Childhood is said to take place largely in our thoughts, and it is permanently remembered as a unique and formative period. And if that’s the case, shouldn’t we want every child’s imagination to be filled with gentle creatures, warriors, a sense of limitless possibilities?

Providing your child with a wonderful read that you actually enjoy is one of the finest and truest methods to develop a deep love of reading in them.

A fantastic book has the power to completely transform a child’s life. So, without further ado, here is our list of the greatest children’s books and novels ever written.

If you tell these stories to the kids in your life, you might feel a little nostalgic about your own childhood!


Best Classic Children’s Books to Read

1. Guess How Much I Love You

1. Guess How Much I Love You
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About the Book

“Guess How Much I Love You” contributed by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram is a family classic that receives a beautiful slipcase for the keepsake hardcover.

Since its release twenty-five years ago, the story of Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare, who playfully swear a universe of affection, has enthralled millions of readers.

Now, in a slipcased version with an appealing print of the Nutbrown Hares suitable for framing, its timeless message of immeasurable love makes the ideal present.

Book Review

The near-monochromatic backdrop of Jeram’s pen-and-wash artwork, rendered earthy tones of moss, soft brown, and grey for a visually quieting effect just suited for that last relaxing tale before bed, enhances McBratney’s insightful, lovable, and funny story.

The pages are made of sturdy cardboard and will not rip when turned. Very strong, which is ideal for young children beginning to turn pages.

This is a very great book. Another approach to showing children how much we love them is to read to them before bedtime. It’s in English, but the texts are easy, and it’s a good way to practice the language.

Spending time telling it and including the children in the story is surely a family treasure.

Key Takeaways from the Book

It’s little, it has a hardback, the graphics are lovely, and it depicts the beauty of father-son love!

About the Author

Sam McBratney (1943–2020) is the author of the worldwide bestselling Guess How Much I Love You, Will You Be My Friend?, and All My Favorites, all of which were drawn by Anita Jeram.

Sam McBratney’s Guess How Much I Love You, the Guess How Much I Love You Storybooks, and You’re All My Favorites were all illustrated by Anita Jeram.

Book Details

You can purchase this book in Board Book and Hardcover versions.

  • Author: Sam McBratney, Anita Jeram
  • Pages: 40 (Hardcover)
  • Category/Genre: Children’s Classics.

2. Giraffes Can’t Dance

2. Giraffes Can't Dance
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About the Book

“Giraffes Can’t Dance” is a children’s classic book written by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees.

Giraffes Can’t Dance is a heartwarming story about Gerald the giraffe, who yearns to dance. It’s more difficult for a giraffe to walk with crooked knees and small legs than you may believe.

When Gerald receives some encouraging words from an unlikely buddy, he is finally able to dance to his own song. This story is the gentle motivation for every child with great dreams, With light-footed rhymes and high-stepping images.

Book Review

This is a wonderful picture book for a younger child; the story is really clean and tells the story of a clumsy giraffe named Gerald who meets a grasshopper who helps him learn to dance.

The illustrations are fantastic, the text flow effortlessly, and the story conveys an important message regarding those who are considered to be different.

It’s easy to empathize with the giraffe who was humiliated by his inability to dance and felt quite alone until he began to pursue his love.

Key Takeaways from the Book

The story of a gangly giraffe who couldn’t join in the Jungle Dance is told in Giles Andreae’s picture book Giraffes Can’t Dance.

Andreae recognizes that some youngsters feel excluded due to their differences. He sends a friend to the giraffe to show him the tune that makes him dance.

About the Author

Giles Andreae is the author of many children’s books, including the international bestseller Giraffes Can’t Dance. Giles lives by the river in the United Kingdom with his wife, Victoria, and their four small children.

Guy Parker-Rees is a well-known illustrator of children’s books. He is the illustrator of both Giles Andreae’s Giraffes Can’t Dance and Dinosaurumpus!, both international bestsellers.

Book Details

This book is available in Paperback, Hardcover, Audible, Board book versions.

