I tried to choose books that I have lived with for some time, but not all books behaved themselves (thank goodness) and listened to my futile attempts to impose order on them.
Maybe in a few years my list will contain books by Mo Willems, Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Adam Rex, Emily Gravett, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Mini Grey, and so many other contemporary talents.
Disclaimer: Only one of the books on the list did I fall in love with as a child (i.e. under age 8), but it wasn't because of my discerning tastes. I had little exposure to picture books as a kid.
Some Scholastic book fair books, a couple of Golden Books, and a few Dr. Seuss "Beginner Books" provided my foundation in picture books. I was only read to on Christmas Eves, and they were the same couple of Christmas-themed books at that.
I fell in love with most of these books as an adult, or an emerging adult, as the #10 selection makes clear.
#10 The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey. I first discovered this book as a poster (I had no idea that it was adapted from a book). I was in middle school at the time and didn't know anything about Edward Gorey, or Jonathan Swift for that matter.
It spoke to my burgeoning sense of satire, and I took it home that day to hang on my closet door. I've never looked at ABC books the same again.
#5 The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I fell in love with this book as a kid. My fingers read the holes like Braille, and my eyes salivated at the textured colors of Eric Carle's incomparable collage art.