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United Way Blog

100 Great Children’s Books of the Last 100 Years

For whatever reason, everybody has a soft spot for children's books. For me, it's the nostalgia. I once took an Instagram photo of "Where the Wild Things Are" and the universe almost collapsed on itself from all the nostalgia I created. True story!

That's why this list of 100 great children's books of the last 100 years created by librarians at The New York Public Libraries was such a fun list to peruse. Seeing my favorite books like "Caps for Sale" and "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" brought me back to my childhood (and made me want to call my mom).

The more titles I read, the more I realized children's books have made a pretty strong imprint on my life post-adolescence as well... And not just the numerous books on this list that became my favorite movies (Matilda, Jumanji, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone). I have fond memories of reading a few of these to children at an after-school program where I volunteered in college. Then there are the Dr. Seuss books, most notably "The Cat in the Hat" and "Green Eggs and Ham", that remind me of the 2012 Student United Way Leadership Retreat and the great literacy kits we created to bring those stories to life for children in DC's homeless shelters. This Thanksgiving, I'm looking forward to spending time with my one year old niece and creating new memories to add to the list.

Whether you're like me and just want to indulge in nostalgia during your work day (don't tell my boss) or you're looking for some great titles for your next volunteer activity, this list has you covered. And after you read their list, get on our list by signing up to be a volunteer reader, tutor or mentor. Who knows? In twenty years, someone might see their favorite children's book and get nostalgic about you.