50 Childhood Favourites: Picture Books from the 80s and 90s

When I first published my 50 Classic Picture Books and 20 Classic Chapter Books to Read Aloud With 5-8 Year Olds book lists (both of which feature books published prior to the 1980s) I had many people comment to me that there are also many fabulous titles that were published in the 80s and 90s. Of course they were right. Some of my all time favourite picture books fall into that category. In fact I LOVE pretty much every single book on today’s list! I hope that you’ll find some favourites on this list too! How many of these 50 Childhood Favourites from the 80s and 90s have you read?

50 Childhood Classics: Picture Books from the 80s and 90s

1. The Jolly Postman by Janet & Allen Ahlberg First published 1986

2. Duck in the Truck by Jez Alborough First published 1999

3. Where’s My Teddy? by Jez Alborough First published 1992

4. Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen First published 1996

5. Rumble in the Jungle by Giles Andreae First published 1996

6. Animalia by Graeme Base First published 1986

7. The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery by Graema Base First published in 1989

8. Mr Magnolia by Quentin Blake First published 1980

9. Franklin in the Dark by Paulette Bourgeois First published 1986

10. But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton First published 1982

11. The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton 1982

12. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell First published 1982

13. The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle First published 1984

14. The Magic School Bus At the Waterworks by Joanna Cole First published 1985

15. Maisy’s Bedtime by Lucy Cousins First published 1999

16. Jamberry by Bruce Degan First published 1995

17. Hairy Maclary From Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd First published 1983

18. Slinky Malinki by Lynley Dodd First published 1998

19. Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley First published 1992

20. Koala Lou by Mem Fox First published 1984

50 Childhood Classics: Picture Books from the 80s and 90s

21. Hattie and the Fox by Mem Fox First published 1986

22. Possum Magic by Mem Fox First published 1991

23. The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble First published 1992

24. Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill First published 1980

25. Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes First published 1996

26. The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins First published 1995

27. The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins First published 1986

28. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff First published 1985

29. Edwina The Emu by Sheena Knowles First published 1997

30. Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles First published 1998

31. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jnr First published 1989

32. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney First published 1994

33. I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa Mccourt First published 1997

34. Stephanie’s Pinytail by Robert Munsch First published 1992

35. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch First published 1992

36. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch First published 1995

37. Peace at Last by Jill Murphy First published 1980

38. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn First published 1993

39. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister First published 1999

50 Classic Picture Books from the 80s and 90s

40. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen First published 1989

41. How Much is a Million? by David M. Schwartz First published 1985

42. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka First published 1989

43. Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh First published 1989

44. Can’t You Sleep Little Bear? by Martin Waddell First published 1987

45. Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell First published 1991

46. Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells First published 1997

47. I Went Walking by Sue Williams First published 1989

48. The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood First published 1984

49. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg First published 1985

50. Owl Moon by Jane Yolen First published 1987

Each title is linked to an Amazon page where you can find reviews and age recommendations for those titles you are not  personally familiar with. I hope this list re-connects you with a story or two that you had forgotten all about and that you will take pleasure in re-visiting with the children in your life!

So tell me, how many of the books on this list have you read? Are there any you would add to my list?

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  1. Hello,
    This is incredibly far fetched, but I am not having much luck, I am searching for a children’s picture book. It is a book that means a lot to a friend of mine. I don’t have the title, so it is finding itself incredibly difficult to locate. Do you know of any sites or sources that would be helpful in locating a book where I have some plot history, but no author or title?

    The book is a green hard cover, I think the name of the book is the name of the main character.
    The story is about a boy who is raised by bears, in one scene he is living weights with the bears, I think it takes place in a sort of industrial time. The reading level is probably around 6 or 7?

    Thank you,

  2. Ha, I remember Koala Lou. The real question is, does anyone remember the Sweet Pickles books? But I think those might’ve been from the late 70s.

    In case anyone is looking also, here are some forgotten fun movies of the 80s that kids still love even now.

  3. i would definitely add stellaluna, pub. i think 1992-3, to this list! loved it as a child.

  4. Hi looking for a book called James and I are not friends anymore

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