But that's all good. The talking you do with your child about a book is a wonderful opportunity to bond, to attach, to talk about your own childhood.
Remember what Dr. Daniel Siegel, the amazing brain and attachment researcher, has to say about such conversations.
The most powerful predictor of a strong bond between child and parent is the parent's ability to speak coherently to the child about the parent's own childhood.
Use a best-selling children's book from your own youth to stimulate that conversation!
Why a best selling children's book?
Why not a medium seller? Because I'm just taking my best guess at what you read as a child.
The list below (from Publishers Weekly) contains about 285 historical best-selling children's books.
It was compiled from separate lists
150 best selling childrens books hardcover
150 best selling childrens books paperback
I tried to cut the best selling children's books that appeared on both lists.
They're grouped by publication date. In a few cases the publication date can be misleading. Rather than referring to the original edition of the particular best selling children's book, it refers to the most popular.
For instance, if a later paperback edition of a best selling children's book far exceeded the sales of the hardcover edition, the paperback publication date appears.
For that reason, you might want to look at ALL the best selling children's books on the list. After all, great children's books could have been written anytime!
The Poky Little Puppy, Janette Sebring Lowrey Tootle, Gertrude Crampton Pat the Bunny, Dorothy Kunhardt Saggy Baggy Elephant, Kathryn and Byron Jackson The Littlest Angel, Charles Tazewell Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey Horton Hatches the Egg, Dr. Seuss The Tall Book of Nursery Tales, Feodor Rojankovsky Curious George, H. A. and Margret Ray
Scuffy the Tugboat, Gertrude Crampton Kay Thompson's Eloise, Kay Thompson Charlotte's Web, E. B. White A Fly Went By, Mike McClintock Tawny Scrawny Lion, Kathryn Jackson The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger Misty of Chincoteague, Marguerite Henry
The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle The Children's Bible Walt Disney's Storyland, Walt Disney Put Me in the Zoo, Robert Lopshire The Touch Me Book, Pat and Eve Witte Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak Never Talk to Strangers, Irma Joyce Eloise Wilkin's Mother Goose, Eloise Wilkin Love Is a Special Way of Feeling, Joan Walsh Anglund Santa Mouse, Elfrieda Dewitt Ten Apples Up On Top!, Theo. LeSieg Babies So Tall Board Book, Gyo Fujikawa The Outsiders, S. E. Hinton The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes The Yearling, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Rascal, Sterling North
Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein Macmillan Dictionary for Children, edited by Judith Levy Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O'Dell Shane, Jack Schaeffer Go Ask Alice, Anonymous The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Speare The Pigman, Paul Zindel From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E. L. Konigsburg The Night Before Christmas, Clement Hurd The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Barbara Robinson The Cay, Theodore Taylor Julie of the Wolves, Jean Craighead George Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst How to Eat Fried Worms, Thomas Rockwell The Cricket in Times Square, George Selden Corduroy, Don Freeman The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis Sounder, William H. Armstrong Dinosaurs, Peter Zallinger Wee Sing Children's Songs and Fingerplays Poems & Prayers for the Very Young, Martha Alexander Chocolate Fever, Robert K. Smith Frog and Toad Are Friends, Arnold Lobel The Alphabet Book, P. D. Eastman The Little Duck, Judy Dunn The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams Grover and the Everything in the Whole Wide World Museum
A Light in the Attic, Shel Silverstein The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Laura Numeroff (review of another book in Numeroff's If You series. Big Bird's Color Game ET: The Extra-Terrestrial Storybook, William Kotzwinkle Baby's First Words, Lars Wik The Way Things Work, David Macaulay The Mitten, Jan Brett Thomas the Tank Engine's Noisy Trip, Rev. W. Awdry Where's Spot?, Eric Hill My First Bible in Pictures, Kenneth Taylor Love You Forever, Robert Munsch Baby's ABC, Steve Shevett The Very Busy Spider, Eric Carle I Am Not Going to Get Up Today!, Dr. Seuss Big Bird's Mother Goose, photos by John Barrett The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, Jon Scieszka It's Not Easy Being a Bunny, Marilyn Sadler The Jolly Postman, Janet and Allan Ahlberg The Napping House, Audrey Wood The Incredible Journey, Sheila Burnford Superfudge, Judy Blume Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Louis Sachar Sarah, Plain and Tall, Patricia MacLachlan When the Legends Die, Hal Borland Bunnicula, James Howe Hatchet, Gary Paulsen Kristy's Great Idea (Babysitters Club #1), Ann M. Martin (click link to read a tribute) Gremlins, George Jipe Stone Fox, John Gardner The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Beverly Cleary Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mildred Taylor The Chocolate Touch, Patrick Catling The Sign of the Beaver, Elizabeth George Speare Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls (Babysitters Club #2), Ann M. Martin Meet Samantha, Susan Adler The Chocolate War, Robert Cormier In & Out, Up & Down, Michael Smollin Meet Kirsten, Janet Shaw Clifford the Big Red Dog, Norman Bridwell
Just Imagine Cat's Cradle, Anne Akers Johnson Falling Up, Shel Silverstein Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney Scholastic Children's Dictionary The Very Quiet Cricket, Eric Carle The Cheerios Play Book, Lee Wade The Runaway Bunny (board book), Margaret Wise Brown Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Storybook Based on the Movie If You Give a Moose a Muffin, Laura Numeroff (review of another book in Numeroff's If You series Barnyard Dance, Sandra Boynton Star Wars Episode I Cross Sections On the Day You Were Born, Debra Frasier Stellaluna, Janell Cannon I Spy Christmas: A Book of Picture Riddles, Jean Marzollo My First Word Board Book Thomas and the Freight Train, Rev. W. Awdry Arthur Goes to School, Marc Brown Matilda, Roald Dahl Meet Addy, Connie Porter The Secret of the Indian, Lynne Reid Banks Good Work, Amelia Bedelia, Peggy Parish