Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The Top 100 Children's Books
February 18, 2012 9:40 PM   Subscribe

The Top 100 Children's Books. Last week Scholastic's Parent & Child released a list of what they thought were the best children's books. The top three: Charlotte's Web, Goodnight Moon and a Wrinkle in Time. Also listed were special awards for: — Best Read-Aloud: Mo Willems’ Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (#28). Most Beautifully Illustrated: Jerry Pinkney’s The Lion and the Mouse (#61). Most Relatable Character: Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid (#38). Most Side-Splitting Hilarious: Dav Pilkey’s The Adventures of Captain Underpants (#97)....

Most eye-catching cover: Puss-in-Boots (#90), Best Bedtime Book: Goodnight Moon (#2), Favorite Fantasy Setting: ...#6.

Some mildly unusual inclusions: #81. Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman; #58. Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull.

Some alarming exclusions: Elidor by Alan Garfield; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain; Babar by Jean de Brunhoff; Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban; A Boy, A Dog and his Frog by Mercer Mayer....

Straight text list of the books here.
posted by storybored (89 comments total) 65 users marked this as a favorite

 
Some alarming exclusions.... A Boy, A Dog and his Frog by Mercer Mayer

How about "best book for budding linguistic typologists?"
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:46 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


My kids love Captain Underpants. My 13 year old got them all when he was younger, and now my 5 and 3 year old request them regularly at bedtime. They cannot NOT giggle every time I say, "Professor Pippy Pee-Pee Poopypants".
posted by history_denier at 9:48 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I will not give in to List Rage.

I will not.

I will...

...no Tom Sawyer? No Little Women? No Alice in Wonderland?!

*cue Victorianist fury*
posted by thomas j wise at 9:54 PM on February 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I gotta check the good Captain U out!

Other alarming exclusions: (correction: that should be Alan *Garner*, not Garfield who wrote "Elidor"). Also no Dr Doolittle (H. Lofting), no Railway Children (E.Nesbit), no Wizard of Oz(Baum) and no Just-So Stories (Kipling). No Encyclopedia Brown(Sobol), no Emil and the Detectives(Kastner), no Sinbad and Me(Platt).
posted by storybored at 10:00 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Snowy Day is number 4! Love that book.

Missing: Harold and the Purple Crayon. For starters.
posted by ambrosia at 10:01 PM on February 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


*makes note to check back for everyone's additions to the list*
posted by ambrosia at 10:03 PM on February 18, 2012


...no Tom Sawyer? No Little Women? No Alice in Wonderland?!

Just because you were an easy bloomer does;t mean the rest of us don't have a childhood!
posted by cjorgensen at 10:03 PM on February 18, 2012


easy = early, which I guess could be synonyms, but not what I meant.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:04 PM on February 18, 2012


It's very US-centric - a book with photos illustrating the life of Abraham Lincoln? Please. And the books seem to be heavily weighted in favor of recent titles or ones that appeared thirty or forty years ago, implying that they're ones which the editors recall warmly from their own childhoods. That being said, it's nice to get some good recommendations.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:05 PM on February 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


No Beverly Cleary? No Marguerite Henry? BOO!
posted by brujita at 10:06 PM on February 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Please, please, have you even read Lincoln: A Photobiography? Better than a herd of pushmi-pullyus, I'll tell you that.
posted by Nomyte at 10:07 PM on February 18, 2012


No Heidi? No Pippi Longstocking? Also BOO!
posted by brujita at 10:07 PM on February 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


No The Little Prince. No The Hobbit.
posted by JHarris at 10:08 PM on February 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Alarming exclusions continued: Tales from Moominvalley by Tove Jansson; Tales of Narnia (Lewis); The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Potter).
posted by storybored at 10:12 PM on February 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Half Magic, people.
posted by escabeche at 10:12 PM on February 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


Alarming exclusions continued:... Tales of Narnia (Lewis);

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is on the list

(tho, not my favorite of the series)
posted by Hicksu at 10:14 PM on February 18, 2012


Nope. Not buying it.

OK. You need to break it down like this:

1) Baby books - Board books rather than paper pages, big colorful illustrations and flaps and glitter and mirrors. You read them to the baby in your lap, and let them play with the book. The best one? "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."

2) Toddler Learning Books - From One to Three years of age. Counting books, ABC books, Shapes books, Picture Dictionaries, Colors books. Dr. Seuss' Alphabet book is amazing, here.

