Kevin O'Malley's Top Ten List

    Reader Bio

    Kevin O’Malley (born 1961) is an American author and illustrator of children’s books, both fiction and nonfiction, known for their zany sense of humor and quirky use color and texture. He has written more than a dozen books of his own and collaborated on more than a score of works with other writers and illustrators – including the Miss Malarkey series written by Judy Finchler. He debuted with a version of the folk ballad Froggy Went A-Courtin'(1992). That same year he published Bruno, You’re Late for School!, about a rhinoceros who sneezes his homework out of his apartment window. His other books include The Planets in Our Solar System (1998, with Franklyn M. Branley), Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery (2005, with Patrick O’Brien) and How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous (2011, with Georgia Bragg).

    1. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton (1939). Mike and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne, dig deep canals for boats to travel through, cut mountain passes for trains and hollow out cellars for city skyscrapers. But with progress come new machines and soon the inseparable duo are out of work so Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne travel to the small town of Popperville and accept one final challenge — to dig the town cellar in just one day. What happens is a testament to their friendship and to old-fashioned hard work and ingenuity.

    2. The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone and Mike Smollin (1971). Nestled in their parent’s lap, generations of kids have interacted with lovable, furry old Grover of Sesame Street, as he begs the reader not to turn the page—for fear of a monster at the end of the book. “Oh, I am so embarrassed,” he says on the last page . . . for, of course, the monster is Grover himself!

    3. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig (1969). In a moment of fright, Sylvester the donkey asks his magic pebble to turn him into a rock but then can not hold the pebble to wish himself back to normal again.

    4. The Story of the Little Mole Who Went in Search of Whodunit by Werner Holzwarth and Wolf Erlbruch (1993). Since its publication, this book has charmed readers young and old with its unconditionally candid tale that raises bathroom humor to new heights. Splendidly straightforward and comic, it is at first unbelievable and then irresistible. When Little Mole looks out of his hole one morning—PLOP!—something lands on his head. Whodunit? Now a new generation of readers will enjoy this one-of-a-kind, stinky, and delightful story for the first time.

    5. Charlie the Tramp by Russell Hoban and Lillian Russell (1966). A boy beaver decides he wants to be a tramp who sleeps in open fields and does odd jobs for food. "That's what it's like these days,” his grandfather complains, “little beavers want to be tramps." But, give the freedom to pursue his dream allows him to make peace with his beaver instincts.

    6. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (1970). This Caldecott-winning book uses playful illustrations and chantable words to tell story of Mickey's nighttime adventure in the baker's kitchen.

    7.10 Minutes Till Bedtime by Peggy Rathmann (1998). It's almost bedtime! At 1 Hoppin Place the fun begins when a family of hamsters with ten offspring wearing jerseys numbered from one to ten arrives. There are only ten minutes left, and there's still so much to do! But with the help of the Hamsters' 10-Minute Bedtime Tour, the little boy is able to get his toys put away, his pajamas on, his teeth brushed, and his bedtime story read all in the nick of time.

    8. Bark, George by Jules Feiffer (2000). “Bark, George,” says George's mother, and George goes: "Meow," which definitely isn't right, because George is a dog. And so is his mother, who repeats, "Bark, George." And George goes, "Quack, quack." What's going on with George? Therein lies the tail (arf!).

    9. Friday Night At Hodges’ Café by Tim Egan (1996). Hodges the elephant runs a cafe with the help of a crazy duck. One night, despite the sign outside that reads No Tigers, Please, three menacing tigers walk in - and they're hungry!

    10. Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel (1970-79). Each of the four Frog and Toad books - “Frog and Toad Are Friends” (1970), “Frog and Toad Together” (1972), “Frog and Toad All Year” (1976) and “Days with Frog and Toad” - contains five simple yet thoughtful, funny and touching stories chronicling the adventures of our two heroes. 

    New List

    David Mitchell

    1. The Duel by Anton Chekhov (1891).
    2.1984by George Orwell (1948).
    3.Heart of Darknessby Joseph Conrad (1899).
    4.Sense and Sensibilityby Jane Austen (1811).
    5.The Master and Margaritaby Mikhail Bulgakov (1966).
    6.As I Lay Dyingby William Faulkner (1930).
    7.Tom Jonesby Henry Fielding (1749).
    8.Labyrinthsby Jorge Luis Borges (1964).
    9.W, or The Memory of Childhoodby Georges Perec (1975).
    10.The Makioka Sistersby Junichiro Tanizaki (1943–48).
    Wild Card:Lolly Willowesby Sylvia Townsend Warner (1926).


    Classic List

    Top Ten African-American Works

    1. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1952). 
    2. Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987). 
    3. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (1977). 
    4. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1937). 
    5. Native Son by Richard Wright (1945). 
    6. A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (1959). 
    7. Another Country by James Baldwin (1962). 
    8. Cane by Jean Toomer (1923). 
    9. Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid (1990). 
    10. Manchild in the Promised Land by Claude Brown (1965). 


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