15 Best Selling Children’s Books Update 05/2022

Best Selling Children's Books

Authors come and go, but some people, especially those who write for children, can stand the yellowing of the pages. For generations, Dr. Seuss, Beatrix Potter, and E.B. White have made parents and kids happy with their timeless books, like “The Cat in the Hat.” None of the books in your home library would be worth having on the shelf without some mischievous cats in hats or cute spiders. A fluffy rabbit with the name Peter would also be nice.

It has been on the best-selling list for a long time, but something wonderful, some say magical, happened in the 1990s. The best-selling list hasn’t changed much. When J.K. Rowling waved a magic wand, she changed the world of children’s books for good. In “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” she told us about a boy wizard who was able to do magic. Rowling became one of the best-selling authors on this or any other planet after writing seven more books. Hogwarts, Muggles, and Quidditch all made their way into our cultural vocabulary.


Success for J.K. Rowling blew holes in the all-time best-seller list for kids. Publishing Weekly was the last magazine in 2001 to list the best books for kids. There were many years before Rowling’s last book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” came out in 2007. It sold 15 million copies in the first 24 hours, beating the all-time best-selling children’s book, “The Poky Little Puppy,” which came out in 1942.

[source: ABC News] By 2011, JK Rowling had sold 450 million or so Harry Potter books. Trying to get the sales figure of a book is a lot like trying to get the Golden Snitch during an episode of Quidditch! A few hundred more Harry Potters and Cat in the Hats have already been sold by the time you finish reading this sentence.

There are 20 best-selling children’s books of all time on the next page. You can look through them by the name of the person who sold the most of them. Harry Potter is the name of the person. No doubt you have a favorite, or two.

“Island of the Blue Dolphins”

Island of the Blue Dolphins

Author: Scott O’Dell

Copies Sold: 6.6 million



One of the best American children’s books is “Island of Blue Dolphins.” Story: Karana, a 12-year-old Native American girl, jumped off a ship to be with her younger brother, who was left on an island. When Karana’s brother dies, she learns how to live on her own, finding inner strength and peace.

“Where the Red Fern Grows”

Author: Wilson Rawls

CopiesSold: 6.7



During childhood, author Wilson Rawls liked to spend time outside in the woods. As time went on, Rawls started writing. He had never read a book until high school. As his wife asked him to write them again, he threw away all of his stories.

“Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing”

Author: Judy Blume

Copies Sold: 7.1 million



First, Judy Blume came up with the idea for “Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing” when she read a newspaper story about a little boy who ate a tiny pet turtle. Blume first wrote the manuscript, which she called “Peter, Fudge, and Dribble,” as a picture book. She then turned it into a novel. An editor told Blume that he should write a much longer story. Blume made Peter Hatcher, his family, and a 2-year-old brother called Fudge. “Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing” was the first “Fudge” book by Blume.

“The Cat in the Hat”

The Cat in the Hat

Author: Dr. Seuss

Copies Sold: 7.2 million



More than a million people have learned to read because of Dr. Seuss and his silly cat in a hat. Many people thought that children’s books were dull in the 1950s. Such books, they said, didn’t make kids want to read them. “The Cat in the Hat,” by Dr. Seuss, or Theodor Geisel, was written about a mischievous feline who visits a brother and sister alone in a house on a rainy day and ends up getting into all kinds of trouble. Even though it wasn’t Seuss’ first book, he knew it would be important. “We could make a lot of noise in the noisy debate about why Johnny can’t read,” Seuss said before the book came out.

“Scuffy the Tugboat”

Author: Gertrude Crampton

Copies Sold: 7.3 million



He said that we can’t go home again. He didn’t mean Scuffy the Tugboat at all. It wasn’t what Scuffy was meant to do. Sailing in a bathtub was not one of them. On a wide-open river, Scuffy sails down and sees all of what the world has to offer, which isn’t always good. Scuffy soon comes to like the bathtub. When Scuffy is back home, he says, “This is the place for a red-painted tug boat.” “And this is what I live for.”

“The Saggy Baggy Elephant”

Author: Kathryn and Byron Jackson

Copies Sold: 7.4 million



Sookie, who isn’t the same as Charlene Harris’s vampire-loving Sookie Stackhouse, is a lot like an elephant. He has a long nose and wrinkly skin, so that’s why. A parrot makes fun of Sookie’s appearance, and the elephant gets very self-conscious until he meets people who look just like him. “The Saggy Baggy Elephant” was written in 1947, but it still has a lot to say in this image-conscious world.

“Pat the Bunny”

Pat the Bunny

Author: Dorothy Kunhardt

Copies Sold: 7.5



Before she wrote the story of Pat the Bunny, Dorothy Kunhardt was a well-known children’s author who wrote many other stories for kids. That’s not all. She always thought books were more than just ink on paper. Pat the Bunny is a book that Kunhardt wrote for her daughter Edith when she was 3. It has many interactive “touch and feel” elements, which Edith, who was 3 at the time, loved.

“Love You Forever”

Author: Robert Munsch

Hardcover/Paperback Sold: 7.9 million


In the past, Robert Munsch worked at a daycare center. He quickly learned that he could get the kids to stop talking during nap time by telling them a story. In the past, many parents have used the phrase “Love You Forever” as a way to get their kids to sleep. There isn’t enough to say to Robert Munsch.

“Green Eggs and Ham”

Author: Dr. Seuss

Copies Sold: 8.1 million



Since 1960, Dr. Seuss has sold more than 8 million copies of “Green Eggs and Ham.” This is how Seuss used 50 words to show a grumpy person that green eggs and bacon are tasty.



Author: Gertrude Crampton

Copies Sold: 8.5 million


There is a little train called Tootle, and he wants to be the Flyer on the New York to Chicago line. Before this can happen, Tootle has to go to school and learn how to stay on the right path. Tootle likes to chase butterflies, pick flowers, and race horses, so it’s not easy to get through the day.

“The Outsiders”

Author: S.E. Hinton

Copies Sold: 9.6 million


It was first published in 1902. Beatrix Potter not only wrote and illustrated this classic story about a young boy who doesn’t follow rules, but she also wrote it. Potter learned how to paint and draw by painting and drawing with her pet mice, birds, lizards, and snakes.

“The Tale of Peter Rabbit”

Author: Beatrix Potter

CopiesSold: 9.3 million


To write the book “The Outsiders,” S.E. Hinton wrote it for teens in the 1960s and it is a book about coming of age. The book’s characters, especially its narrator, Ponyboy Curtis, all have teen angst and conflicting feelings, and they all deal with it in different ways.

“Charlotte’s Web”

Charlotte's Web

Author: E.B. White

Hardcover/Paperback Sold: 11.3 million

Who can forget the pig who became famous with the help of his friend Charlotte and a group of animals from the barn? Writing wasn’t easy for E.B. White, who wrote this and another book called “Stuart Little,” but he did it anyway. Then in 1971, White was given the National Medal of Arts.

“The Poky Little Puppy”

Author: Jannette Sebring Lowery

Copies Sold: 14.8 million


As soon as Jannette Sebring Lowery and Gustaff Tenggren’s book “The Poky Little Puppy” came out, it was the best-selling children’s book of all time. This was one of the first 12 Little Golden Books.

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar”

Author: Eric Carle

Copies Sold: 35 million

Eric Carle knows what we already know: Caterpillars are hungry. That “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” will eat almost anything it sees, like plums and pickles and Swiss cheese and salami isn’t a big surprise at all. There is no doubt that the lives of caterpillars are short-lived, because they turn into butterflies at the end. That’s not the case for this hungry man, though. He’s been getting his fill since 1969.

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