3) Toddler Story Books - Tells a fun story for bedtime or lap-time. "Go, Dogs, Go!" is hard to beat. "Green Eggs and Ham" runs a close second.

4) Bedtime stories - From 4-5 on up to 6-7. Mercer Mayer and Dr Seuss rules here.

5) Picture Books - Shows scenes from the everyday world, or photographs of actual things, like animals or trucks. Helps kids form letters into words. Richard Scary is the God of these books.

6) Beginning to read - Clifford books - You know it, I know it. Where the Wild Things Are. Where the Sidewalk Ends.

7) Reading is fun - Encyclopedia Brown, Frecklejuice, Charlotte's Web, Captain Underpants, Lemony Snickett, Roald Dahl.

8) Precocious Brat or Middle School - A Wrinkle in Time, Harry Potter, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (OK, maybe that was just me...)

You cannot, cannot, cannot judge "Goodnight Moon" by the same criteria you judge "Charlotte's Web" by the same criteria you judge "Runny Babbit." You just can't.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:15 PM on February 18, 2012 [38 favorites]


No The Little Prince

Not popular enough?
posted by jeffen at 10:21 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Many of these books are really great (I buy Charlotte's Web for every kid in my life who I think will read it), but this kind of implies there is some sort of canon your kids have to read in order to successfully graduate from childhood.

Where is MAD Magazine? Where are the comic books? The backs of cereal boxes?

Great kids' reading is stuff that kids like to read. That way they decide that reading is a fun thing to do.

Also, this list is barely adventurous. Scholastic, meh.
posted by Camofrog at 10:28 PM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, thank heavens The Phantom Tollbooth and Bridge to Terabithia were on the list or I might have completely lost my shit. But no Beverly Cleary, no Harriet the Spy, no Where the Red Fern Grows, no Witch of Blackbird Pond?
posted by Mavri at 10:31 PM on February 18, 2012


Choosing Perrault over virtually any of Andrew Lang's oeuvre, but especially his Arabian Nights and Coloured Fairy books is criminal, I tell you, criminal.

Surprised also by the absence of Where's Wally, Edith Nesbit, Frank Oz, Enid Blyton FFS, Hungry Caterpillar among others.
posted by smoke at 10:32 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


And the books seem to be heavily weighted in favor of recent titles or ones that appeared thirty or forty years ago, implying that they're ones which the editors recall warmly from their own childhoods.

I think what it actually implies is that those books are still under copyright and can make Scholastic money by appearing on a list of essential children's books, unlike those pesky classics in the public domain.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 10:32 PM on February 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


No Go The Fuck To Sleep?
posted by elizardbits at 10:32 PM on February 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


And maybe I missed but no Roald Dahl, in 100 books? Pfft.
posted by Camofrog at 10:35 PM on February 18, 2012


No Little House? The hell you say.
posted by Mavri at 10:35 PM on February 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think Matilda is in there, Camofrog.

I feel a little teary eyed because there is no Beverly Cleary, and there is no FROG AND TOAD!!!!

I like a lot of books on the list but the two series above made me want to start writing my own books as a child.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 10:40 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


But no Beverly Cleary, no Harriet the Spy, no Where the Red Fern Grows, no Witch of Blackbird Pond?

And honestly, no Maniac Magee, no Tar Beach, no Blubber. The Hunger Games, but not Just Like Martin? Or Let the Circle Be Unbroken? Are You There, God, but no Dicey's Song? CRIMINAL I SAY.

really though how do you leave out ramona that's like making a list of amazing guitarists and leaving out hendrix, like forgetting casablanca on your best of film list, like claiming peanut butter and chocolate isn't proof of a loving god sacrilege sacrilege sacrilege
posted by Snarl Furillo at 10:44 PM on February 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


Re: Frog and Toad, Frog and Toad Are Friends is #10.
posted by JHarris at 10:47 PM on February 18, 2012


lol I went straight towards the lower half not thinking it would rank that high.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 10:49 PM on February 18, 2012


Oh, welcome to my world. I have a daughter that turns 2 in April that loves being read to. Good Night Gorilla is a favourite at the moment and has been for a while, as has Goodnight Moon and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We just got Snowy Day from the library too. Great book. Wonderfully illustrated. I've been trying Where The Wild Things Are on her but I think it's too early. I need to buy few good copies anyways, as I have a crazy idea to frame the entire thing page by page and run it down a hallway.

There's really too many good ones these days for a list like this, and all filling different purposes.

