The Best Baby Books:
A Treasury of Ideas
For Writers & Readers

This list of best selling books and the best baby books is the product of an extensive survey into infants' development and "reading" preferences. It is a useful guide if you're looking for great reads for babies, or help in writing a book.

If you'd like to write for children, we hope a study of the bestsellers listed below will help you gain insights into what makes a story a favorite with readers, and perhaps spark off your own original ideas for writing a book kids will love.

Happy Reading!

Best Baby Books #1: Books About Animals

List of Best Selling Books & Approximate Sales Figures
Beatrix Potter: Peter Rabbit series (150 million): The Tale of Peter Rabbit (45 million); The Tale of Benjamin Bunny (over 4 million); The Tale of Jemima PUddle-Duck (over 3.8 million); The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin (over 3 million); The Tale of Tom Kitten (over 3 million); The Story of Miss Moppet; The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher
Norman Bridwell: Clifford the Big Red Dog series (110 million)
Eric Carle: The Very Hungry Caterpillar (22 million); The Very Busy Spider (over 1 million); Will You Be My Friend?; The Very Quiet Cricket (1.4 million); and Have You Seen My Cat?
Sam McBratney: Guess How Much I Love You (15 million)
Janette Sebring Lowrey: The Poky Little Puppy (15 million)
Kathryn and Byron Jackson: Saggy Baggy Elephant (7.5 million)
Marcus Pfister: The Rainbow Fish (over 4 million)
Margaret Wise Brown: Runaway Bunny (4 million)
Robert McCloskey: Make Way for Ducklings (Caldecott Medal; 3 million)
Ole Risom: I Am a Bunny (over 2 million)
Eric Hill: Where's Spot? (1.2 million) and sequels
Kathryn Jackson: Tawny Scrawny Lion (over 1 million)
Gyo Fujikawa: Baby Animals So Tall Board Book (800,000)

Best Baby Books
Rod Campbell: Dear Zoo
Eric Carle: Have You Seen My Cat?; Will You Be My Friend?; 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo; Rooster's Off to See the World
Nancy Carlstrom: Jesse Bear, What Will YOu Wear? and Jesse Bear's Tum-Tum Tickle
Cressida Cowell: What Shall We Do with the Boo-Hoo Baby?
Joyce Dunbar: Four Fierce Kittens
Deborah Guarino: Is Your Mama a Llama?

Best Baby Books #2: Bedtime Stories

List of Best Selling Books & Approximate Sales Figures
Sam McBratney: Guess How Much I Love You (15 million)
Margaret Wise Brown: Goodnight Moon (over 10 million); The Runaway Bunny (4 million)
Robert Munsch: Love You Forever (over 8 million)
Watty Piper: Little Engine That Could (over 5 million)
Don Freeman: Corduroy (2.5 million)
Sandra Boynton: The Going-to-Bed Book (1.4 million)
Debra Frasier: On the Day You Were Born (over 1 million)

Popular Baby Book List
Sandra Boynton: Snuggle Puppy
Mem Fox: Time for Bed
Anne Gutman: Daddy Kisses and Mommy Hugs
Barbara Joosse: Mama, Do You Love Me?
Virginia Miller: I Love You Just the Way You Are
Lauren Thompson: Little Quack's Bedtime
Nancy Tillman: On the Night You Were Born

Best Baby Books #3: Nursery Rhymes & Rhyming Songs

List of Best Selling Books & Approximate Sales Figures
Margaret Wise Brown: Goodnight Moon (over 10 million)
Dr Seuss: Green Eggs and Ham (over 8 million); The Cat in the Hat (over 7.2 million); One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (over 6 million); Hop on Pop (5.5 million); Oh, the Places You'll Go! (over 5 million); Fox in Socks (3.7 million); and Mr Brown Can Moo! Can You? (over 2.65 million)
Bill Martin and John Archambault: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (over 850,000)

Good Books for Babies
Marc Brown: Finger Rhymes; Hand Rhymes; Play Rhymes
Kay Chorao: Knock at the Door and Other Baby Action Rhymes
Bruce Degen: Jamberry
Mem Fox: Time for Bed
Lenny Hort: The Seals on the Bus
Ezra Jack Keats: Over in the Meadow
Edward Lear: The Owl and the Pussycat
Sylvia Long: Hush Little Baby
Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Charlotte Pomerantz: The Piggy in the Puddle
Jack Prelutsky: Ride a Purple Pelican
Raffi: Down by the Bay
Chris Raschka: Charlie Parker Played Be Bop
Michael Rosen: We're Going On a Bear Hunt!
Nadine Bernard Westcott: The Lady with the Alligator Purse; Peanut Butter and Jelly: A Play Rhyme