  • Author: Giles Andreae, Guy Parker-Rees
  • Pages: 32 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Children’s Dance Books, Children’s Social Skills, Children’s Humor.

3. Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are
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About the Book

The Caldecott Medal-winning picture book by Maurice Sendak has become one of the most recognized and well-loved children’s books of all time. A must-have for any child’s library.

This timeless tale has inspired a film, an opera, and generations of fans. Max’s mother sends him to bed after he dresses up in his wolf suit and makes havoc in the house.

Max then sets sail for an island inhabited by the Riotous Things, who crown him king and join him in a wild rumpus. But suddenly Max gets a whiff of something tasty from halfway around the world.

Let the craziness continue as this classic is brought to life like never before with fresh artwork by Maurice Sendak.

Book Review

A timeless masterpiece that continues to captivate children’s hearts. The simple, rhythmic writing and emotive pictures appeal to all children.

This is a brief narrative on the power of imagination, but it also emphasizes that certain behaviors have a time and place, the value of respecting your mother, and the fact that mothers love you even if you don’t show them that respect.

It’s an incredible narrative to read aloud, and it’s a fantastic story to tell; the words are exact and accurate, and the author didn’t need to write many.

The images are beautiful, terrifying, amusing, and tragic all at the same time. You won’t be able to forget them. You’ll find certain references to William Blake’s Divina Commedia as an adult.

Key Takeaways from the Book

Amazing state-of-the-art technology faithfully reproduces the original images’ color and detail. Sendak himself embraced this amazing new version of his work with zeal.

About the Author

Maurice Sendak‘s children’s books have been translated into over 40 languages and have sold over 30 million copies.

He is the author of such masterpieces as In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, Higglety Pigglety Pop!, and Nutshell Library, and awarded the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are.

Book Details

You can buy this book in Paperback, Hardcover, Audio CD, Audible versions.

  • Author: Maurice Sendak.
  • Pages: 48 (Paperback).
  • Category/Genre: Children’s Fantasy & Magic Books, Children’s Action & Adventure Books, Children’s Classics.

4. The War of the Worlds (AD Classic Illustrated)

4. The War of the Worlds (AD Classic Illustrated)
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About the Book

Meteor-like objects begin slamming into Earth shortly after astronomers see explosions on Mars’ surface. As they explore the English countryside, Martians emerge from their craters in enormous tripods, wiping out army troops with heat-rays.

When the order to evacuate London is delivered, everything appears to be lost. However, there is one small element that the Martians overlooked.

H. G. Wells is credited with popularising time travel in 1895 with his novel The Time Machine, which introduced the concept of time as the “fourth dimension” a decade before Einstein’s first Relativity papers were published.

In The Island of Doctor Moreau, published in 1896, he envisaged a mad doctor producing human-like beings from animals, sparking a surge in interest in animal welfare across Europe.

Wells popularised the name “martian” and the idea that aliens could invade Earth in his 1898 novel The War of the Worlds, which created the idea that an advanced civilization could reside on Mars.

Book Review

In this era of global warming, Wells’ twist at the conclusion – the Earth, at her most basic, caring for people and defending itself against those who would do it harm – rings true. Shouldn’t we, if Wells’ Earth can look after us, do the same for him?

This is an incredible book. After performing in Jeff Wayne’s musical adaptation, reading the book and seeing how similar the play is to the original was a real treat. Despite being a classic, it is not a difficult book to read.

A fantastically unique extraterrestrial invasion story told through the eyes of two brothers at the turn of the twentieth century. The book is terrifying in some of its details and the degree of damage it depicts, but it’s also a survivor narrative.

Thankfully, there isn’t a forced love narrative added in, as if people would care about such things during an event like this. The novel is a superb blend of science and imagination that feels terrifyingly plausible.

Key Takeaways from the Book

With its fascinating stories of interplanetary travel and cosmic conflict, this gripping book by a master storyteller will enthrall new generations.

