Heard of the Caldecott Medal and Newberry Medals ? These are awarded for children's books with outstanding illustrations (Caldecott) and for literary excellence (Newberry). There are of course other awards but these are the most recognisable. Do look out for them in the book shops and libraries as they are, of course, excellent.
You can check out the list of "Notable Children's Books" provided by the American Library Association, which lists the award winners year on year.
Don't dismiss other non awardees but equally smashing reads though. I recently picked up "Room on a Broom" (Julia Donaldson) and "Animals should definitely not wear clothing" (Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett). They are SO SO Good !! The rhyme in "Room on a Broom" is to die for and has an underlying theme of generosity, while the other - "Animals should definitely not wear clothing" has simple prose, but the illustrations are just hilarious !
Have fun reading with your kids !