A Shimmer of Joy:

One Hundred Children’s Picture Books

A sumptuous celebration of children’s picture books as art and literature.

How do simple words and images make a children’s picture book so magical that one reading can create a cherished memory for life? Here are 100 books that amply prove the picture book is an art form.

There are books you’ll remember and new gems to discover. From The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1901) to Last Stop on Market Street (2015), each of the 100 books is presented with a cover and inside spread as author Chris Loker explains the qualities that combine to make a successful picture book: the interplay between words and images, the dynamic pulse of picture and narrative that compels us to turn the page and follow the story, the sometimes quirky elements that appeal to both children and adults alike. It affirms what we all instinctively know, and have known since childhood — that a picture book is literature, art, and theater all rolled into one, miraculously blended and irresistibly presented.

Additionally, A Shimmer of Joy provides an intriguing array of information, not only about the books but also about the authors, artists, publishers, and designers who created them. Along the way, the reader gains insight into the evolving eras of children’s literature and book publishing in the 20th and 21st century, with fascinating stories of its publication history and biographies of the creators.

Here’s a book that will give the reader a new appreciation for the picture book while bringing back memories of the time when, sitting in a classroom or on a lap, someone read you a book and opened up your world.

Godine, Publisher is distributed to the trade by Two Rivers Distribution, an Ingram brand. For more info, click here.

Chris Loker is an antiquarian bookseller in San Francisco, specializing in antique children's books from 1750 to 1950. Ms. Loker serves on the boards of the Grolier Club, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, and Bring Me a Book. She is also the curator of “One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature,” an exhibition of landmark children's books at the Grolier Club in New York City. She lives in San Francisco, California.