Top 100 Best Children’s Books

Scholastic’s Parent & Child Magazine released a list of what they thought were the best children’s books. You can see the list in an easily sortable table below. Links to Amazon.com for each book are also provided.

Top 100 Children's Books

RankTitleAuthorAge RangeCategory
1Charlotte's WebE.B. White8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
2Goodnight MoonMargaret Wise Brown0-3Animal Characters
3A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet)Madeleine L’Engle11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
4The Snowy DayEzra Jacks Keats4-7Realistic Fiction
5Where the Wild Things AreMaurice Sendak0-3Fantasy / Science Fiction
6Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7)J.K. Rowling11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
7Green Eggs and HamDr. Seuss4-7Fantasy / Science Fiction
8The Diary of a Young GirlAnne Frank11+Non-Fiction / Informational
9The Giving TreeShel Silverstein4-7Traditional / Poetry
10Frog and Toad Are FriendsArnold Lobel8-10Animal Characters
11Anne of Green GablesL.M. Montgomery11+Realistic Fiction
12The Very Hungry CaterpillarEric Carle0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
13MadelineLudwig Bemelmans4-7Realistic Fiction
14The Wind in the WillowsKenneth Grahame8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
15The DotPeter H. Reynolds4-7Realistic Fiction
16Tuck EverlastingNatalie Babbitt11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
17Pat the BunnyDorothy Kunhardt0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
18When Marian SangPam Munoz Ryan8-10Non-Fiction / Informational
19Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary TaleMo Willems0-3Realistic Fiction
20Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and DrawingsShel Silverstein8-10Traditional / Poetry
21Bud, Not BuddyChristopher Paul Curtis11+Realistic Fiction
22CorduroyDon Freeman0-3Fantasy / Science Fiction
23The Phantom TollboothNorton Juster8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
24The Little Engine That CouldWatty Piper4-7Fantasy / Science Fiction
25The GiverLois Lowry11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
26Where the Mountain Meets the MoonGrace Lin8-10Traditional / Poetry
27Black on WhiteTana Hoban0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
28Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!Mo Willems4-7Fantasy / Science Fiction
29Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.Judy Blume11+Realistic Fiction
30My Rotten Redheaded Older BrotherPatricia Polacco8-10Realistic Fiction
31The MittenJan Brett4-7Traditional / Poetry
32The Runaway BunnyMargaret Wise Brown0-3Animal Characters
33The Hunger GamesSuzanne Collins11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
34SwimmyLeo Lionni4-7Animal Characters
35Freight TrainDonald Crews0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
36The Secret GardenFrances Hodgson Burnett8-10Realistic Fiction
37The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry BearDon & Audrey Wood4-7Animal Characters
38Diary of a Wimpy KidJeff Kinney11+Realistic Fiction
39Zen ShortsJohn J. Muth8-10Traditional / Poetry
40Moo Baa La La LaSandra Boynton0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
41MatildaRoald Dahl8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
42What Do People Do All DayRichard Scarry4-7Non-Fiction / Informational
43The Lion, the Witch, and the WardrobeC.S. Lewis11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
44Good Night, GorillaPeggy Rathmann0-3Fantasy / Science Fiction
45The CompositionAntonio Skarmeta8-10Realistic Fiction
46Not a BoxAntoinette Portis4-7Animal Characters
47Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
48HatchetGary Paulsen11+Realistic Fiction
49Martin's Big WordsDoreen Rappaport4-7Non-Fiction / Informational
50Sarah, Plain and TallPatricia Mac-Lachlan8-10Realistic Fiction
51Sylvia Long's Mother GooseSylvia Long0-3Traditional / Poetry
52The Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Lightning ThiefRick Riordan11+Traditional / Poetry
53The House at Pooh CornerA.A. Milne4-7Fantasy / Science Fiction
54Through My EyesRuby Bridges11+Non-Fiction / Informational
55Smile!Roberta Grobel Intrater0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
56Living SunlightMolly Bang & Penny Chisholm8-10Non-Fiction / Informational
57The Bad BeginningLemony Snicket11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
58Harvesting HopeKathleen Krull8-10Non-Fiction / Informational
59Dear JunoSoyung Pak4-7Realistic Fiction
60Head, Shoulders, Knees and ToesAnnie Kubler0-3Traditional / Poetry
61The Lion & the MouseJerry Pinkney4-7Traditional / Poetry
62Diary of a WormDoreen Cronin8-10Animal Characters
63The Invention of Hugo CabretBrian Selznick11+Realistic Fiction
64My Truck is Stuck!Kevin Lewis0-3Animal Characters
65BirdsKevin Henkes4-7Realistic Fiction
66The Maze Of BonesRick Riordan8-10Realistic Fiction
67Esperanza RisingPam Munoz Ryan11+Realistic Fiction
68Counting KissesKaren Katz0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
69The Magic School Bus At The WaterworksJoanna Cole8-10Non-Fiction / Informational
70BlackoutJohn Rocco4-7Realistic Fiction
71Bridge to TerabithiaKatherine Paterson11+Realistic Fiction
72Are You My Mother?P.D. Eastman0-3Animal Characters
73Tea with MilkAllen Say8-10Realistic Fiction
74Owl MoonJane Yolen4-7Realistic Fiction
75HolesLouis Sachar11+Realistic Fiction
76Peek-A Who?Nina Laden0-3Animal Characters
77Hi! Fly GuyTedd Arnold8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
78Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NimhRobert C. O’Brien11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
79Llama Llama Red PajamaAnna Dewdney0-3Animal Characters
80What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?Steve Jenkins & Robin Page4-7Non-Fiction / Informational
81Lincoln: A PhotobiographyRussell Freedman11+Non-Fiction / Informational
82Ivy + BeanAnnie Barrows8-10Realistic Fiction
83YokoRosemary Wells4-7Animal Characters
84No No Yes YesLeslie Patricelli0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
85Tales of a Fourth Grade NothingJudy Blume8-10Realistic Fiction
86Interrupting ChickenDavid Ezra Stein4-7Animal Characters
87RulesCynthia Lord11+Realistic Fiction
88Grumpy BirdJeremy Tankard0-3Animal Characters
89An Egg Is QuietDianna Hutts Aston4-7Non-Fiction / Informational
90Puss in BootsCharles Perrault8-10Traditional / Poetry
91Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the MoonCatherine Thimmesh11+Non-Fiction / Informational
92What Shall We Do with the Boo Hoo Baby?Cressida Cowell0-3Fantasy / Science Fiction
93We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United StatesDavid Catrow8-10Non-Fiction / Informational
94I Took the Moon for a WalkCarolyn Curtis4-7Traditional / Poetry
95A Single ShardLinda Sue Park11+Realistic Fiction
96GossieOlivier Dunrea0-3Animal Characters
97The Adventures Of Captain UnderpantsDav Pilkey8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
98First WordsRoger Priddy0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
99Joyful Noise: Poems for Two VoicesPaul Fleischman11+Traditional / Poetry
100AnimaliaGraeme Base4-7Non-Fiction / Informational


