cockroach, The Snow Queen, Fancy Nancy, Pippi Longstocking, The Borrowers, Charlotte’s Web, Little House series, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Skippyjon Jones

    Young Adult: Anne of Green Gables, Tangerine, Carl Hiassen’s books, Number the Stars, I am Malala, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Fault in Our Stars, Anne Frank

    I miss reading to my kids! I’m available for bedtimes within walking distance!

    1. Yes, to this entire list! The only books I would add are Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina and the Harry Potter series. I, too, need to borrow a child for reading time. I am saving all our favorite kid books for the time in the future when I have grandkids.

  7. “The Adventures of Cee Lo The Duck” on Amazon’s Kindle is an incredible children’s story. It teaches a great lesson of believing in yourself despite all odds!

  8. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf is hands-down my favorite of all children’s books.
    The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is second.

  9. From being a kid:

    From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, A Little Princess, Half Magic, All of a Kind Family

    From being a mom: Any of the George and Martha books!

      1. Careful! I personally ran away repeatedly, innocently certain I could make my way to a museum and live inside, bathing in fountains and eating from concession stands. I thought New York was about as far away as the end of our long road. Me and my suitcase only ever made it far enough to scare my mom to death.

  10. My personal faves: Where The Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak, Charlotte’s Web – E. B. White. (Yep, I’m def old school!)

  11. Many of the ones named are favorites too, but here are some others

    Picture Books: a selection
    I Can Fly by Ruth Krauss
    Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
    The Zoom Trilogy by Tim Wynne Jones (out of print, I think)
    Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
    I am also fond of Rosemary Wells’ picture books

    Chapter Books:
    The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes
    The Saturdays (and the sequels) by Elizabeth Enright which my family listened to on audiobooks and they really resonated with one of my children in particular
    Catwings (and the sequels) by Ursula Le Guin (all three kids loved reading these in elementary school, maybe around 2nd grade)
    Jenny and The Cat Club (and sequels) by Esther Averill
    Wolf Story by William McKleery
    Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery

    So many more too!
    Great topic

  12. I love so many of the books named here! I can’t believe no one mentioned Pete and Pickles by Berkeley Breathed! Granted, it was written in 2008, but it really speaks to parents as much as kids. Beautifully illustrated, and so poignant!

  13. When I was little, Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. I cried when Ginger died.

    A little older, It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Neville. Set in Manhattan, 1964, and I thought it was sooo cool.

    Kids’ book I encountered as a grownup, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig. To this day, when I am threatened by a lion, I, too, wish I were a rock.

      1. Ohmigosh, you’re right. I’m so sorry. So I won’t tell you what happens at the washed out bridge.

  14. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Because some days are like that, even in Australia.

  15. With the exception of the Hardy Boys books, I didn’t come to appreciate fiction until my teen-age years, and then I liked mostly adult books. As a young child I read lots of bios, mostly of inventors and baseball players (I got most of them from the Decatur library). Now I almost never read bios or sports books or mysteries. So I guess my childhood reading didn’t shape me very much.

  16. The Giving Tree
    The Places You Will Go
    Where the Wild Things Are

    and the greatest tear jerker of all time, Love You Forever—don’t think I’ve ever made it all the way through without breaking down. (reminds me of my momma)

    1. I’ve never read The Giving Tree but once I was on a plane and the man next to me was reading it aloud to his son. The man paused, turned to me and asked if he was disturbing me. No! I said, this is great! So he read it to both of us.

  17. A favorite that hasn’t been mentioned is The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant by Jean De Brunhof.

    1. Dr. Jellyfingers: “Isn’t there a children’s book about an elephant named Babar?”

      Fletch: “I don’t know. I don’t have any.”

      Dr. Jellyfingers: “Children?”

      Fletch: “No. Elephant books.”

  18. Where the Wild Things Are, Make Way for Ducklings, the entire Oz series, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Little House on the Prairie series, Pippi, Mary Poppins, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, The Borrowers, The Littles, Watership Down.

    If they’d been out when I was a kid, Harry Potter would be at the top of this list, but they weren’t.

    I still think the best books are written for late elementary, early middle school years. A wonderful time to read and discover books.

