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The writers behind great children's stories – from picture books to middle-grade, novels to non-fiction

Top 10 Essential Picture Books for Kids and Grownups

As part of August's Picture Book 10 for 10 event launched by the folks at Enjoy and Embrace Learning, I'm offering up my Top 10 list. I thought about doing a rundown of the best books featuring smart dogs or adorable penguins or clever kids wearing tiaras. But what I think might be the most helpful is thus: Top 10 Essential Picture Books Based on hours of reading with a certain trio in my house, the selection process is highly scientific: it is measured on the hilarity factor, the visual umph, and how many times little voices chirped, "Again!" What follows are the Top 10 picture books that are simply a joy to share. Whether reading in a classroom to a group or in a rocking chair to a special someone, these are titles that adults – and of course the wee ones – will enjoy again and again. There were many nights when Hubby and I raced to the kids' rooms to call dibs on the stories we wanted to hear, these stories. My only regret is that my kids are getting a little older, so we don't get to read them as often. Keep these titles in mind when searching for the perfect gift – for the young or young at heart. We all need to celebrate our creative sides: I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by David Catrow Play it smart, especially when something wants to eat you up: The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler When things don't go as planned, roll with the punches: An Undone Fairy Tale by Ian Lendler, illustrated by Whitney Martin
You can be cool and not even know it: Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great by Bob Shea
It's nice to have folks around: Memoirs Of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian, illustrated by Tim Bowers
Sometimes we're cranky: Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel Princesses can be very sly: Falling For Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox, illustrated by Lydia Monks Even pirates need to be tucked in at night: How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long, illustrated by David Shannon Wait for it. . . The Monster at the End of this Book by Sesame Street There are surprises even in our routines: 10 Minutes till Bedtime by Peggy Rathmann Kate Hannigan is a children's author and blogger. Read more about children's literature and interviews with authors of some of the best books for kids at AuthorOf.blogspot.com.
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