Oliver Finds His Way has been one of her favourites - there's a moment where Oliver gets lost and has to ROAAAAR! to find his way back home. She can't wait to do it. It's also beautifully illustrated.

The Little Blue Truck has also been a favourite. It has a great rhythm and also is very well illustrated.

The Night Night Book is also a standard around our place.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:49 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The book that made me really love reading was Digger the fucking Dog (or something like that), about a dog who loved to dig. It'll never appear on any canonical list. It was not Goodnight Moon. But it was captivating. As a side benefit, it made me love dogs.
posted by Camofrog at 10:53 PM on February 18, 2012


Charlotte's Web is a crock of shit. Seriously, it's the most offensive shit I"ve re-read in a long time. Talk about sexist crap.

Fern, who SAVES the pig from the certain runty death, all of a sudden loses interest in Wilbur when some grubby little boy comes along. Charlotte, the wizard of the web needs a damn rat to inspire her with a piece of paper and then everyone thinks the pig is brilliant.

Charlotte gives up her life for her kids and we all remember Wilbur for his amazingness.

It was a shit re-read to my precious five year old daughter and I was embarrassed that I raved about it so much before I read it to her. Girls don't NEED boys, spiders don't need rats and Charlotte's Web's womenfolk are poor role models.

/rant.
posted by taff at 11:01 PM on February 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


The Digging-Est Dog, ahem.

http://www.amazon.com/Digging-Est-Dog-Beginner-Books/dp/0394800478

Sorry, I'm on an iPad, I can't be more elegant.
posted by Camofrog at 11:02 PM on February 18, 2012


taff: "grubby little boy"? sexist?
posted by Camofrog at 11:11 PM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


My 6 year old adores the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books and the Boxcar Children books.

(and it's such a relief, because before that it was the Rainbow Maguc fairy books, which are total dreck. )

And Moo Baa La La La is such a great book. Right up there with The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
posted by leahwrenn at 11:12 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Victoria BC librarians posted their 100 picture books to read before preschool and its pretty awesome.

I'm a big fan of scaredy squirrel from that list.
posted by chapps at 11:13 PM on February 18, 2012


Did I not...did I not see The Velveteen Rabbit?
posted by oflinkey at 11:17 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


And if you want to introduce your tween to footnotes and the bizarre humour of Sean Cullen (any CBC Simply Sean fans out there?) you must try Hamish X. Oh, those cheese pirates!
posted by chapps at 11:20 PM on February 18, 2012


Add another vote for Beverly Cleary. The first 'long' book I remember reading all by myself was The Mouse and the Motorcycle. It was also the first that my son read all by himself... we'd just leave these around for our kids to find.

My kids really loved the Ramona books too. Beverly Cleary really deserves to be on anyone's list.
posted by dougfelt at 11:38 PM on February 18, 2012


I've read Goodnight Moon a bunch of times to my toddler, and I have to say, I just don't get the love.

Is it just a holdover from when today's parents had it read to them by their parents who had it read to them by their parents?

I mean, I hate to be "that guy" but "What's the deal with Goodnight Moon"?
posted by madajb at 11:44 PM on February 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


*ctrl-f* "Make Way for Ducklings"

Not found

Well this list is obviously shit
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:00 AM on February 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


Bridge to Terabithia at #71?!

But, but!
posted by duffell at 12:07 AM on February 19, 2012


Charlotte gives up her life for her kids and we all remember Wilbur for his amazingness.

Also, Charlotte is a talking spider and Wilbur is a talking pig! What the fuck?

No, Charlotte's death makes everyone cry (at least it did when it happened in our grade two class back in the 1960s). Her character is the only one we all definitely cared about.

Charlotte is a miraculous other-mother, something akin to the Virgin Mary and fairy godmother. Wilbur is the wayward child triumphant in adversity, an escapee from the slaughterhouse of standard childhood. Fern is a girl who gets her way and then gets away with a boy in tow.

