Best children's picture books of all time

Best children's picture books of all time

We made a list of the twenty best children's picture books of all time and where to buy them online in Canada. These classic children's books are great to read before bed but are also excellent keepsakes so we've included both the cheapest paperback version, as well as special limited editions and fun add-ons.

Truth be told, there are almost too many to choose from, but any of these classics are pretty much the perfect addition to any child's library. Check them out!

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Where the Wild Things Are @ Book Depository
Where the Wild Things Are @ Chapters
Where the Wild Things Are @
Where the Wild Things Are (Hard Cover) @ Book Depository

I love the little extras you can buy with this for a really special gift, like this Max Plush Toy and Sticker Book, these cute wooden "Where the Wild Things Are" baby blocks, notebook, or a Where the Wild Things Are Calendar. There are so many adorable Etsy creations, it's easy to make the perfect gift! It didn't quite make the list, but another Maurice Sendak classic that definitely deserves honourable mention is In The Night Kitchen.

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Moon

Goodnight Moon @
Goodnight Moon @ Chapters
Goodnight Moon @ Book Outlet
Goodnight Moon @
Goodnight Moon @ Book Depository

This is probably one of the best books for newborns and with its recent 70th anniversary, there are special editions and new novelty add-ons available. My faves are the Goodnight Moon Soft Plush Bunny Night Light, the Goodnight Moon Bean Bag Bunny, and the Goodnight Moon Soft Book. Book Depository also sells a special Baby's Gift collection that includes both Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny for $19.79. If you want a cheeky updated version, there's also "Goodnight iPad" by Ann Droyd.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Giving Tree @ Book Depository
The Giving Tree @
The Giving Tree @ Chapters

Recently celebrating it's fiftieth anniversary, The Giving Tree is available in a special edition version with a crisp metallic green jacket and a CD recording of Shel Silverstein reading the story itself. Chapters also sells a beautiful slipcase mini edition for $16.64 that would make a beautiful gift. I also have to add that I was able to find the Shel Silverstein Box Set, which includes Falling Up, A Light in the Attic, and Where the Sidewalk Ends for $62.32 on (the same one is over $250 on Amazon!).

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carlyle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar @
The Very Hungry Caterpillar @ Chapters
The Very Hungry Caterpillar @ Bed Bath & Beyond

What kind of a list would this be without The Very Hungry Caterpillar! The coolest extras are the Very Hungry Caterpillar Backpack ($29.99 @ Best Buy), are the Caterpillar Board book and Ornament Set ($21.70 @ Chapters), the Caterpillar Board book and Plush Caterpillar ($22.64 @ Chapters), you can also get the Caterpillar Large Plush toy ($29.95 @ Chapters), the Very Hungry Caterpillar Colouring Book ($6.99 @ Chapters). Seriously, they even make a Hungry Caterpillar Cupcake Kit and Lacing Cards!

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo @ Chapters
The Gruffalo @
The Gruffalo @ Book Outlet
The Gruffalo @ Book Depository

Having sold over 13 million copies since it hit the shelves in 1999, the Gruffalo was an instant classic. There's a whole slew of little bitty extras that go along with the Gruffalo like the Gruffalo Book & Toy Set ($21.28 @ Chapters), Gruffalo 8" Hand Puppet ($29.95 @ Chapters), Mini Hardback Gruffalo Gift Edition ($12.10 @ Chapters), they even have a baby and toddler series called My First Gruffalo Little Library ($9.99 @ Chapters), a Gruffalo Party Pack ($35.88 @ Amazon), a Gruffalo Card Game ($22 @ Amazon), a Gruffalo and Friends Activity Case ($22.99 @ Chapters), and a Gruffalo Lunch Box ($21.95 @

Curious George by H. A. Rey

Curious George Story Book Collection @ Chapters
Curious George Story Book Collection @
Curious George Classic Collection @
Curious George Around Town Boxed Set @
Curious George Classic Collection @ Chapters

What would this list be without Curious George? There's a Curious George plush toy ($16.40 @, Curious George Tin Keepsake Box ($13.99 @, Curious George Floppy Plush Doll ($22.50 @, Curious George Car ($13.99 @ and the Curious George Jack in the Box ($31.15 @

The list goes on! Check out the rest of our children's picture book picks:

The Snow Day by Ezra Jack Keats @
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch @
Corduroy by Don Freeman @
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon @
Ferdinand by Munro Leaf @ Chapters
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams @ Book Outlet
Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi @ Chapters
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffee Numeroff @ Chapters
The Stinky Cheese Man by Job Scieszka @
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka @
Olivia by Ian Falconer @
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss @
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson @

It’s an amazing accomplishment to have a book in print and part of generations of baby libraries for so long. My parents read them to me when I was a kid and now I read them to my kids. My personal favourite is Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. I cry uncontrollably every time I read it. In fact, it’s one of the bestselling children’s picture books of all time.

I have a nephew who is due next month and I love buying books for babies. Now that my kids are in grade school, I feel a little out of the loop when it comes to picture books for children.

Do you have a favourite children's picture book? If you were starting a library for a baby, what books would you put on the shelves? I’d love your recommendations!


Reply to
  • laceytracy

    I received "Hugs" by Robert Munsch as a gift when I had my baby girl. It's a bit repetitive but it's a nice short read and my little one likes it too. :)

    • erinlsilver

      I haven't read this or Little Blue Truck. I'll check them out. Thank you!

    • triciawithmonat

      Little Blue Truck is so fun to read and my 2 year old wants to read it twice a night.

      • sue1907

        Are you My Mother?

        • erinlsilver