"This book has beautiful illustrations and the words are just about perfect. There is nothing cloying or babyish about the text, and the language is spare yet evocative. It's easy to see why this won the Caldecott and is still so popular 50 years later."
"This was the first book that made our son laugh out loud (the page where the light clicks back on). The illustrations are simple but nevertheless stuffed with great details you probably won't notice the first time through -- for example, keep your eye on the balloon."
"The illustrations are ingenious, turning this nonsense lullaby into something that actually makes sense. The increasingly exhausted expressions on the parents' faces -- as they try to get their baby to stop crying -- are hilarious. (Other great aspects of the book include a sibling rivalry and a lot of background historical detail.)"
"What a great book. The zoo sends animal after animal in boxes of various sizes, and one animal after another gets rejected as a potential pet. At age one, it's fun to lift the flaps on the boxes. At age two, it's fun to figure out which animal is hidden in which box, and to memorize the reason each animal is nixed (until the final surprise)."
"This book provides a series of amusing takes on what was, for our son, a subject of intense interest -- crying. When reading with toddlers, it's fun to ask why the baby is sad (or happy) in each particular frame."
"I love this book's flat, bright graphic style, which was an immediate hit with our son. There are no words, but there is plenty to talk about as the truck makes a cross-country delivery (from, by the looks of things, New York to San Francisco)."
"Cute pictures and a two-track text. One line describes the bus stop (hospital, junk yard, movie set...); another asks you to spot a particular detail. For a baby, it's enough to find the bus. Later, you can play "I spy" with the book's questions and your own. For city dwellers, it's nice to have a book on an everyday sight (with all due respect to farms and wildlife)."
"This board book edition has a condensed text, but I think it winds up being better than the original. The full version takes the conceit and beats it to death. This edited version presents just the right number of sounds, with a grand finale that is really fun to read."
"The Little Chick turns out to be a foreign language specialist. The text gives you (and your child) a chance to really ham it up, and the illustrations (vinyl engravings, wood textures, and watercolor) are gorgeous."
"All of Carle's books eventually blur together. Beautiful as they are, it's just one animal after another. But I think "Hungry Caterpillar" stands out as his best -- it features a character who, unlike most Carle animals, has a bit of personality ... a little guy who eats himself sick (for a good cause)."
"Honorable mention (#11): This book must have been the inspiration for "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus." Both "Monster" and "Pigeon" keep telling your kid to do something, and your kid keeps doing the opposite. A first subtext!"