After consulting the NEA Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children and also Scholastic's Top 100 Greatest Books for Kids, I've decided to list my personal top 10 favorites that are outside of the top 100 on either list.
The first would be the book that inspired the title of this blog, The Doorbell Rang. Written and illustrated by Pat Hutchins, this was one of my early childhood favorites.
Here is the rest of my list:
2. The Ox Cart Man by Donald Hall/Illustrated by Barbara Cooney
This book reads like a poem. The story is tender. The illustrations are beautiful.
3. Carl Goes Shopping by Alexandra Day
Of all the "Good Dog, Carl" books, this is my favorite. Wordless picture books are a great tool for kids because they can tell the story and it can become more elaborate as their language develops.
4. Daddy Makes the Best Spaghetti by Anna Grossnickle Hines
I loved this book because the father and child go grocery shopping together, which was a special Saturday ritual for me and my dad when I was little. My dad and I made pancakes, not spaghetti, but it conjured up the same feelings of love.
5. On Beyond Zebra by Dr. Seuss
This is Greg's favorite children's book. We both like the theme of pushing your imagination and not thinking inside of the box.
6. The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Susan Stevens Crummel and Janet Stevens
Besides being able to add prairie dogs to your child's favorite animals, this book is entertaining for adults as well as kids. A tennis ball falls down a prairie dog hole, and comedy and drama ensue!
7. The Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein
Teaching children to "roll all by themselves."
8. Eloise by Kay Thompson
Because every child's library needs more books written about spunky girls.
9. Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo /Illustrated by Julia Denos
The more I've learned about Audrey Hepburn, the more I think she's a superb role model for young girls. Also, if you're not familiar with the artwork of Julia Denos, this book will be a real treat!
10. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Since the Scholastic list included books for older children as well, I felt I needed to add this to my list. I cannot fathom how many afternoons I played in my backyard inspired by the Little House series. I also remember that I would follow along while my parents read these books to me, and as I got older, I would take turns reading the chapters aloud with them. I know that I learned to recognize many words by reading along silently in these books.
What are some of your favorite children's books that don't often make the top 100? Or, if you're a parent/educator, what's a current favorite that you predict will make the next edition of these lists?