Or something.
posted by pracowity at 12:16 AM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Bible seems to be missing.
posted by incandenza at 12:20 AM on February 19, 2012


No War and Peace, no All Quiet On The Western Front?

tough crowd!
posted by HuronBob at 3:14 AM on February 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I saw these great posters in the local library recently - one with the covers of all the Newberry award winners and another with Caldecott winners. Was able to obtain them from Perma-Bound Books with very little fuss. Not a plug but definitely it's cool to hang them up and see which ones we've read.
posted by newdaddy at 3:24 AM on February 19, 2012


I was reading at secondary school level by the time I was three. The worst part of that is you just don't grow up with all the books other kids do - I didn't have many picture books, because I was beyond them, although I liked to look at the Where The Wild Things Are illustrations in my nursery-school library. At middle-school age (10? Is that middle-school?) I was reading things like The Hobbit, Hitchhiker's Guide, Judy Blumes and the Adrian Mole series, but there aren't many books that were at my reading level and yet concerned the kind of things that, as a kid, I was interested in. Maybe Little Women or Little House on the Prairie, but I can't think of many others.
posted by mippy at 4:15 AM on February 19, 2012


Also, I loved reading Smash Hits and the 'social stereotypes' column in my dad's Daily Telegraph supplement, for some reason.
posted by mippy at 4:18 AM on February 19, 2012


Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever. He gave it that title for a reason people.

Best. Word Book. Ever.
posted by Brodiggitty at 4:22 AM on February 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I guess I'm one of the few to come in and say something positive - which, actually, is as it should be; these Canonical lists should be raked over the coals and argued about.

But I'm too pleased that Don't Let the Pigeon Drive The Bus did so well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:55 AM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, Busy Town by Richard Scarry, too.

Also, The Truck on the Track (admittedly mostly because it's such fun to read aloud)

Wideawake Jake - Best bedtime book

I could go on. The list is very US-centric but still appreciated.
posted by grubby at 5:41 AM on February 19, 2012


There is a serious lack of Pinkwater on that list as well.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 5:41 AM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've read the whole Diary of A Wimpy Kid series as an adult and liked it.
posted by drezdn at 5:58 AM on February 19, 2012


The Bible seems to be missing.
Too much sex and violence for little ones.
posted by etaoin at 6:03 AM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tom Sawyers is not a book for children. It's a book about children. This is very clear if you actually try to read the book to a child. The irony is so thick they can't cut through it.
posted by DU at 6:48 AM on February 19, 2012


Oh and Wrinkle in Time is terrible. Yes, I remember loving it too. And the scenes with It still are gripping. But the rest of it is sentimental, obviously-religious junk.
posted by DU at 6:50 AM on February 19, 2012


No Little Black Sambo. Wusses.

Oh and Wrinkle in Time is terrible.

Oh, yeah, for so many, many reasons. And I never loved it.
posted by IndigoJones at 7:08 AM on February 19, 2012


What do people do all day was 100% the most important book of my pre-k life. We had two copies: one in the house, and one in the car. It was hugely influential in my becoming a strong reader.
Say there's a picture of an apple. I know its an Apple because I recognise the picture. Next to it is the word Apple. I connect the two: picture I recognise, and word. I say the word out loud. Now I connect the spoken word with the letters and the picture. Over and over, thousands of pictures and words, a great cast of characters, fascinating "how does it work?"stories. My favorites were the waterworks and the paper mill.
Man. I love that book. I should make sure my library has it...as well as every toddler I know.
posted by Elly Vortex at 7:23 AM on February 19, 2012


Aside from the missing Beverly Cleary (seriously, you could close your eyes an point at her catalog and whatever you came up with would be a great book), I think they missed:
How To Eat Fried Worms
The Artemis Fowl series
The Little House series
Flat Stanley
The Little Bear books
posted by dogmom at 7:44 AM on February 19, 2012


Was pleased to see things like The Secret Garden and Sarah Plain And Tall on the list. Both of them masterful use of language.

Was very very sad not to see ANY Thornton W. Burgess on the list. Brilliant read-aloud books that become challenging read-to-yourself books for slightly order kids due to the use of written dialect. Also wonderful nature stories designed specifically to help the reader understand the interrelated dependencies which exist in Nature.
posted by hippybear at 7:57 AM on February 19, 2012


One of the best parts about growing older is knowing friends who are having children of their own, as this gives me an excuse to go to the neighborhood children's book shop and spend hours prowling there and on Amazon for the best parts of my childhood. I don't, honestly, care if Mirette on the High Wire or if David Macauley's wonderful, intricate, beautiful drawings do make it onto the list, as long as children still love them. (But seriously, purchase Rome Antics for anyone you love.) I hope kids still love Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile. Does anyone know The Singing Ringing Tree? Perhaps there is still room for fairy tales and folk tales and the dangers of forests ad the necessity of dear, dear salt.

What matters is that children and adults can still get this excited about stories to have a vociferous debate. I hope that by the time I have kids of my own, picture books and books with pictures of curious animals will not be merely a curiosity item; that my children will be able to take stacks of books under the covers and leave them in untidy heaps and take them as old friends to sleepaway camps. Whether Scholastic will shape those piles of books, I don't know.