About the Author

H.G.Wells is best known for his groundbreaking science fiction novels such as The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, and The Island of Doctor Moreau.

He also wrote extensively on politics and social issues and was regarded as one of the most influential public intellectuals of his time.

Book Details

You can get this book in Paperback, Kindle, Hardcover, Mass Market Paperback formats.

  • Author: H. G. Wells
  • Pages: 94 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: First Contact Science Fiction, Alien Invasion Science Fiction.

5. The Mysterious Benedict Society

5. The Mysterious Benedict Society 
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About the Book

This first book in the bestselling, award-winning Mysterious Benedict Society Series is not to be missed by lovers of Lemony Snicket and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library!

“Are you a gifted child in search of unique opportunities?” Hundreds of children react to this strange newspaper ad and are then subjected to a series of mind-bending tests, which readers also participate in.

Only four children succeed two males and two girls. Their purpose: to execute a secret task that could only be completed by the most clever and innovative children.

They’ll have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened to accomplish this, where the only rule is that there are no rules.

But what they’ll uncover in the school’s hidden underground passageways is more than just school supplies. So, if you’re gifted, creative, or know Morse Code, they might certainly benefit from your assistance.

Book Review

It’s an adventure that’s still applicable. This book will change your perspective of the world, allowing you to perceive objects as potential puzzles and introducing you to the value of morse code, keeping a level head, and teamwork.

The concept of misfits fighting dark powers to rescue the world may sound old, but the prose is new, humorous, and exquisitely detailed.

The book is a fast-paced adventure with charming characters set on a mystery island with frightening youngsters and even creepier grownups, full of surprising turns and touching moments.

This has all the thrills and nostalgia of a Willard Price (remembered through rose-tinted childhood glasses) and the teamwork of an Enid Blyton brought up to date.

Key Takeaways from the Book

This one is fascinating, innovative, and thrilling.

It features two brave, bright boys and two tough, resourceful girls who work together to overcome complicated societal and governmental hurdles by combining teamwork, bravery, and investigative adventure to fight for what is right and sane for all.

About the Author

Trenton Lee Stewart is the author of the award-winning and New York Times bestselling Mysterious Benedict Society series, as well as The Secret Keepers. He is a resident of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Book Details

You can obtain this book in Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover versions.

  • Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
  • Pages: 496 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Children’s Mystery, Detective, & Soy, Children’s Friendship Books.

6. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Collins Classics)

6. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Collins Classics)
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About the Book

Dorothy and her canine companion Toto live quietly with Uncle Henry and Aunt Em on a Kansas farm. But one day, the little girl and her dog are whisked away from the Kansas fields to the fantastical country of Oz!

On the yellow-brick road to Emerald City, Dorothy and Toto make many friends in the hopes of finding a route home to Kansas— but when she arrives, the city’s mysterious ruler, the Wizard of Oz, is not who she expects! All 52 episodes have been dubbed in English!

Book Review

This anniversary edition is fantastic and stays faithful to the original plot. It is written in large font and divided into short chapters, making it suitable for bedtime storey reading.

“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” makes you feel like you’re on your first trip; you just have a few personal belongings and the world is a newborn to your eyes.

When you first acquire this book, you are struck by how lovely it will appear on your shelves, and you have nothing negative to say about it.

When you read it, you’ll be surprised at how much more storey there is after The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The majority of people are unaware that there are more stories to tell.

You also like Frank Baum’s vast imagination, especially since this is simply the first five stories.

Key Takeaways from the Book

This story has been entertaining children for over a century, and long may it continue to do so, as it is a wonderful little tale that encourages you to use your imagination while also improving your reading skills.

About the Author

L. Frank Baum (1856–1919), a prolific author of children’s literature, is best known for The Wizard of Oz. Michael Foreman is an illustrator who has worked on a wide range of children’s books and has won the Kate Greenaway Award and the Smarties Book Prize.

Book Details

This book can be obtained in Paperback, Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook versions.

