100 Picturebooks to Keep on the Shelf

With this list, the Reinberger Children’s Library Center celebrates 100 picturebooks, which we feel are exceptional pieces of work, promotes social and emotional learning, widens and enriches a child’s own character, explores the character and life of others, fosters learning and develops literacy skills.

It is always difficult to settle on a final list of 100, but this list is a good start! A great way to expand on this list is to follow the Association for Library to Children’s (ALSC) Book and Media Awards and Children’s Notable List. You can also look for books by the same author or illustrator from this list. Titles are linked to World Cat so that you can find a copy in your local library.

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis

Alma and How She Got Her Name, by Juana Martinez-Neal

Beautiful Blackbird, by Ashley Bryan

Because by Mo Willems, illustrated by Amber Ren

Ben’s Trumpet by Rachel Isadora

Big Cat, little cat by Elisha Cooper

The Blacker the Berry by Joyce Carol Thomas, illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day; Celebremos El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros by Pat Mora, Illustrated by Rafael Lopez

A Chair for My Mother by Vera B Williams

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin

The Crane Wife by Odds Bodkin, illustrated by Gennady Spirin

Crown an Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James

The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble and Steven Kellogg

The Day You Begin, by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez

A Different Pond by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui

Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots? by Carmela LaVigna Coyle and illustrated by Mike Gordon and Carl Gordon

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! By Mo Willems

The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds

Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle and Rafael Lopez

Duck on a Bike by David Shannon

Dude! By Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Dan Santat

Eloise by Kay Thompson, illustrations by Hilary Knight

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

Frederick by Leo Lionni

Freedom in Congo Square, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Carole Boston Weatherford

Freight Train by Donald Crews

Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinex-Neal

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberly

Going Down Home with Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Daniel Minter

Grandfather’s Journey, by Allen Say

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram

The Hallo Wiener, by Dav Pilkey

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham

The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster, illustrated by Chris Raschka

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, illustrated by Laura Freeman

Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho, illustrated by Holly Meade

I Love My Hair! By Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, illustrated by E. B. Lewis

If you Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff, illustrations by Felicia Bond

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Kiss the Cow by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand 

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester, illustrated by Karen Barbour

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood, illustrated Don Wood)

The Lizard and the Sun/ La Lagartija y el Sol by Alma Flor Ada, illustrated by Felipe Dávalos

Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story From China by Ed Young

Love you Forever by Robert Munsch

Lunch by Denise Fleming

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by Isabel Campoy, illustrated by Rafael Lopez

Meet Danitra Brown by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag

More More More, Said the Baby: Three Love Stories by Vera Williams

Officer Buckle & Gloria by Peggy Rathman

The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales by Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpre by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrated by Paola Escobar

Please baby, please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, illustrated and written by Javaka Steptoe

The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Stephen Gammell

Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young

Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy E Shaw illus by Margo Apple

Sitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

Snow by Uri Shulevitz

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff

Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Thank you, Omu! By Oge Mora

They All Saw a Cat, illustrated and written by Brendan Wenzel

Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel, illustrations by Blair Lent

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith

Tuesday by David Wiesner

The Undefeated, by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco, illustrated by William Nicholson

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales

When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Julie Flett

Where Are You Going? To See My Friend! by Kazuo Iwamura, illustrated by Eric Carle

Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale by Verna Aardema, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon

Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, illustrations by Ernest H. Shepard

Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Yoko’s Paper Cranes by Rosemary Wells

Zen Shorts by Jon J Muth