Best Baby Books #4: Favorite Funny Stories & Funny Poems

List of Best Selling Books & Approximate Sales Figures
PD Eastman: Go, Dog. Go! (3.5 million)
Laura Numeroff: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (1.8 million); If You Give a Moose a Muffin (1.15 million); and If You Give a Pig a Pancake (0.9 million)
Sandra Boynton: Moo, Baa, La La La (over 1.5 million); Barnyard Dance! (1.15 million); But Not the Hippopotamus

Best Baby Books
June Crebbin: Cows in the Kitchen
Alexandra Day: Good Dog, Carl
Vivian French: Oh No, Anna!
Bill Grossman: My Little Sister Ate One Hare
Pat Hutchins: Rosie's Walk

Best Baby Books #5: Best Seller Books About Vehicles

WV Awdry and Christopher Awdry: Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends series (90 million)
Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go (1.7 million); Cars and Trucks from A to Z (800,000)
Peter Spier: Big Trucks, Little Trucks; Fast Cars, Slow Cars; Here Come the Fire Trucks; Trucks that Dig and Dump
Byron Barton: Boats; Planes; Trains; Trucks; My Car; Airport; I Want to be an Astronaut
Donald Crews: Truck; Freight Train; Inside Freight Train; School Bus
Thacher Hurd: Zoom City
Philemon Sturges: I Love Trains!
Dan Yaccarino: Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! I'm Off to the Moon!

Best Baby Books #6: Picture Books for Babies & Interactive Children's Books

List of Best Selling Books & Approximate Sales Figures
Dorothy Kunhardt: Pat the Bunny, Golden Books, 2001 (over 7.5 million)
Eric Hill: Where's Spot?, 1980, PUtnam (1.2 million)
Debra Frasier: On the Day You Were Born, Harcourt Children's Books, 1991 (over 1 million)
Paul Zelinsky: The Wheels on the Bus, Dutton 1990 (800,000)
Gyo Fujikawa: Babies So Tall Board Book, 1963, Grosset & Dunlap (1 million)
Matthew Van Fleet: Fuzzy Yellow Duckling, 1995, Dial (over 850,000)

Popular Interactive Stories & Educational Books for Babies
Janet and Allan Ahlberg: Baby Sleeps; Blue Buggy; Doll and Teddy; See the Rabbit: all 1998, Little, Brown
Jez Alborough: Hug, 2000, Candlewick
Molly Bang: Ten, Nine, Eight, 1983, Tupelo; Yellow Ball, 1991, Greenwillow
Clare Beaton: Mother Goose Remembers, 2000, Barefoot Books
John Burningham: Hushabye, 2001, Knopf, and Mr Gumpy's Outing, 1971, Henry Holt
Eric Carle: From Head to Toe, 1997, HarperCollins
David Carter: If You're Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands, 1997, Scholastic
Alexandra Day: Good Dog, Carl, 1985, Aladdin
Elizabeth Hathon: Oh, Baby!: A Touch-and-Feel Book, 1999, Grosset & Dunlap

Want to Write for Children? Here's the Place to Be!

Children's Book Insider newsletter

For more insights and ideas on writing the best baby books, go to Creative Writing Ideas: Bright Ideas for Babies' Books

For creative writing ideas to help you write best-loved stories for children, go to How to Write Stories Kids and Teens Want to Read

Return from Best Baby Books to Creative Writing Resources: Top Kids' Books

Return from Best Baby Books to Creative Writing: Write to Win Hearts

Acknowledgments: Publishers Weekly; Wikipedia; Barnes & Noble;; Books Children Love by Elizabeth Wilson, Crossway Books, 2002; Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt, Zondervan 2002; The New York Times' Parent's Guide to the Best Books for Children, 3rd Edition, Three Rivers Press, 2000; Great Books for Babies and Toddlers by Kathleen Odean, Ballantine Books, 2003; Little Golden Books by Steve Santi, Krause, 2006. Also, to all who have contributed reviews, information and advice, Thank You!

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