But seriously, Harold and the Purple Crayon. OBVIOUSLY.
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:01 AM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not going to complain about its absence, because complaining about these lists (as opposed to suggesting amendments and additions) is tiresome, but Marjorie Torrey's Three Little Chipmunks is one of the best kids' books ever. My grandsons enjoy it as much when I read it to them as I enjoyed it when it was read to me over half a century ago. And as you can see from the Amazon link, it's available quite cheaply. Try it, you'll like it!

Also, it's extremely weird that Torrey's date of death is unknown. Can some of you MeFi detectives get on that? Thanks!
posted by languagehat at 9:26 AM on February 19, 2012


No Cleary and no Scarry makes this list dumb, but the greatest offense, to me, is the Giving Tree at #9. A book that essentially says "just keep giving until you're dead, and then your selfish kids can sit on you." And it not only ranks ahead of 91 books that should be ahead of it, but it takes a spot that could have been given to Cleary or Scarry.

Seriously. You have a list full of everything good about children's literature -- fantasy, humor, truth, surprise, ingenuity, inspiration, and the pain and joy of growing up -- and you drop that steaming pile of cynical Boomer self-entitlement into the middle of it.

At least Mo Willems got two slots.
posted by dw at 9:54 AM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Marjorie Torrey's Three Little Chipmunks is one of the best kids' books ever.

Interesting -- I always knew Torrey as an illustrator more than an author. I remember the Sing Mother Goose book she did when I was very young -- I think that was one of my mother's books as a child.
posted by dw at 9:58 AM on February 19, 2012


(10? Is that middle-school?)

In the US, 10 is usually fourth grade. Middle school is 6-8th grade, so that's usually 12-14.
posted by dw at 10:06 AM on February 19, 2012


"Goodnight Moon" = "Goodnight Poo" in my house. Especially because it should be "good night" and not "goodnight" throughout.

No "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?" This was a very, very important book because it showed a child having a bad day and not every child was nauseatingly good and Everything Happens For A Reason. Sometimes stuff is just bad (like this list).
posted by hmo at 10:07 AM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


No Cleary and no Scarry makes this list dumb

Scarry is there. Look again.

No Cleary is a shame, however.
posted by hippybear at 10:08 AM on February 19, 2012


My 4.5 and 3.5-year-old love the Pout-Pout Fish book and it's sequel. Now, it helps that I make it as silly a story as possible and sing parts of the book, and give silly voices to every character, but it ranks very high on my list of books that are easy to read many hundreds of times without getting too bored. Of course, their favorite part is the end when the Pout Pout Fish turns into a Smooch Smooch fish and I use this as an opportunity to smooch them and give them zerberts on their tummies. Oh, the squealing!
posted by mrbarrett.com at 10:42 AM on February 19, 2012


I'm saddened by the absence of Milton the Early Riser. Also, as mentioned before, no Pinkwater? Lizard Music changed my life. Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars assured that my brother would grow into a confident and strong adult. I guess on a hundred-long list it's hard to please everybody, but it's still heartbreaking to see my talismans spurned.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 10:58 AM on February 19, 2012


Scarry is there. Look again.

Oh.

You know what would be useful? Offering this list AS A LIST as well as a bunch of books on shelves.
posted by dw at 11:05 AM on February 19, 2012


You know what would be useful? Offering this list AS A LIST as well as a bunch of books on shelves.

You mean, perhaps like the link from the FPP which says "Straight text list of the books here."?
posted by hippybear at 11:17 AM on February 19, 2012


There is a text version link at the end of the post.

(Don't worry, I looked at it and STILL missed Frog and Toad, even though it's there.)
posted by The ____ of Justice at 11:18 AM on February 19, 2012


"Beneath Silverstein's clear and simple text lies a complex fable about the joy of giving and the risks of taking too much. It opens the door for a wide variety of discussions on topics from love and self-sacrifice, to conservation and the environment."


