Top 10 Children’s Books for 2011

Are you READ-y? It’s Breezy Mama’s third annual Top 10 Children’s Books! If only you could see how excited I am that the time has come… and surprised! In the last couple of years old school favorites made the cut, but this year is a whole new batch. Per years past, I cross-referenced best seller lists (The New York Times, Amazon, Borders, Chronicle Books, Hatchette & Little Brown Books) and also added my own healthy dose of personal opinion after testing them out on my little literary lovers… all five of ’em. May you also enjoy what’s in STORE-y for you.

10. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
by Sherri Duskey Rinker, Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
As the sun sets behind the big construction site, all the hardworking trucks get ready to say goodnight. One by one, Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, and Excavator finish their work and lie down to rest—so they’ll be ready for another day of rough and tough construction play!
For Amazon’s price of $11.55 (vs. $16.99) — click here!

9. Me . . . Jane
by Patrick McDonnell
In his characteristic heartwarming style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of the young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of “a life living with and helping all animals,” until one day she finds that her dream has come true.
To purchase from Amazon for $9.40 (vs. $15.99) — click here!

8. Press Here
by Herve Tullet
Tullet’s brilliant creation proves that books need not lose out to electronic wizardry; his colorful dots perform every bit as engagingly as any on the screen of an iPad. “Ready?” the voiceover-style narration asks on the first page; it shows a yellow dot on a plain white background. “Press here and turn the page,” it instructs. When the page is turned, there’s a second yellow dot beside the first one. “Great!” it says. “Now press the yellow dot again.” A third yellow dot appears beside the first two. “Perfect,” the narrator continues. “Rub the dot on the left… gently.” On the next page, voila!—that dot is now red. “Well done!” the book congratulates. The fun continues as the dots proliferate, travel around the page, grow and shrink in response to commands to clap, shake, or tilt the book, etc. The joy is in the tacit agreement between artist and reader that what’s happening is magic.
To purchase from Amazon for $8.82 (vs. $14.99) — click here!

7. Look! A Book!
by Bob Staake
It is a good thing that the publisher chose to make this book with a glossy, sturdy cardboardlike paper because sticky little hands will be giving it a real workout. What little text there is offers a rhyming clue for readers to figure out before they set off to hunt for the answer in the picture. “Bubbles! Bubbles! In the sea! AGUA-GOOFY JUBILEE!/Search to find the honeybee!” The pages are bursting with colorful and wacky things to find, and children will pore over the pictures searching for the vampire cape, the squawking crow, or the swirled ice cream. What fun to hunt and hunt and be able to say, “Here it is!”
To purchase from Amazon for $11.55 (vs. $16.99) — click here!

6. In My Forest
by Sara Gillingham, Illustrated by Lorena Siminovich
Turn the colorful die-cut pages of this irresistible board book to discover just what makes little deer’s forest so cozy. Is it the fluffy snow? No, it’s their loving families! Bright pictures, sweet reassuring messages, unique layered pages, and an adorable finger puppet combine to create interactive reading and playtime fun!
To purchase from Amazon for $8.99 — click here!

5. Chamelia
by Ethan Long
Meet Chamelia! Chamelia is a chameleon. Most chameleons like to blend in, but Chamelia prefers to stand out. She just loves being the center of attention. But when standing out means being left out, can Chamelia learn to share the spotlight?
To purchase from Amazon for $11.55 (vs. $16.99) — click here!

4. LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary
by Simon Beecroft
Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, and more are brought to life with
dozens of little-known facts and hundreds of photos, as are accessories, vehicles, weapons,
and even the Death Star! Learn about the history, manufacture, and construction of the
minifigures of the Star Wars galaxy, and come away a LEGO® Jedi Master.

To purchase from Amazon for $13.19 (vs. $21.99) — click here!

3. Charlie the Ranch Dog
by Ree Drummond, Illustrated by Diane Degroat
Meet Charlie. He’s a ranch dog. Breakfast is his life, especially when bacon is involved. Charlie has dangly ears, floppy skin, and big fat paws. And he loves living in the country. That’s because he works like a dog…fixing fences, gardening, and helping his family out on the range. Yep, it’s all work, all the time for Charlie the ranch dog. In fact, he’s probably working right now… Zzzzzzz…. A ranch dog’s work is never done!
To purchase from Amazon for $9.34 (vs. $16.99) — click here!

2. A Sick Day for Amos McGee
by Philip C. Stead, Illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor.
To purchase from Amazon for $10.19 (vs. $16.99) — click here!

1. The Very Fairy Princess Takes the Stage
by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton, Illustrated by Christine Davenier
Everyone’s favorite fairy princess is back and just in time for her ballet recital in this new picture book addition to the Julie Andrews Collection. At first, when Gerry is cast as the Court Jester and not the Crystal Princess, she is dismayed — nothing is pink and no one can see her crown under her silly jester hat! But just as the recital looks like it’s headed for disaster, our ever-energetic very fairy princess swoops in to save the day!
To purchase from Amazon for $9.34 (vs. $16.99) — click here!

Get Breezy Mama’s 2010 picks — click here!

Get Breezy Mama’s 2009 picks — click here!

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  1. Victoria says

    Thanks for the list! My favorite book of all time is Some Dogs Do by Jez Alborough. I buy a stock at Amazon and give them out for birthday gifts. Time to buy some more. Lila’s bday is just around the corner. 🙂

  2. I’m so honored to have made your top 10!

    Sherri Duskey Rinker, Author
    Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

  3. Victoria – I can’t wait to check it out!
    Sherri – so glad you found our picks and thank you for writing such a sweet book!


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