12 Feb
Posted in: reading
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15 Underrated Children’s Books

15 underrated children's books

I can’t be trusted in a used bookstore with a children’s book section. I’ve been known to go into a used book store to look for a book and come out with 35 books, minus the one I was searching for. My obsession with children’s books has forced me to make lists of books we already own to keep me from duplicating books. We have several children’s book series we collect (Berenstain Bears, Little Critter, Franklin the Turtle, Fancy Nancy, Angelina Ballerina, Curious George, etc.) A chunk of those books are from my husband’s childhood. I hope to pass on our book collection to our grandchildren. That’s if I can part with them.

I live in a community where it’s easy to find used books at reasonable, dare I say cheap, prices. It’s hard to pass up a good quality book for $1. When I was pregnant, 12 years ago, with our oldest son, we decided we would have an abundance of books in the house available for our children. It’s difficult to learn to love something you rarely come in contact with. We have children’s books, along with juvenile and young adult books, stashed in almost every room of our home. I believe one of the reasons our children are good readers and enjoy reading is because books are part of the makeup of our home.

Among the stacks and shelves we own of well-known books are lesser-known books I tend to thrust upon anyone who asks for a children’s book recommendation. I struggled, along with my husband, to narrow my list of underrated children’s books to 15. The following books have been read repeatedly, 100s of times. They’re the books we’ll forget about for a time, find on a shelf and feel as if we’ve rediscovered a lost friend. I have so many mental snapshots of each of my children in my lap or next to me while we enjoyed each of these books. My older boys still pull their favorite children’s books from the shelves, curl up on the couch and read to themselves. I couldn’t bring myself to rank the list, so it’s alphabetical. Two of my choices (Little Pea and Enemy Pie) are ranked in the top 10,000 of books purchased on Amazon. The rest are ranked nowhere near that high. In one case, Bunny Bungalow, the book is out-of-print. Our copy was bought at a public library discard sale. It’s one I continually look for to purchase again.

15 Underrated Children’s Books

  1. A Bad Case of Stripes — David Shannon
  2. Bunny Bungalow — Cynthia Rylant
  3. Dex: The Heart of a Hero — Caralyn Buehner
  4. Doctor De Soto — William Steig
  5. Enemy Pie — Derek Munson
  6. The Giant Hug — Sandra Horning
  7. Imogene’s Antlers — David Small
  8. Little Pea — Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  9. Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! — Candace Fleming
  10. Officer Buckle & Gloria — Peggy Rathmann
  11. Parts — Tedd Arnold
  12. Please Try to Remember the First of Octember! — Dr. Seuss (writing as Theo LeSieg)
  13. Scranimals — Jack Prelutsky
  14. Walter the Baker — Eric Carle
  15. When Dinosaurs Came with Everything — Elise Broach


“A house without books is like a room without windows.”  — Heinrich Mann


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