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100 Best Books for Children Hardcover


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Big Spring Books
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Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618278893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618278893
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #678,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Divided into age groups, Silvey lists classics old and new, from Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd's Goodnight Moon to Virginia Hamilton's The People Could Fly to Louis Sachar's novel Holes," wrote PW. All ages. (Aug.)Note: We have additional Children's Books Reviews at www.publishersweekly.com. Click "Web Exclusives" to get to "Review Annex."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

What makes a book a classic? Silvey, a longtime children's book specialist and literature lover, addresses that question in order to identify books that represent a "basic literary heritage." The result is a highly select list of 100 titles published from 1902 to 2002. These are titles that have been or likely will be enjoyed by children for generations: "The canon of children's books remains the best gift we could ever give our children." And the short essays that introduce this canon are likely to engage adults in surprising ways. There is, of course, a brief synopsis of each book's content plus information about the creation or creator of the book. Written in a conversational tone, these stories "behind the story" provide insight, humor, and passion for the books presented. Additional titles are presented in "Beyond the 100 Best," organized by age (birth through age 12) and also by genre. An extensive bibliography of adult references provides not only documentation but also allows for follow-up by those interested. Silvey notes that a reader's response to a book is part of its story, hence the inclusion of a section entitled "Reading Journal." Altogether, this is a highly useful book for anyone who is interested in the best of children's literature and the fascinating tales behind these books. - Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at Washington DC Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

The stories behind the stories are so interesting!
Linda J. Rosenfield
I think anyone who loves children literature would enjoy this book simply for all the background information it contains.
Kind Bean
The best part is the sections in which she recommends the books is entertaining.
Tom Patterson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Emily K. Paster on May 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book makes a fun gift for new parents, who sometimes need to be reminded about the classics from their childhood, as well to learn about the books published since they were kids. Like anyone who is passionate about children's literature, I have my own opinions about the books that should be listed in the top 100 and I disagree with some of the author's selections. But, I think the real value of this book is the short essays about the background behind the classic children's books we know and love. I didn't know, for example, that Ezra Jack Keats's "The Snowy Day" was controversial when it was published for his use of an African-American protagonist. So, my recommendation of this book is based less on its function as a list and more as interesting background for people interested in children's lit.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As a former bookseller and librarian, I was often asked by confused parents and grandparents for book suggestions for children of a particular age. This wonderful book belongs on every family's bookshelf, not only because it will suggest the next good book to read, but because it gives a tantalizing look at the stories behind each book--and that always makes reading more fun. You're sure to find your own favorites here, as well as books you haven't come across. Even if you've read every one of these books, you'll enjoy the chatty tone of the book descriptions. I couldn't put the book down!
Looking for a book to give a new parent? A new grandparent? Think of this gift first--because you're expressing the importance of reading for another family. More importantly, buy it for yourself ... and enjoy!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
When I first saw this book, I was expecting a list and not much more. But the depth and research that went in to this book is extraordinary! Anita Silvey even knew most of the authors and illustrators for these books personally - you can't get much closer to the sources than that! A delight to read, and full of insightful, delightful historical information and personalized anecdotes, this book would be a perfect addition to anyone's bookshelf, no matter what age!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book operates on many levels, in ways that I had not initially expected. Althought not a parent, I dearly love to buy books as presents for the various children in my life. Thus I bought this book to help me find suitable books to give for Christmas, birthdays, etc. The minute I started to read this book(which is full of charming anecdotes and history about the writing and illustrating of many childhood favorites, as well as about a number of more contemporary books with which I was not familiar), I realized what a wonderful resource it would be for new parents. I have now given it to 3 friends/family members with children, as well as to another friend who is halfway through writing and illustrating her first children's book. Finally, as an aging "baby boomer" myself, I can enjoy reading it to wax nostalgic over my own favorite childhood books. All in all, a very satisfying book, for a variety of reasons. Enjoy it!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a delightful book, filled with treasures for the reader, be s/he parent, librarian, writer, or fan of children's literature. Through lots of research and her extensive knowledge of the field, Silvey relates the stories and anecdotes behind some of the greatest books of our time. Readers will discover that Robert McCloskey fed ducks wine so he could sketch them for MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS, that Brian Jacques of REDWALL fame went to the same school as Paul McCartney and George Harrison, and that THE STORY OF FERDINAND was censored by Franco and Hitler--but accused of promoting fascism in the US.
Here also are wonderful details of how much work, creative and editorial, goes into the making of a book that will stand the tests of time, rereading, and children's requests for "just one more chapter." Buy this and use it, forgetting about the ephemeral celebrity books now crowding the racks of your local superstore. Best of all, it's lots of fun to read. Terrific supplemental lists, too!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Anon. on May 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yes, the list of books may seem unimaginative, and yes, she may not have your favorite book on the list (FYI, The Big Orange Splot is the best picture book ever written, and it is not in there) BUT it is still a useful book. I shared it with a young kindergarten teacher I know; she had never heard of Ferdinand or some of the other older books.

Obviously, this is not the one essential book to take to your desert island, but I find it useful as a parent/teacher/librarian to go along with my Jim Trelease books, Esme Codell's How to Get Your Child to Love Reading, and other resources.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I can't stop looking at this book! There are three kids in our family and this book offers wonderful reading suggestions for every age and then books to think about for the future. I don't want them to miss the exciting reading experience of any of the treasures in this list. More than just a reference, though, this book is fun to read and makes me feel like an insider! Now I can share not only the best books with my children, but the stories behind the books! Get this book and do something great for your family!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I sat down and read this book from cover to cover. It was fascinating. Not only was it fun to see if I agreed with Ms. Silvey's choices for best books, but there is so much behind-the-scenes information here, I felt enticed to read or re-read each of the books on her list. Every parent, grandparent, teacher, and librarian will find this book not only useful but inspirational.
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