A Bad Case of Stripes, by David Shannon
In this strikingly original tale about the importance of nonconformity, Camilla Cream worries too much about what everyone thinks — refusing to eat her beloved lima beans, for example, because no one else in her class likes them — and then breaks out in vividly hued patterns, like stars and stripes.
Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey
”One day, little Sal went with her mother to Blueberry Hill to pick blueberries.” The afternoon that unspools — filled with berries, sunshine, and bears — never frightens, just charms.
Flotsam, by David Wiesner
In Wiesner’s wordless classic, a curious young boy examines the things that have washed up with the tide: not just skittering crabs and strands of seaweed, but an incredible, barnacle-encrusted camera.
Knuffle Bunny, by Mo Willems
Willems brings to life the melodrama that ensues when a beloved stuffed animal is left at the neighborhood laundromat.
Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans
The saucy, spunky, yellow-hatted Madeline, smallest child in ”an old house in Paris, covered with vines,” has her first adventure: an emergency appendectomy.
The Mitten, by Jan Brett
When a little Ukranian boy loses one of the mittens his Baba knit him, different animals make their home in the fluffy white wool: a hedgehog, a rabbit, a mole, and so on. Children love Brett’s bright, intricate paintings, which evoke Russian folk art.
The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg
The magic of Christmas brims from every page of Van Allsburg’s nostalgic and gorgeously illustrated tale, which follows one little boy on the train trip of a lifetime.
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, by William Steig
The 1970 Caldecott winner — about a little donkey who finds a pebble that will grant his every wish — remains as lovely and thought-provoking as ever.
What Do People Do All Day?, by Richard Scarry
Kids will stay engrossed in Scarry’s oversized, incredibly detailed Busytown tale for hours. The best part? Scarry shows how everyone in society is dependent on everyone else: The farmer sells the food he grows to the grocer, who uses his profit to shop at other stores, and so on.
Where The Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
When mischievous Max is sent to his room with no supper, he embarks on a free-form and exhilarating imaginative romp that will appeal to kids of all ages.