  • Author: L. Frank Baum
  • Pages: 103 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Teen & Young Adult Sword & Sorcery Fantasy

7. The Graveyard Book

Graveyard Book
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About the Book

“The Graveyard Book”, by Neil Gaiman, is a perennial favourite that has sold over one million copies and is the only novel to receive both the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal.

The Newbery Medal, the Carnegie Medal, the Hugo Award for Best Novel, the Locus Award for Young Adult Novel, the American Bookseller Association’s “Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book,” Audio Book of the Year have all been awarded to The Graveyard Book.

Bod is an odd young man who lives in an unusual setting: he is the last surviving occupant of a cemetery.

Bod has been raised by ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery residents since he was a child, learning their ancient customs as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so that normal mortals cannot see him.

Is it possible for a youngster raised by ghosts to face the wonders and terrors of both the living and the dead worlds?

Book Review

The Graveyard Book is Gaiman at his best, thrilling and humorous at times, terrifying and tender at others. Neil Gaiman weaves a narrative of lasting enchantment in this novel of wonder, following in the footsteps of long-ago storytellers.

The story has a surreal feel because to lucid, evocative wording and gloomy fairy-tale elements. This ghost story/coming-of-age novel is as accomplished as it is readable.

A graveyard is required to raise a child. Watching Bod grow up in his wonderful crumbly graveyard with his dead and live companions was my favourite part of this novel. Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book is yet another surprising and fantastic book.

The Graveyard Book is endlessly imaginative, wonderfully presented, and, like Bod himself, far too intelligent to be contained in a single location. This is a book that everyone should read. You will adore it to the point of death.

Key Takeaways from the Book

The Graveyard Book accomplishes the amazing achievement of performing beautiful jazz riffs on Rudyard Kipling’s iconic Jungle Books. This book may appear to be a small jewel, but it is much larger on the inside than it appears on the exterior.

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the author of more than twenty books, including Norse Mythology, Neverwhere, and The Graveyard Book, and is the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

The Newbery and Carnegie medals, as well as the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner prizes, are among his many literary honours.

Book Details

This book can be bought in Paperback, Kindle, Audible, Hardcover forms.

  • Author: Neil Gaiman
  • Pages: 320 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Ghost Fiction, Children’s Spine-Chilling Horror, Children’s Fantasy & Magic Books.

8. Pollyanna

Pollyanna
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About the Book

Eleanor H. Porter’s best-selling novel Pollyanna is today regarded a classic of children’s literature. Porter quickly followed up with Pollyanna Grows Up, a sequel to the book’s success.

Because of the novel’s success, the term “Pollyanna” (together with the adjective “pollyannaish” and the noun “Pollyannaism”) has become a slang term for someone who can always find something to be “happy” about, regardless of the circumstances.

Book Review

Except for the terrible frequent use of “she eja**lated” to imply “she sobbed” or “she shouted,” it would be an excellent read-aloud with your kids. It would be simple enough to substitute another word for that one.

Now that that’s out of the way, this book is hysterically humorous and utterly lovely. Pollyanna encounters a variety of individuals in her small town, all of whom are appealingly drawn – even the grumpy ones – and Pollyanna has a magical influence on everyone.

Just the proper amount of sweetness and joy, coupled with lessons on how to deal with life’s harsh realities. It’s easy to see why it was so popular back then.

Key Takeaways from the Book

Although this book was written almost a century ago, its message is still relevant today. Its primary theme of thankfulness has stood the test of time. This is a novel that a new generation of readers should be introduced to.

About the Author

Eleanor H. Porter was a renowned children’s novelist from Massachusetts who lived from 1868 to 1920. She wrote short stories and novels, but “Pollyanna,” published in 1913, is her most well-known work.

Book Details

This book can be purchased in Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook, and Hardback versions.

  • Author: Eleanor H. Porter
  • Pages: 122 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Children’s Classics.

Final Verdict

Reading the books on this list isn’t just a method to open up a world of limitless possibilities; it’s also a way to introduce young readers to enduring characters and enchanting stories that have captivated audiences for years. Happy Reading!


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