Build a Bookstore: Picture Books (Fiction & Non-Fiction)

Alison Morris - December 3, 2008

It’s day three of "Build a Bookstore" week! So far we’ve tackled the challenge of naming five young adult books and five middle grade books no self-respecting bookstore should be without. Today your task (and mine!) is to list UP TO FIVE PICTURE BOOKS (fiction and/or non-fiction!) for lower elementary and/or preschool that you believe should appear on every bookstore’s shelves. Once again, you are welcome to repeat the suggestions of others (thereby giving an additional "vote" to those repeated titles).

I expect there to be a LOT of variation in today’s lists plus a lot of "classics," so that makes even more exruciating for me to limit my own list to JUST five… (What if the others I love don’t get mentioned here??) But so be it. Here, with much grimacing on my part, are FIVE picture books that I think no self-respecting bookstore should be without:

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small

Okay, that hurt.

Now it’s your turn. Up to FIVE picture books. Have fun.

(On deck for the remainder of this week: books for babies and toddlers tomorrow, books for adults on Friday!)

27 thoughts on “Build a Bookstore: Picture Books (Fiction & Non-Fiction)

  1. Anna M Lewis

    Because I HAVE TO stand up for art and non-fiction picture books: FRIDA by Jonah Winter ART IS… by Bob Raczka SEEN ART? by Jon Sciezka and Lane Smith THE DOT by Peter H. Reynolds ART UP CLOSE by Claire d’Harcourt

  2. Julianne Daggett

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Rainbow Fish, Fancy Nancy, Dr. Suess, and Where the Wild Things Are. Also, if there’s going to be a post on adult books on Friday, could there be a post on graphic novels on Saturday? Because what bookstore would be complete without a graphic novel section nowadays?

  3. Carin Siegfried

    *just want to be sure you all know Blueberries for Sal is currently OSI My five books: Story of Ferdinand, Babies by Fujikawa, Bread and Jam for Frances, The Little Brute Family, and Madeline

  4. Boni Ashburn

    Only FIVE?! This is really harsh, Alison… Diary Of A Wombat by Jackie French, Bark George by Jules Feiffer, Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus by Mo Willems, The Stinky Cheese Man by Jon Scieszka and Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.

  5. Pat Zietlow Miller

    Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst; Chicken Soup With Rice, by Maurice Sendak; Owen, by Kevin Henkes; Owl Babies, by Martin Waddell; When Agnes Caws, by Candace Fleming.

  6. jo

    Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Winnie-the-Pooh by Milne, A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams, Mr. Gumpy’s Outing by John Burmingham, Helen Oxenbury’s Alice in Wonderland, and of course a beautifully illsurtated Grimm’s Fairy Tale!! Okay, I simply could not limit my list to five.

  7. Mike Jung

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Mr. Lunch Borrows a Canoe by Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Siebold, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.

  8. Lee Byrd

    What happens if you want to build a bookstore along the U.S. Mexico border? You’ve got to have La Llorona, The Weekping Woman by Joe Hayes; Lucha Libre and Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid by Xavier Garza; Si se Puede by Diane Cohn; and Perfect Season for DReaming by Ben Saenz.

  9. Mary

    Words Are Like Faces by Edith Baer, Too Many Pears! by Jackie French, My Big Brother by Miriam Cohen, Alicia’s Happy Day by Meg Starr, Read To Me by Judi Moreillon – Star Bright Books

  10. Bookseller Jane

    The Story of Ferdinand by Leaf, Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes, Where’s My Teddy? by Alborough, Caps for Sale by Slobodkina, and We’re going on a Bear Hunt by Rosen.

  11. Sarah

    Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, Snow by Uri Schulevits, Mr.Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham, The Gardener by Sarah and David Stewart, One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey

  12. Alisa Gaston-Linn

    I’m always drawn to the illustrations first, then if the text is great, I’ll buy the book: The Sea Serpent and Me, Dashka Slater and Catia Chien Agate: What Good is a Moose, Joy Morgan Dey and Nikki Johnson Ugly Fish, Kara LaReau and Scott Magoon The Gift of Nothing, Patrick McDonnell The Dangerous Alphabet, Neil Gaiman and Gris Grimly

  13. DM

    Going purely by the # of times my oldest asked for these when he was little: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, I Stink, Knuffle Bunny (“Trixie went boneless” is a favorite line in our house), Green Eggs and Ham, Thomas classics.

  14. Caitlin

    It is a shame to limit the list to classics–although of course they are wonderful. How about taking a look at a new series written by a pediatrician to help kids and parents cope with being sick? Check out The Little Elephant with the Big Earache, Katie Caught a Cold, Peeper has a Fever, Sadie’s Sore Throat. These are my kids favorites even when they are well!


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