April 2, 2010

International Children's Book Day

This is the birthday of “fairy tale” author Hans Christian Anderson, and the day has been set aside to help children discover the joy of reading and to call attention to children's books. As the IBBY website points out to kids, “A book is waiting for you. Find it!”

On this auspicious day, I thought it would be fun to post some Top Ten lists of children's books.

First, a word about genres:
Many kids and adults
think that they “aren't into” or won't like certain kinds of books. I have especially noticed that many girls and women think that they could never like science fiction. But I think that there are all sorts of science fiction books, from really-it's-a-Western-shoot-'em-up-set-in-space to dark dystopian dramas, from lighthearted comedies to thoughtful stories that call forth wonder and hope. I hope everyone gives science fiction books a chance!

Now, on to the lists!

I have listed some of my favorites roughly in order--#1 being the best, of course.

Top Ten Well-Known Picture Books I Happen to Own
10. Green Eggs and Ham - (Dr. Seuss)
9. The Cat in the Hat Comes Back - (Dr. Seuss)

8. Is Your Mama a Llama? - (Steven Kellogg)

7. Blueberries for Sal - (Robert McCloskey)

6.The Runaway Bunny - (Margaret Wise Brown)

5. Are You My Mother? - (P. D. Eastman)
4. Where the Wild Things Are - (Maurice Sendak)
3. Make Way for Ducklings - (Robert McCloskey)

2. Miss Rumphius - (Barbara Cooney)
1. Paddle-to-the-Sea - (Holling Clancy Holling)
Top Ten Lesser-Known Picture Books I Happen to Own
10. Imogene's Antlers - (David Small)
9. George's Store - (Frank Asch)
8. Henry's Awful Mistake - (Robert Quackenbush)

7. Officer Buckle and Gloria - (Peggy Rathmann)
6. Tikvah Means Hope - (Patricia Polacco)

5. But No Elephants - (Jerry Smath)

4. How Much Is a Million? - (David M. Schwartz)

3. An Anteater Named Arthur - (Bernard Waber)

2. Willie Bear and the Wish Fish - (Debi Gliori)

1. Little Rabbit's Loose Tooth - (Lucy Bate)
Top Ten Children's Book Illustrators

ese are some of my favorite books, but I put them here rather than above because it is really the illustrations, rather than the text, that I especially love! And naturally I love loads of books illustrated by these same artists, too...but these are my faves!
10. Mitsumasa Anno - (Topsy Turvies)
9. Paul Goble - (The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses)

8. Hilary Knight - (The Circus Is Coming)

7. Ruth Heller - (Chickens Aren't the Only Ones)

6. Cicely Mary Barker - (Flower Fairy books)

5. David McPhail - (Dream Child)

4. Jan Brett - (Fritz and the Beautiful Horses)

3. Patricia Polacco - (Rechenka's Eggs)

2. Gyo Fujikawa - (Fairyland)

1. Peter Parnall - (Everybody Needs a Rock)
Top Five Historical Novels for Kids and YA
5. Calico Captive - (Elizabeth George Speare)
4. On the Banks of Plum Creek - (Laura Ingalls Wilder)

3. Moccasin Trail - (Eloise Jarvis McGraw)

2. The Witch of Blackbird Pond - (Elizabeth George Speare)

1. Mara, Daughter of the Nile - (Eloise Jarvis McGraw)
Top Ten Science Fiction Books for Kids and YA
10. Ender's Shadow - YA (Orson Scott Card)
9. Star Girl - (Henry Winterfield)
8. Jumper - (Steven Gould) – YA some violence, older-teen situations
7. A Wrinkle in Time - (Madeleine L'Engle)

6. The City of Ember - (Jeanne DuPrau)

5. The Pool of Fire - (John Christopher)

4. The City of Gold and Lead - (John Christopher)
3. The White Mountains - (John Christopher)

2. Enchantress from the Stars - (Sylvia Engdahl)

1. Ender's Game - (Orson Scott Card) – YA name-calling, some violence

Top Ten Fantasy Books or Series for Kids & YA
10. Peter and the Starcatchers series - (Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry)
9. Castaways in Lilliput - (Henry Winterfield)
8. Percy
Jackson and the Olympians series - (1st) The Lightning Thief - (Rick Riordan)
7. Half Magic series - (Edward Eager)

6. The Castle in the Attic series - (Elizabeth Winthrop)

5. Song of the Lioness series - (1st) Alanna: The First Adventure - (Tamora Pierce)

4. The Indian in the Cupboard series - (Lynne Reid Banks)

3. Prydain series - (1st) The Book of Three - (Lloyd Alexander)

2. Harry Potter series - (J. K. Rowling)

1. Taash and the Jesters - (and prequel) Kashka - (Ellen Kindt McKenzie)
Top 10 Novels for Kids and YA
10. One Is One - (Barbara Leonie Picard)
9. The View from Saturday - (E. L. Konigsburg)

8. Walk Two Moons - (Sharon Creech)

7. The Secret Garden - (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
6. Ellen Tebbits - (Beverly Cleary)
5. The Egypt Game - (Zilpha Keatley Snyder)
4. Frindle -
(Andrew Clement)
3. The Outsiders - (S. E. Hinton)
YA - some violence
2. Holes - (Louis Sachar)

1. A Little Princess - (Frances Hodgson Burnett)

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