The Kids’ Book Corner

Kids’ book reviews and tidbits from an indie bookseller.

The Best Kids’ Books Ever (KBC Style) July 7, 2009

Filed under: Old Favorites — kidsbookcorner @ 10:00 am

On the 4th of July Nicholas Kristof published an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times listing his picks for the Best Kids’ Books Ever. It’s a fun piece, and it’s gotten me thinking about what books I consider to be the Best Ever. Now, of course I haven’t read all the kids’ books out there, but it’s been a fun exercise coming up with my list! I’d love to hear what you’d put on your Best Books list.


Charlotte’s Web

by E.B. White

(HarperCollins, paperback, $8.99)

Ages 6-10

I read this book for the first time a couple of months ago. I grew up watching the wonderful animated film on VHS (it was an all-time favorite of mine) and reading the book brought it all back to me. It’s truly an amazing read.

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

(Warner Books, paperback, $7.99)

Ages 10+

For some reason I ended up having to read this book three times in middle and high school, but I never minded. It’s quite a piece of literature, and for me was one of the first “grown-up-ish” books that I fell in love with.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

by Betty MacDonald

(HarperTrophy, paperback, $5.99)

Ages 7-12

I loved the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books. The idea of an omniscient grandmotherly character, who cures all ailments and provides an endless amount of fun, was very appealing to me.

My Father’s Dragon

by Ruth Stiles Gannett

(Random House, paperback, $7.95)

Ages 6-10

The first in a fantasy trilogy, My Father’s Dragon is perfect for new readers. It’s great as a read-aloud, too (my mom read it to me when I was little!).

The Penderwicks

by Jeanne Birdsall

(Yearling, paperback, $6.99)

Ages 8+

Did I mention that I love The Penderwicks??

The Tintin Books

by Hergé

(Little, Brown, paperback, $10.99)

Ages 7+

Some of my favorite memories are of my dad reading the entire Tintin series to me at bedtime. He did voices for all the characters! Little, Brown Young Readers has put out beautiful new editions of the Tintin books. Each volume has three books in it. Check them out here.

Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse

by Leo Lionni

(Dragonfly Books, paperback, $6.99)

Ages 3-5

It was very hard to choose which Lionni book to put on this list. Alexander’s story has stuck with me the most, though I also love Frederick, A Color of His Own, Geraldine, the Music Mouse, and Swimmy.

The Phantom Tollbooth

by Norton Juster

(Yearling, paperback, $6.99)

Ages 8+

This is a bizarre and wonderful book. If you’ve never read it, I suggest you do. Adults can enjoy it just as much as kids. And check out the audiobook! It’s read by David Hyde Pierce. Enough said.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

by Kate DiCamillo

(Candlewick Press, paperback, $11.99)

Ages 6-12

Oh, what a wonderful tale from master storyteller Kate DiCamillo. I will follow her anywhere.

The Harry Potter Books

by J.K. Rowling

(Scholastic, paperback, $10.99-$12.99)

Ages 8+

You didn’t think I was going to skip Harry, did you?

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