1 Curious George by Margret Rey and HA Rey (Houghton Mifflin). The first book of seven, from 1941, about a monkey who is kidnapped by the man in the yellow hat.
2 Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (Red Fox). One of my favourites as a child, this has gone on to inspire a generation of illustrators – and a very poor film.
3 Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs (Puffin). The best book about Christmas by some margin, featuring an extremely grumpy Santa. Narrowly beat The Snowman for a place on this list.
4 Gorilla by Anthony Browne (Walker). A beautifully drawn story from the former children’s laureate about a lonely girl who finds company in a gorilla.
5 The Mick Inkpen Collection (Hodder). This edition contains seven stories, including my son’s favourite, Billy’s Beetle. You have to find the beetle hiding somewhere on each spread.
6 There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly illustrated by Pam Adams (Child’s Play). This edition has holes.
7 The Babar Collection by Jean de Brunhoff (Egmont). Here are five of the classic French stories, including the first, The Story of Babar, from 1931.
8 Jim by Hilaire Belloc, illustrated by Mini Grey (Jonathan Cape). The poem is reproduced at picture book length with Grey’s striking illustrations and paper engineering. You could go, if you prefer, for a collection of Belloc, such as Cautionary Verses (Red Fox).
9 Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Eric Carle (Puffin). This charming verse story about how different animals behave is less well known than The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but more fun.
10 What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry (HarperCollins). Scarry’s immensely detailed books about everyday life can lead to some good conversations, and are great for children who need to know how things work (more or less all of them).