The top 10 best selling children’s books according to Publishers Weekly magazine. Ranging from the modern day Harry Potter classics to the timeless classic of Peter Rabbit and the wacky Dr. Zeus. Books are ranked based on their sales volume from first publication as reported by the publishers.
10. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
There was high expectation from this second novel in the Harry Potter series because of its critically acclaimed predecessor, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” No wonder why the author was having difficulty to finish the book. But when it was published, it has won high praises both from critics and readers.
The story revolves around Harry and friends’ investigations on why several students were “petrified” (or frozen) after warnings that the “Chamber of Secrets” is open and that the “heir of Slytherin” is coming to kill pupils who are not from all-magical families.
9. The Cat in the Hat
Theodor S. Geisel, a.k.a “Dr. Seuss,” wrote the book in response to John Hersey’s challenge on Life magazine that the author, who is a critically-acclaimed children’s illustrator, should create a book that will associate words with rich illustrations.
The author’s friend, William Ellsworth Spaulding, suggested that he write and illustrate a book using only 225 words that most five-year-olds know. After nine months, “The Cat in The Hat” has appeared. It used 223 words from that list plus 13 other words.
8. Scuffy the Tugboat
This book is one of the titles in the Little Golden Books series along with “Mother Goose” and “The Little Red Hen.” The story is about Scuffy, a toy tugboat, who wants to sail on things bigger than a bathtub. His wish was granted when his owner took him to a small brook where the current soon takes him away into the stream, a small river, and a larger river.
Scuffy was pleased at first but soon became overwhelmed. He was to sail off to an ocean when his owner came to the rescue. He was brought back to the bathtub, where Scuffy remained contented.
7. Saggy Baggy Elephant
Kathryn & Byron Jackson
This title is also among the Little Golden Books titles. The story revolves around Sooki, an elephant who loves to dance around the jungle. That is, until a tactless parrot tells him that his skin doesn’t fit him right.
Since then, Sooki tries to improve himself. He meets a tiger who volunteered to chew off some of his skin. Then, he meets a crocodile who suggested he would eat Sooki’s ears. Then, he meets a lion who wants nothing but eat the poor elephant altogether. Luckily, the baby elephant was rescued by a herd of elephants who also love to dance. Finally, Snooki found a place where he truly belongs.
6. Pat The Bunny
“Pat the Bunny” is a phenomenal touch-and-feel book for babies and toddlers. It was a new idea at the time of its release. It’s not really a book per se, but a collection of what the child can do with it like touching the sandpaper, patting the fake rabbit fur, or looking at the mirror.
The book is actually an experiment used by the author for her three-year-old child. This child soon published three more companions of her mother’s book, entitled “Pat the Cat,” “Pat the Puppy,” and “Pat the Pony.”
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
The author admitted this one to be the most difficult to write compared to the three earlier series of Harry Potter novels. She even had to rewrite “The Dark Mark” chapter for 13 times.
Despite that, the book still gained equal popularity, which is partially due to the author’s spoiler that one of the characters will be murdered. Three million copies were immediately sold over the first weekend after its release.
The novel won the 2001 Hugo Award for Best Novel, the 2002 Indian Paintbrush Award, and an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award for being one of the best books.
4. Green Eggs and Ham
This book became a bestseller using only 50 different words, written in a very simple vocabulary. Dr. Seuss wrote it as a beginner book. It’s about Sam who insists the other character to taste the green eggs and ham.
Like the equally popular “The Cat in the Hat,” the author was encouraged to write this book after Bennett Cerf’s bet that he could not write a book using only 50 different words. “Green Eggs and Ham” also ranked third on a 1999 online survey conducted by the National Education Association.
It’s no surprise for one of the titles in the Little Golden Books series to rank among the bestselling books for children. “Tootle” is one of them. It’s about Tootle, a baby locomotive, who dreams to be the Flyer on the New York-Chicago route.
He was attending a train school where students are taught lessons to be fast engines someday like stopping at red flags and pulling over a dining car without sipping soup. The most difficult lesson for Tootle is to stay on the rail no matter what because he enjoys chasing butterflies, picking buttercups, and racing against a horse.
2. The Tale of Peter Rabbit
After rejections from several publishers, the author decided in 1901 to privately publish this all-time bestseller for family and friends. Finally, the revised copy of this children’s book got the interest of one of its original rejecters. In 1902, it was finally out in the market with 5,000 printed copies. The book’s illustration is believed to have boosted the book’s market value.
The fable is unique at that time because the protagonist still possesses rabbit instincts instead of adapting human behavior.
1. The Poky Little Puppy
It is the first of the first 12 books in the Little Golden Books series. Amazingly, it has dramatically surpassed similar bestsellers of all-time like those written by Dr. Seuss. The story is about Poky Little Puppy and his siblings and how their fate turned upside-down within the story. A Poky plush toy was released in 1980s but is only short-lived due to poor sales.