Oh, baloney. The book presents no risks for taking too much. It's all about taking as much as you can, with no consequences, for your entire life.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:24 AM on February 19, 2012


Triple BOO for no Betsy-Tacy!
posted by brujita at 12:10 PM on February 19, 2012


Don't let the Pidgeon drive the bus! is a literary masterpiece.
posted by jb at 12:16 PM on February 19, 2012


The absence of Robert Munsch seems odd, who's book Love you forever, has sold 15 million copies (twenty years ago at a bookselling event I was told it was THE best selling children's book) and he remains the number one asked-for author at my public library. He is published by Scholastic (a shock in the Canadian Publishing world when he went from a small press to a major publisher).
posted by saucysault at 12:38 PM on February 19, 2012


But thank God for no Twilight.
posted by francesca too at 5:48 PM on February 19, 2012


Did anyone else enjoy Cheaper by the Dozen or Bells on Their Toes? (MUCH better than the movie)

Also, one of my English Professors would be shocked that Harry Potter is there without acknowledgement of Tolkien or Lewis...he believes our generation shallowly gives Rowling credit for fantasy epic-ness when they were the ones who actually perfected the form.

Also, contemporary children's literature having to do with vampires? Cirque du Freak isn't bad...
posted by Lee Shore at 7:51 PM on February 19, 2012


Rowling has more on loan from LeGuin than Tolkien, and more in common with GRRM and Jordan than C. S. Lewis.

That said, any author who can get an 8 year old to sit down with a 650 page novel of their own free will is all right by me.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:21 PM on February 19, 2012


No Beverly Cleary? FAIL!!!

At the very least, Beezus and Ramona and/or The Mouse and the Motorcycle needed to be on that list.
posted by SisterHavana at 8:53 PM on February 19, 2012


Other glaring omissions:

From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Betsy-Tacy books
Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys
Amelia Bedelia
The Poky Little Puppy
Anastasia Krupnik
Curious George
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
posted by SisterHavana at 9:08 PM on February 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Trixie Belden and Mrs Piggle Wiggle.
posted by Mavri at 9:22 PM on February 19, 2012


> OK. You need to break it down like this:
>
> 1) Baby books...
> 2) Toddler Learning Books...
> 3) Toddler Story Books...
> 4) Bedtime stories...
> 5) Picture Books...
> 6) Beginning to read...
> 7) Reading is fun...
> 8) Precocious Brat or Middle School...
> posted by Slap*Happy at 1:15 AM on February 19 [34 favorites +] [!]

Is that seriously Anne Frank's diary at #8 on the list? As a children's book? Which category would it go in?

I suppose you might give it to middle schoolers if you can find some who are historically informed and already aware of other horrors and hard as nails. But speaking for myself (over 50) just being historically informed and aware of other horrors and hard as nails doesn't keep the Diary from giving me a days-long depressive fit about myself and my fellow humans.
posted by jfuller at 7:48 AM on February 20, 2012


Don't let the Pidgeon drive the bus! is a literary masterpiece.

Flagged as claptrap.

Also, why not the "Great Brain" books or any of the "Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators" series? Sheesh.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:12 AM on February 20, 2012


I created an easily sortable, easily searchable, html based table of Schoolastic's list on my website.

In addition, I included clickable links to amazon for each entry. I also included a list of 30 "glaring omissions". Feel free to add more in the comments if you'd like.
posted by hubs at 10:52 AM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've read probably more than 1000 children's books in the last five years and I also think Good Night Moon is not a good book. Poorly written, poorly illustrated, badly colored. It has no tempo, no feel, little emotion. It engages none of my senses in a positive way. My son, fortunately, also thinks little of it (which may be my influence, though maybe not, since he also likes the Clifford the Big Red Dog books, which I think are more suitable as bumwipe).

I am similarly left cold by nearly all of Eric Carle's books, mainly because of the tone-deaf writing. There's no joy to the language.
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:33 AM on February 20, 2012


Also, the Scholastic age grouping is off. For example, all of the books in the 4-7 group strike me as very young, more like 2-5 or 3-5. We read those years ago and wouldn't go back to them now for a five-year-old.
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:37 AM on February 20, 2012


Is that seriously Anne Frank's diary at #8 on the list? As a children's book? Which category would it go in?

I suppose you might give it to middle schoolers if you can find some who are historically informed and already aware of other horrors and hard as nails.


Anne Frank's diary is very popular in junior school (7-11) and secondary school libraries in the UK. I was about eight or nine when I read it. Don't forget, kids are taught about WWII from an early age in history classes, particularly here where the mainland was frequently bombed.
posted by mippy at 6:43 AM on February 21, 2012


This one has a bit more of the UK perspective:

50 books every child should read.
posted by storybored at 7:33 AM on February 25, 2012


« Older Take a stroll down Memorex Lane and relive those g...   |   In the summer of 2007 on the c... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments