TOP TEN BOOK LISTS

Leo Timmers’ Top Ten favourite children’s books

Leo Timmers was born in 1970, in Belgium and still lives in Brussels with his wife and two daughters.  Trained as a graphic designer he soon began to illustrate children’s books. In 2000 he wrote his first story Happy with Me which won a Bookfeather Award for illustration.  He has also won the annual Children’s and Youth Jury Award in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 (wow!).

There isn’t a Leo Timmers book in our house that doesn’t have VERY well-worn pages — I think Derek the Deep-sea Doctor is my son’s favourite but my daughter loves Look What I Can Do! and I love our newest addition Crow .  We love and have them all — we’re huge fans.  So it gives me great pleasure to present his top ten children’s books.

Almost all these books are written and illustrated by the same artist. I think that they have a perfect balance between text and illustration. They are made by brilliant visual storytellers.  Stories written with images is what picture books should be for me, and that’s what I try to do.  It was really difficult to choose just ten — there are so many more books I wanted to include but I tried to find a mix between classic and contemporary books.

Frog is Frightened – Max Velthuijs
I love all the frog strories, but this one is just so perfect. I can read it over and over again.

Where The Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
A classic and a work of genius although not so popular with my kids.

The Three Robbers – Tomi Ungerer
Great story and artwork in blue and black.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus – Mo Willems
I think its a modern classic. Very original and funny idea. Simple but effective drawings.

Pippi Longstocking – Astrid Lindgren
Pipi is the absolute hero of our 5-year-old daughter. She wants to be just like her! I love her too.

Fish Is Fish – Leo Lionni
I love many books by Lionni, but this one is his best I think. This message is very dear to me : we are what we are — don’t try to change yourself.

Duck, Death and Tulip – Wolf Erlbruch
Elbruch’s drawings are always masterful, just think of ‘the little mole who went…’
He also wrote this story and it’s about a duck who encounters death in person. So moving… for me it’s a masterpiece.

In the Town All Year ‘Round – Suzanne Rotraut Berner.
The ultimate look-and-search book!

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.
A story about unconditional love, so beautifully told with a minimum of text. (Also read Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back . Hillarious!)

The Arrival by Shaun Tan
No words, impressive imaginative pictures and a beautiful heartbreaking story. A real tour de force!

To see other book lists, click here.


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Comments (4)

Courtney in London
January 24, 2011

We LOVE Leo Timmers’ books! And I think his book list is really inspiring.


Esther in Amsterdam
January 24, 2011

I’m loving this series — thank you Leo!


January 24, 2011

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January 25, 2011

I can’t wait to check some of these out! It is hard to limit favourites to ten, but super-helpful for those of us on the look out for fabulous books for our kids. Thank you!


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