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