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Your Favorite Picture Books

By Bianca Smith • November 29, 2017

"What's your favorite picture book?"

The first stories in our lives are generally from picture books, and with good reason. Many studies show reading to children improves schooling outcomes, increases later incomes (by up to 21% - wow!), and, we think most importantly, gives beautiful childhood memories. After all, these are the first stories we learn to read alone. Picture books give us our earliest adventures before we're allowed to cross the street.

Your favorite picture books were wild and varied. Some were obscure, like Happy Birthday, Moon, which we're told is definitely not like Goodnight Moon. Animalia and Possum Magic, both very Australian, were mentioned. Along with classics like Black Beauty and Madeleine.

From the 135 different titles you love, we've made a short list. Here's some story love for us to pass to another generation. And they probably say a lot about us too.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

It's no surprise that this beautiful story of unquestioning love and giving is the favorite picture book. Did you know publishers originally rejected The Giving Tree for being too sad for children? It is a bit sad, but the tree is like a mom, always there to welcome you even if you let life get in the way.

Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendek

Maurice Sendek put a lot of himself in the character Max from Where the Wild Things Are. "I developed characters who were like me as a child, like the children I knew growing up in Brooklyn — we were wild creatures," he said in an interview. In choosing this as a favorite are we all admitting we were all little monsters sometimes?

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Or even that you want to. That's the moral of The Story of Ferdinand: the strongest bull, who loves to sit and enjoy the flowers. A good lesson for us all. Fun fact: Ferdinand is an upcoming feature-length animation based on the book.

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

So many classics on the list. The Velveteen Rabbit is delightfully cute; who didn't want their toys to become real? All they needed was a little more love. The bonus of The Velveteen Rabbit is the snapshot of 1920 healthcare. I'm sure the idea of burning all our toys was a little traumatic for us all. But you still love the book.

Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray

We loved the annotation on one of the votes for this: "No joke!!!" We're totally there with you. Walter the Farting Dog is hilarious, for both kids and adults. For those who prefer more well-mannered books, Walter can't help it. He has gas. Father says he must return to the pound. However, the night before leaving, Walter got his chance to be a hero.

Read more by Bianca Smith

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