“Llama Llama Red Pajama from Anna Dewdney is my son’s favorite book. The baby llama wants his momma (he’s supposed to be going to sleep) and screams bloody murder when she doesn’t come back up right away. Good book for opening conversations about patience, anxiety, and nighttime fears! Ten years later, I can still recite it from memory. Also check out a recent rap version by Ludacris on YouTube.” ― Elizabeth Washburn Galbraith
“Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue. The art is gorgeous and it tells the story of a little girl going to bed so gently. In response to her assertion that she isn’t tired, her parents just say, ’We understand. Please brush your teeth. You can stay up as late as you like.′ It’s just lovely and presents an example of engaging with your child that isn’t adversarial. I think it’s a nice model and so pretty.” ― Allison Sook
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Crane, Dozer, and Digger are the anthropomorphized construction equipment of this story but Digger is the only one with a thumping heart. It is he who stumbles upon a single blue flower growing on the last bare patch of land in the city and subsequently saves it from harm before nurturing it back to life. It’s a spare story about protecting nature told without much humor but instead, like its main character, a lot of heart and compassion.
“Grandma” Gatewood is finally getting her due. Just this summer, the New York Times gave a long overdue obituary of Emma Gatewood, the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail by herself in one season (at the ripe old age of 67). Gatewood was a mother of 11, a grandmother, and great-grandmother when she first hiked the trail. By the time she died 16 years after her first hike in 1973, she had completed the AT three times — setting the record as the first person to ever complete the trail more than once. Her story has also, finally, made it’s way to a children’s book this year, one whose clear, sparkling prose and beautiful illustrations by Jennifer Thermes give this real-life tale the inspirational platform it deserves.
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100 Great Children’s Books has been published on the occasion of The New York Public Library’s acclaimed exhibition The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter, on view at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The list was selected by The New York Public Library’s Jeanne Lamb, Coordinator, Youth Collections, and Elizabeth Bird, Supervising Librarian. 
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