First off is one that I actually DO have, and it isn't hardcover, but it is a MUST! My mother used to read this book to us and cry and I always thought "how sappy." But now that I am a mother, there are times when I find it hard to read the book without tearing up. You need to have I'll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein will always be one of my favorite books. What a sweet message and a fun read. Somehow it always tugs at my heart strings.
The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau is a new find for me. My sister pointed the book out to me a few years ago and told me how much she loved it. What is great about this book? The illustrations are FABULOUS and the story's message is perfect for children. It is about a very greedy king who has all the possessions anyone could ever want, but is unhappy. One day he meets an old woman who makes beautiful quilts and of course he wants one to add to his collection (thinking it will finally make him happy). But the old woman refuses to give him one unless he is truly in need. She promises that if he will give away all his possessions that she will give him a quilt.
The next two are authors that I would like to own ALL their books if possible. :) Chris VanAllsburg is best known for The Polar Express, but I have loved EVERY one of his books that I have read. This one is a fun read if you've never heard of it - The Widow's Broom.
To finish off is Don and Audrey Wood. I just love their fairytales and other stories like Heggety Peg and The Napping House. King Bidgood is possibly my favorite of theirs.
So what books and authors can you think of that I've left out? There are so many that I am certain I can't think of them on my own. So leave a comment and tell me your favorite picture books and picture book authors.