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!

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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; Amazon.com; 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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