  19. To name a few…
    Goodnight Moon
    Brown Bear, Brown Bear
    Big Red Barn
    Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
    Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
    Winnie the Pooh
    Tenth Good Thing About Barney
    The Magic Treehouse series
    Tuck Everlasting
    Where the Red Fern Grows

  20. This may be my favorite thread ever. Or at least the most nostalgic and heart-warming. Books keep coming to mind, from my childhood and my children’s.

    – Snow Treasure: this had a great influence on me. Both in terms of resisting evil but also sparked an interest in cross-country skiing.

    – Turn Homeward, Hannalee

    – The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

  21. All the Miss Frizzle and the Magic Schoolbus books
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Green Eggs and Ham
    The Cat in the Hat
    Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
    Dinosaur Roar
    All the DK Publishing “feely” board books
    Charlotte’s Web
    Brown Bear, Brown Bear
    All the Little House books
    Nancy Drew

    1. Oh, I forgot dinosaurs, the 3 year old male obsession. Good Night, Dinosaurs is an amazingly tender book for boys going to bed!

  22. Anyone had success reading the Little House books to kids today? I tried to read yo my niece when she was young/same age as I when I loved those books, but she had no interest and so e graphic hog slaughtering was upsetting…

    1. Some girls like them, especially if their friends are reading them. It helps if they start with abridged little kid versions when around 4-5 years old and I think there’s some DVDs for the series. But definitely not “Farmer Boy”. I tried to read that to my son and failed terribly. The details of daily farm chores on the prairie didn’t hold his interest for 2 seconds.

    2. Another great pioneer book is Caddie Woodlawn. I loved Little House, but Caddie is a bit more relatable and adventurous. Less of the pages long descriptions and more of her breaking rules. A Newbery winner too. I think it makes a great read aloud.

      1. +10! Thank you for reminding me of Caddie! I’m going to see if I can find her on Kindle or Gutenberg.

        I loved Little House, too, but it paled slightly (yet forever) once I discovered Caddie. Jeepers, I’m flashing back to 6th grade and the cultural dissonance of listening to The Beatles and Tommy James & the Shondells on the record player during morning recess, while looking forward to Mrs. Jordan reading aloud to us from Caddie Woodlawn after lunch.

    3. We have listened to the first four plus “The Long Winter” on audiobook during long car trips but my kids never have picked up any to read by themselves.

  23. Don’t mean to thread jack either, but I’m wondering what the ratio of female to male is with these responses. Since some tags are gender-neutral, it’s difficult to determine, but there definitely seems to be more female posters responding. For the parents out there, is it still more difficult to get boys to read? And do boys tend to prefer non-fiction?

    1. Depends on the boy. Many read like crazy in elementary school but then seem to taper off in middle school. But I think there’s less compelling preteen/early teen stuff out there for boys, even in this day and age. Some get into the graphic novel stuff. But strangely, many do just fine when they start reading in earnest for things like AP Lit. Maybe teen boys read less for escape and more for acquisition of literary content. Have to say that I’m not sure the current crop of fave teen girl novels is worthwhile–all the vampy vampires and passion in a post-apocalyptic future. If the boys skip all that and go right to All the King’s Men, that’s ok with me.

    2. My son actually reads much more than my daughter. He did start out with non-fiction (I read more dinosaur informational books to him when he was a toddler than I care to remember), but he also loves fiction. I think there is really fantastic stuff out there for boys. A lot of the most popular series are very boy and girl friendly: Warriors, Percy Jackson, Alex Rider, Artemis Fowl, to name a few. He also reads more popular fiction than my teen daughter, who prefers things like Steinbeck and Fitzgerald along with her helpings of The Hunger Games and Divergent.

      1. My boys are more into nonfiction too, but the Alex Rider books, 39 clues, Catwings, and some of the Star Wars chapter books held appeal. My oldest read Old Yeller, which my 5th grade teacher read aloud to the class (it was a tearful day when we got to the ending), and the Harry Potter series: when younger he liked the Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Youngest likes the Oragami Yoda series and the Jedi Academy. My teen has discovered Kurt Vonnegut through the high school summer reading.

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