As Green Tree Public Library’s Children’s Librarian people ask me what my favorite children’s books are a lot. But it’s really hard to pick just one or two! Honestly, asking a librarian to pick her favorite books of all-time is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child. You just can’t, because we love them all in different ways!
As the librarian who hosts multiple weekly storytimes, I read a new children’s book nearly every single day. It’s a perk of the job, really. But it also means that I’m constantly discovering a new book to call my “favorite.” If you’ve ever asked me this question, I probably followed up by asking you a few questions in return. My answer is always going to change depending on the day, the season, the age group, the subject, or even the length. It is really really difficult picking a top-tiered favorite!
But there are a few titles I always come back to. Time and time again, these books are ones I love reading at storytime, gifting to new parents, or recommending to happy readers. These are a few of my favorites that always make me smile when I see them going home with a lucky reader.
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox
This rhyming tale begins with one little baby born far away and another little baby born the very next day. With soft illustrations and melodic verse, Mem Fox shows just how similar little babies can be even when they are so very, very different. This around-the-world look at families will warm the heart of anyone who has welcome a new baby into their house.
Amos McGee works at the zoo and has a lot of special friends. Each day he makes sure his animal pals get the attention they need and love they deserve. But one day, when Amos McGee is sick and can’t get out of bed…his friends return the favor. This sweet story, winner of the esteemed Caldecott Medal for illustrations in 2011, is paired perfectly with gentle illustrations and makes a wonderful read to share with a child.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
What happens to little Bod Owens after his family is murdered? Well, naturally he’s raised by ghosts, werewolves, and other spooky characters. Though this book is haunting and spine-tingling at times, it is also heartfelt and full of the nicest ghosts you’ll ever meet. Perfect for older readers who love to get frightened by a good ghost story but also a great pick for those students who love books that make them cry. It won the famous Newbery Award for fiction in 2009.
Matilda by Roald Dahl
I still remember the first time I read this book about a little girl with awful parents and amazing powers. And even though it’s been years since I first finished this gem, I still get so excited when I talk about it with young students. Or when someone tells me they saw the movie for the first time! This classic story will never go out-of-style and makes a great companion for the child you know with a wild imagination and a fierce love of books.
What are your children’s favorites? I’d love to hear what books you read time and time again as a child or which books your own children have enjoyed. Please share your thoughts in the comments.