33 Children’s Classics Your Kids Will Love


Do you remember reading about the cleverness of Tom Sawyer, the loyalty of Old Yeller or the spunk of Pippi Longstocking as a child? Fall in love with these children’s classics all over again. Or better yet, share these classic children’s books with your own children.

With Easter coming up next month, I’ve been thinking about Easter baskets. Generally, I don’t really go all out for holidays, but there is something alluring about doing a small basket on Easter.

If, like me, you want to skip the candy this year, why not fill your child’s Easter basket with a book instead. At the top of my list right now – children’s classics.

There’s a reason children’s classics never really go out of style. Often they tell of thrilling adventures or imaginative places with are just as excited now as they were decades ago. Moreover, the teach children the timeless lessons of how to treat animals or how to handle emotions.

Just in time for Easter, today I wanted to share with you 33 of my favorite children’s classics.

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Classic Children’s Novels Full of Adventure

Are you ready to sail away on a pirate ship? Or maybe fly off to Neverland or look for a magical land inside a wardrobe?

Every child loves to play pretend. As adults, we generally only get to dress up in our favorite costumes at Halloween and imagine ourselves as someone else. But as children, we used to play dress up and sail the seven seas in a cardboard box in the living room.

If you are looking to bring a little adventure into your child’s life, have them try out these children’s classics.

Book cover for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Book cover for Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Book cover for The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss

Book cover for Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
Book cover for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
Book cover for The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Related: 43 Short Classics You Can Read in a Day


Children’s Classics that Spark Imagination

Adventures are not the only way to spark your child’s imagination. Some children’s classics are that perfect blend of make-believe to help your child think beyond what’s right in front of them. Imagine your stuffed animals living with you in the forest, a secret world down a rabbit hole, or a concealed garden. If you would like classic children’s novels to help spark creativity and imagination, here are a few that come to mind.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Book cover for The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Book cover for Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales

Book cover for Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
Book cover for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Book cover for Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers

Related: Long Classics That Are Actually Worth Your Time


Coming of Age Children’s Classic Books

Another favorite topic of children’s classics – coming of age. Let’s be honest, it’s hard growing up. Sometimes we want to remain kids forever. But children all through time have had to face entry into the teenage years, so there are plenty of examples in classical literature to help them out. Plus, reading about these simpler times seems so enchanting.

Book cover for Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Book cover for Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Book cover for Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Book cover for Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Book cover for Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Book cover for Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Book cover for The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
Book cover for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Related: 30 Books Every Millennial Needs to Read


Children’s Classic about Animals

I expect if you ask any elementary class what they want to be when they grow up, you’ll probably get a least one child who wants to be a veterinarian. Plenty of children’s classics center on animals. And for good reason. Life used to revolve so much around animals – either on a farm or horses to pull your carriages. Even though most children in a more urban environments, kids will always love animals.

Sadly, the facts of life are that most animals don’t live as long as us. Dealing with the death of a beloved pet is something children will face the world over. Thus, none of these classic children’s books will likely ever go out of style.

The Yearling by Marjorie K. Rawlings
Grab the tissues because this book will definitely make you cry. You really ought to read Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Book cover for Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
Book cover for Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Related: Reading Challenge 2019: Read A Book A Week 


Classic Children’s Picture Books

We can’t forget about the youngest readers! Last, but not least, I wanted to highlight a few classic children’s picture books. While this is far from an exhaustive list, I wanted to share a few stories my family has loved.

Book Cover for The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
Book cover for Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Book cover for The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Book cover for Curious George by H. A. Rey
Book cover for The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Book cover for A Beatrix Potter Treasury

Book cover for Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans


What children’s classics did you fall in love with as a child?

Children's Classics Your Kids Will Love. Fall in love with these children's classics all over again. Or better yet, share these classic children's books with your own children.

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  • Reply CJ | A Well-Read Tart March 12, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Ferdinand the Bull!! I always loved that story. 🙂 Especially because it’s one of the few books about animals where the beloved animal doesn’t die at the end. Which is something to warn parents about before they hand their kids some of the “Children’s Classics About Animals” — I was inconsolable when Charlotte died. And I hate spiders. Sooo, yeah, lol.

    Some other children’s classics to add to the list: RAMONA QUIMBY, AGE 8. LOVED that one. I re-read it dozens of times, and when I was younger, I even tried to make that yogurt paprika chicken dish that Beezus and Ramona are “forced” to make, lol.

    Another favorite book of mine as a kid was THE CHILDREN OF NOISY VILLAGE, by Astrid Lindgren. I’ve never read PIPPI LONGSTOCKING (which I see made your list!), but I still have my beloved, battered copy of THE CHILDREN OF NOISY VILLAGE that I read from time to time, even as an adult. It follows a little girl all around her Swedish village, at all times of the year, sharing customs and traditions. It’s enchanting and sweet, and I think every kid would love it. Just talking about it makes me want to go read it! lol

  • Reply Tina March 13, 2019 at 3:55 am

    Many of those books bring back great memories. My mom always used to get me a book for special occasions – Christmas, birthdays, Easter… it was something I always looked forward to and something I tried to recreate with my own kids. What a nice tradition you are starting! My favorites were the Little House series and Nancy Drew.

  • Reply Rachel @ Never Enough Novels March 13, 2019 at 9:26 am

    I love the idea of giving books instead of candy! Ok, maybe still buy the candy but save it for Mom & Dad hehe. There are so many books here I remember reading as a kid – The Little Engine That Could is an all-time favorite!

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