Indeed no list like this is without its controversy. With nearly 500 books in the running it’s not surprising that there were a few essential reads missing from the list. Below are what I found to be 30 of the most glaring omissions:

30 Glaring Omissions

TitleAuthorAge RangeCategory
ElidorAlan Garner4-7Fantasy / Science Fiction
Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryRoald Dahl11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
The Twenty-One BalloonsWilliam Pene du Bois8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
Alice in WonderlandLewis Carroll11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
The Travels of BabarJean De Brunhoff4-7Animal Characters
Duck! Rabbit!Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld4-7Animal Characters
Little House on the PrairieLaura Ingalls Wilder8-10Realistic Fiction
Harry the Dirty DogGene Zion0-3Animal Characters
Bedtime for FrancesRussell Hoban4-7Animal Characters
Harold and the Purple CrayonCrockett Johnson4-7Fantasy / Science Fiction
The BorrowersMary Norton8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
Black BeautyAnna Sewell11+Animal Characters
A Boy, a Dog, and a FrogMercer Mayer4-7Realistic Fiction
Little WomenLouisa May Alcott11+Realistic Fiction
Encyclopedia Brown, Boy DetectiveDonaldl Sob8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
The Little PrinceAntoine de Saint-Exupéry4-7Fantasy / Science Fiction
The Tale of Peter RabbitBeatrix Potter4-7Animal Characters
The Witch of Blackbird PondElizabeth George Speare8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
Scary Stories to Tell in the DarkAlvin Schwartz11+Traditional / Poetry
The Story of the Treasure SeekersEdith Nesbit11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
Beezus and RamonaBeverly Cleary4-7Animal Characters
Dicey's SongCynthia Voigt11+Realistic Fiction
Blueberries for SalRobert McCloskey4-7Realistic Fiction
How to Eat Fried WormsThomas Rockwell8-10Realistic Fiction
The Flat Stanley Collection Box SetJeff Brown8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
The Burgess Bird Book for ChildrenThornton W. Burgess8-10Animal Characters
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad DayJudith Viorst4-7Realistic Fiction
Lizard MusicDaniel Pinkwater8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
Love You ForeverRobert Munsch0-3Realistic Fiction

Don’t forget to go check out Schoolastics Top 100 Greatest Books for Kids. Additionally, Victoria BC librarians posted their 100 picture books to read before preschool and it’s pretty awesome too.

3 thoughts to “Top 100 Best Children’s Books”

  1. I’m glad to see that “Where the Wild Things Are” made the list, almost to the top! That was by far my favorite book, as a child! What’s coolest to me is how a forest grows in “Max”s bedroom–and grows, and grows, until the whole world is a forest!

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