Scholastic and Parent and Child Magazine ranked the top 100 Children’s Books of all Time in this USA Today article.
Number one is Charlotte’s Web, followed by Goodnight Moon and A Wrinkle in Time. There is a mix of picture books and chapter books, with a few young adult books, such as the first Harry Potter book, thrown in.
Given that the word “children” encompasses such a broad age range, it would be more useful to parents, grandparents and others who are buying or borrowing books for children to separate the “best” books by genre.(That would make around 30 books per genre – a much more manageable number.)
There are lots of objective criteria by which to rank “best” books (and, interestingly, in this listing of the “best,” the criteria are not mentioned.) But “best” really comes from the heart of the reader, and we all have different tastes and preferences. For me, the “best” books are those that I associate with particular memories of snuggling up with my children in their beds at night as I read to them. “All of a Kind Family” was one of those books, along with “The Runaway Bunny,” and “Frederick.” My favorite book from my childhood – a classic that is still popular today – is Madeleine. I felt transported to Paris when that book was read to me – maybe that’s why Paris is still my favorite city in the world. That’s the power that a book has to make a long-lasting impression on a child. Bravo to all the “best” books in the world!