Picture books may not fall into the young adult classification, but they are an important category of children's literature. Also, I believe many of them eventually led me to gravitate toward the fantasy genre. My love of stories and writing began with picture books. In fact, they are still the books displayed most prominently in my home, the ones I have kept the longest and loved the hardest, and the ones I want to read to my kids one day.
Here are a few of my favorites.
3. Just for You, by Mercer Mayer (A Little Critter book)
2. The King Who Rained, by Fred Gwynne
1. Princess Furball, retold by Charlotte Huck and illustrated by Anita Lobel
Also, fun fact, the illustrator, Anita Lobel, is the wife of Arnold Lobel, writer and illustrator of the classic Frog and Toad books. Their daughter, Adrianne, is also an artist.
And, because I can't help it: a big honorable mention to The Monster at the End of this Book, written by Jon Stone and illustrated by Michael Smollin; Lon Po Po, a Chinese retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, by Ed Young; and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, a comic retelling of (you guessed it) The Three Little Pigs, told by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith.
What picture books did you love most as a child? Which ones left the most lasting impression on you?
Just for You: http://www.brnesandnoble.com/w/just-for-you-mercer-mayer/1102406003
The King Who Rained: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/king-who-rained-fred-gwynne/1102170825
Princess Furball: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/princess-furball-charlotte-huck/1023575353