1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
This book explained everything you needed to know about the butterfly cages that you had in your classroom in third grade.
2. Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
A simple tale of a peddler, monkeys, and caps in a tree. You still don’t know how to pronounce the author’s name.
3. Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
The best book about pasta ever.
4. Tikki Tikki Tembo retold by Arlene Mosel
Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-
chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo!
This chant can still summon a fear of falling into wells today.
5. The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters by Janet & Allan Ahlberg
You got to open up all of the jolly postman’s letter. A few of the letters went missing after a couple reads, which you’re sure are still in your Mom’s attic somewhere.
6. The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop and Kurt Wiese
Five chinese brothers that all look alike but crazy different skills - one can swallow the sea, and another has an iron neck. The stuff of dreams and nightmares.
7. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
Before the Bill Hader and Anna Faris voiced film, there was this book and it was perfect. I still wish I got my food from the sky.
8. Miss Nelson is Missing! by James Marshall
Miss Viola Swamp is the best villain in children’s book history. There I said it.
9. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
It is the first full-color picture book to feature a small black hero, and oh how pretty to look at!
10. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
This book was the reason you drew all over your walls as a kid.