Have you ever wondered what the most popular picture books are at your library? Well, look no further, we’ve got your answer. You can even make it a game, grab a pen and piece of paper and jot down your guesses to see how many you get right.
Starting out at number five is If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff. This picture book has been devoured with 183,960 checkouts. Readers delight in the adventures of a little girl who tries to keep up with the whims of a busy little pig. Are you surprised that this classic beat out If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? I was too, but the numbers don’t lie. Numeroff has a sweet collection of titles in this series so be sure to check out Moose, Dog and Cat, too.
Fourth place goes to a little monkey with an insatiable curiosity. Yep, it’s Curious George and the man with the yellow hat. H.A. Rey’s Curious George has been explored 194,344 times by children with curious minds eager to learn. Rey went on to publish seven books along with his wife Margret. Houghton Mifflin Books published more than 20 other books in the Curious George series. The race for picture books third place winner was photo-finish. Curious George was very close to taking the spot — only two checkouts separated the titles. I’m curious to see how this will play out.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems comes in third on our list with 194,346 checkouts. Willems’ picture book debut was a Caldecott Honor book and was inducted into the Picture Book Hall of Fame. This hilarious book is loved by children and adults, too. It’s hard to resist the Pigeon as he pleads, wheedles and begs to drive the bus but the reader gets to answer back and decide his fate. Keep reading “Mo” books — there are 10 more Pigeon titles.
The second most checked out picture book has been in the library system for only 10 years, since it was first published on January 4, 2011. The main character in this title is a young girl with a larger than life personality, who adores all things fancy. She always dresses extravagantly, wearing boas, tutus, ruby slippers, fairy wings and fuzzy slippers. Children have treasured Fancy Nancy 198,842 times — with her glitzy big words like ”iridescent” and her love of French culture.
Securing the number top spot on our list is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. This popular book has been read 431,797 times and counting. Even after being on the menu for more than 50 years, children still have a big appetite for this little caterpillar. Would you believe that our most popular picture book is also listed as a banned book? Reportedly, libraries in Herefordshire, England removed The Very Hungry Caterpillar from their shelves during a healthy eating campaign because some thought it promoted over-consumption and obesity.
Adults are reading Young Adult (YA) literature. Yeah, adult adults — grown people with jobs, who pay their own bills, chat about interest rates on mortgages, or maybe even have young adult children themselves. Not only are they reading it, they also make up most of YA literature’s readership.