If you could only have ONE children’s picture book…

…I’d highly suggest it be this one:

selected by Janet Schulman

We just bought this book used from Amazon for $4.00 shipped.  It was possibly the very best $4.00 I’ve ever spent.

To be honest, I am not usually a fan of compilations; however, I am absolutely AMAZED at the titles this one book contains!  

The 20th Century Children’s Book Treasury has 44 classic and “future classic” storybooks in it, complete with original illustrations.  I am absolutely stunned at the number of STELLAR titles and authors in this one book!

Don’t believe me?  See for yourself!  

  1. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  2. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault
  3. Swimmy by Leo Lionni
  4. A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
  5. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  6. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  7. “The Letter” from Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel
  8. Freight Train by Donald Crews
  9. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
  10. A Million Fish…More or Less by Patricia C. McKissack
  11. A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog by Mercer Mayer
  12. Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag
  13. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
  14. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
  15. Curious George by H. A. Rey
  16. I Hear, I See, I Touch by Helen Oxenbury
  17. Miss Nelson is Missing! by Harry Allard
  18. Titch by Pat Hutchins
  19. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  20. “The Cat Club” from Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averill
  21. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
  22. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
  23. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
  24. Stevie by John Steptoe
  25. The Tub People by Pam Conrad
  26. “In Which Pooh Goes Visiting and Gets into a Tight Place” from Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
  27. Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban
  28. “The Stinky Cheese Man” from The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka
  29. The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff
  30. The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  31. “The Elves in the Shelves” from A Necklace of Raindrops by Joan Aiken
  32. Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang
  33. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
  34. D.W. the Picky Eater by Marc Brown
  35. Petunia by Roger Duvoisin
  36. First Tomato by Rosemary Wells
  37. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
  38. I Am a Bunny by Ole Risom
  39. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
  40. Whose Mouse Are You? by Robert Kraus
  41. Owen by Kevin Henkes
  42. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
  43. “The Sneetches” from The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss
  44. The Story of Little Babaji by Helen Bannerman
The stories are even color-coded red, blue, or green:
  • Red stories are for the youngest child.  They’re often called “see and say” books, in which the reader helps the toddler learn the names of objects and animals by pointing to the pictures and saying what they are called.  
  • Blue stories are the next step up and are true preschool story books.  They are narrative stories with few (sometimes no) words and many pictures.  
  • Green stories are longer stories told primarily with words; they often require a greater attention span or a range of experience most frequently found in children over five years of age.
Of course the color codes are just a guide.  If you read with your child often, “you will soon become your own best judge of which stories are right for your child now and which ones your child will grow into.”  Lots of the stories color-coded 5+ are already familiar favorites of my 2- and 3-year-olds. 

Other things I like about this book?

The book is large enough for the pictures to be easily viewed when reading to multiple kids, but it doesn’t seem cumbersome to hold at all.  

I love that I can grab ONE book during a “reading marathon” or right before bedtime and read LOTS of quality stories to my children.  

This is the perfect book to use when traveling — one book, TONS of great stories! 🙂

Some of the titles in this book are part of the Five in a Row program!

I really cannot say enough great things about this book.  We own lots of the stories contained in this book already, but it’s still nice having them in one convenient location.  Of course, if you don’t already own them, this book can save you LOTS of money since you don’t need to buy 44 books, just this one. 🙂

Love, love, love, love it! <3

Do you see any of your favorite titles or authors in the list?

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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • I agree. This is one book every home should have for young children.

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