Any "best" list is immediately open to question. One titled " best books for children" is particularly vulnerable. One has to consider ages, gender, reading interests, and reading ability of the readers covered. Also to be considered is how much the "lister" knows about children and childrens' books. Any two people can put together a list of the best, and those lists would be very different. With all that in mind, here's my list of the best childrens' books ever. Since these are all picture books, it cannot be compared to Kristof's list which contains books for older readers.
1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, 1963. A misbehaving child, monsters, and a mother's love--great fantasy (and I don't like fantasy) .
2. The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter, 1902. Yes, this is old and British; however, it is the best-selling children's book of all time. A mischievous rabbit escapes all kinds of dangers only to be stopped by camomile tea and a stern mother.
3. Goodnight, Moon, Margaret Wise Brown, 1967. A perfect bedtime story with rhyming words and bright colors.
4. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Bill Martin, 1967. Rollicking, rhyming, responsive fun.
5. Llama, Llama Red Pajama, Anna Dewdney, 2005. A newer and funnier entry into the bedtime story list.
6. Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, Kevin Henkes, 1996. Wonderful picture of a vibrant, young school girl and a terrific teacher.
7. Koala Lou, Mem Fox, 1988. An outback tale of familial love.
8. The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats, 1962. One of the first books featuring an African American child--satisfying and
9. The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss, 1957. I am not a fan of Seuss, but he singlehandedly changed the world of the
easy reader genre with this one and buried Dick, Jane, Sally, Puff and Spot.
10. Strega Nona, Tomie DePaola, 1975. a magical cooking pot and poor listening skills bring chaos.
So there it is. I will probably want to change it tomorrow. Later is a list that would compare to Kristof's.