Best Classic Children’s Books: Finding the Perfect Classic Children’s Books with Your Kids

From timeless stories that have been passed down for generations to newer tales that have become cherished favorites, these books are sure to please young readers of all ages. So whether you’re looking for your child’s first book or just expanding your family’s reading list, scroll through our picks for some of the best classic children’s books.

This list of classic children’s books will highlight books that have stood the test of time, and that can be enjoyed for years to come. All of these books are timeless classics that can be enjoyed over and over again with your kids. And if you have multiple children, they can be enjoyed for even longer.

Also, you can trust that many of these classic stories have positive life lessons as well. Kids can learn about friendship, adventure, kindness, and so much more through the different stories in these books, which will only help them in their own life journeys. So not only will these kids’ books provide some quality entertainment, they will offer a head start on life.

When you are finished with this list, make sure to visit our lists of the best apps for kids, the best educational apps for kids, and the best summer activities for kids. All of these lists will help make sure that your kids have plenty of fun and learning opportunities.


Top 25 Classic Children’s Books:



1. The Rainbow Fish

Price: $13.99

Recommended Reading Age: 4-8

Book Highlights: Interactive illustrations, and is an international bestseller.

About Classic Children’s Book: This inspirational book by Marcus Pfister is wonderfully illustrated with foil stamping and glitter on every page. It immediately captures childrens’ attention while gently teaching the importance of sharing and openness while making friends. For a dazzling book with value, The Rainbow Fish is a celebrated modern classic that is an easy-to-read choice for young listeners.



2. Charlotte’s Web

Price: $5.47

Recommended Reading Age: 8-12

Book Highlights: Timeless story line, and is one of America’s top loved novels.

About Classic Children’s Book: Charlotte’s Web is one of the best classic children’s books with more than 45 million copies sold to date. It is wonderfully illustrated and discusses the topics of deep friendship, courage, life, and death in ways that all children can enjoy. And if your kids love this celebrated story, check out E.B. White’s other children’s books: Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan.



3. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Price: $5.36

Recommended Reading Age: 2-5

Book Highlights: Brightly colored collage illustrations, and is a #1 bestseller.

About Classic Children’s Book: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is an acclaimed children’s book that features lyrical words by Bill Martin Jr and bright illustrations by Eric Carl. The fun, animal-filled pages are sure to enchant, while the thick board-book design is ideal for the youngest of children. Without a doubt, children will enjoy this #1 bestselling book over and over again.



4. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Price: $9.95

Recommended Reading Age: 12-18

Book Highlights: Fun stories of adventure, geared for teenagers, and is an American classic.

About Classic Children’s Book: Do you have a young adventurer on your hands? The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is the perfect book for kids who love excitement and new experiences. Join Tom and his friends as they explore the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. With fishing trips, pirate raids, and school-skipping adventures, there’s never a dull moment. This classic children’s book is sure to entertain young readers.



5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar 

Price: $5.06

Recommended Reading Age: 0-3

Book Highlights: Interactive story, ideal for learning to count, and perfect for little hands.

About Classic Children’s Book: Featuring the beloved hungry caterpillar, this is an all-time classic children’s book. The story is written by Eric Carl and follows a small, hungry caterpillar on his mission to become a beautiful butterfly. This story is also accompanied by colorful collage illustrations by Eric Carl and die-cut pages. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is an ideal interactive choice for new babies, baby showers, or first birthdays.



6. The Wonky Donkey

Price: $5.28

Recommended Reading Age: 3-5

Book Highlights: Top elementary teachers’ book choice, and features a rhyming story line.

About Classic Children’s Book: Encourage a fun, rhyming read-aloud with this award-winning songbook for kids. They can discover the observations made about this wonky donkey while enjoying the silly, full-page illustrations. In fact, this hysterical book is the first in the series of two Wonky Donkey children’s books. Entertain and teach with this endearing donkey tale!



7. Room on the Broom

Price: $6.98

Recommended Reading Age: 3-7

Book Highlights: Seasonally themed, well-suited for reading aloud, and has a five-star reader rating.

About Classic Children’s Book: Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are two of the best authors that have collaborated on children’s books. With Room on the Broom, they have put together a catching story about friendship, teamwork, and sharing that is brightly illustrated and deliverable to all children. If you’re in search of the perfect children’s book to gift, look no further.



8. Corduroy

Price: $4.28

Recommended Reading Age: 1-3

Book Highlights: Perfect for young listeners, and has more than fifty years of reader enjoyment.

About Classic Children’s Book: In this unabridged board book children are introduced to the fuzzy and lovable bear Corduroy as he faces challenges with courage, determination, and kindness. The story is fully illustrated and is sure to please even the youngest readers. Best yet, this is the first of twelve books in the Corduroy series by Don Freeman, so you and your young listeners can enjoy all of his many adventures.



9. The Secret Lake

Price: $7.99

Recommended Reading Age: 8-12

Book Highlights: Children’s mystery and adventure, and is perfect for independent readers.

About Classic Children’s Book: The Secret Lake by Karen Inglis is an ideal adventure story for eager young readers. They will be taken on a journey with a pair of siblings, Stella and Tom, as they solve riddles, make friends and enemies, and realize significant connections between the past and present in their little hometown. If your kids are wanting a brain-teasing, twist-and-turn adventure story, The Secret Lake is sure to be a favorite.



10. Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Price: $18.80

Recommended Reading Age: 8-12

Book Highlights: Part of a five-book series, and made into two motion pictures.

About Classic Children’s Book: Rick Riordan delivers an action and Greek mythology-packed story that is both a children’s and young adult book with Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Without a doubt, independent readers will devour this comedic and thrilling adventure about the son of Poseidon and his demi-god friends as they go on quest after quest to save the Olympians. And for those who want more, Percy’s adventures are now available to view in two motion pictures and as a Disney+ TV series.



11. The Gruffalo

Price: $4.99

Recommended Reading Age: 3-7

Book Highlights: A teachers’ pick storybook, and has a rhyming storyline.

About Classic Children’s Book: Encourage imagination, quick thinking, and confidence in reading aloud with Julia Donaldson’s best children’s picture book. The little mouse in the forest, and the incredible power of his imagination, are woven into an ideal rhyming story for beginner readers. In addition, each page is filled with the characterful illustrations of Axel Scheffler, bringing this inspirational story to life for the enjoyment of all.



12. The Girl Who Drank the Moon 

Price: $6.38

Recommended Reading Age: 10-14

Book Highlights: Filled with magic and fantasy, and is a celebrated Newberry Medal-winning classic.

About Classic Children’s Book: Dive into a different world with this best classic children’s book by Kelly Barnhill. Mystical creatures, magic, and more are all in store for young readers brave enough to follow the story of Xan, a kind forest witch, and her adopted daughter, Luna, as they navigate serious conflicts and resolve issues in their enchanting world. And if kids love this story, look out for Kelly Barnhill’s second fantasy children’s book: The Ogress and the Orphans.



13. Just Go to Bed

Price: $3.99

Recommended Reading Age: 3-7

Book Highlights: Illustrated and written by Mercer Mayer, easy to read, and has a five-star reader review.

About Classic Children’s Book: This book is ideal for parents wanting to introduce bedtime routines to their young children. The storyline features a very reluctant Little Critter who, step by step, gets ready for bed at the end of the day.

From taking a bath to changing into pajamas and being tucked in, this story by Mercer Mayer gently and playfully introduces routine to toddlers. Go ahead, give this perfect book to any parents in need of toddler bedtime inspiration!



14. Elmer

Price: $14.99

Recommended Reading Age: 4-8

Book Highlights: Children learn that it is okay to be different, perfect for new readers, and full of colorful illustrations.

About Classic Children’s Book: Introducing Elmer, the lovable patchwork elephant who is always standing out in a crowd. In this first installment of the beloved children’s series by David McKee, Elmer must come to terms with being different and learn to embrace his uniqueness.

With its charming illustrations and humorous storyline, this book is perfect for kids who are just starting to read on their own. So bring home Elmer today and help your child discover the importance of being themselves!



15. Llama Llama Red Pajama

Price: $7.27

Recommended Reading Age: 1-3

Book Highlights: Bedtime board book, ideal for toddlers, and is a top teacher’s pick.

About Classic Children’s Book: In this endearing story, told in a rhyming format and accompanied by colorful illustrations, young Llama is facing doubts regarding bedtime. Young children are bound to find comfort in the gentle and reassuring responses that Mama Llama has for her little one.

As such, this board book is a perfect option for bedtime reading. Moreover, there are a total of forty-one Llama Llama books, so parents and children can continue to relate with Anna Dewdney’s character one story after another.



16. The Story of Ferdinand 

Price: $4.74

Recommended Reading Age: 3-5

Book Highlights: Teachers pick storybook, and has more than seventy-five years of reader enjoyment.

About Classic Children’s Book: This all-time favorite story features the docile bull Ferdinand, who would rather smell flowers under his favorite cork tree than snort and butt heads with the other young bulls.

Through easy storytelling and alongside the beautiful pen-and-ink drawings of Robert Lawson, Munro Leaf effortlessly captures the attention of young listeners. Without question, The Story of Ferdinand makes our list of the top best classic children’s books.



17. The Snowy Day

Price: $5.91

Recommended Reading Age: 2-5

Book Highlights: New York Public Library recommended, and is a Caldecott Medal-winning picture book.

About Classic Children’s Book: The Snow Day is one of four Picture Puffin Books by Ezra Jack Keats. And in this particular one, readers greet brightly illustrated pages that explore the wonder and magic of the first snowfall. This simple yet deeply enjoyable book has been a celebrated classic for generations, is a teachers’ pick book, and is the perfect holiday season gift for your favorite little listener.



18. Anne of Green Gables

Price: $23.99

Recommended Reading Age: 8-12

Book Highlights: Five-star reader rating, and is ideal for middle-school level readers.

About Classic Children’s Book: This is one of the best classic children’s book series by L.M. Montgomery. In fact, generation after generation of young readers has enjoyed the heartfelt, witty, and adventure-filled story of Anne, an orphan adopted by two elderly siblings in the picturesque setting of Prince Edward Island. This timeless heroine is sure to enchant all young readers, who will be more than excited to read all eight books of the Anne of Green Gables series.



19. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Price: $7.99

Recommended Reading Age: 8-12

Book Highlights: Fun and entertaining, perfect for middle school level readers, and has a positive storyline.

About Classic Children’s Book: If you’re looking for a great classic children’s book to keep your kid entertained, look no further than Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. This hilarious story is about a fourth-grade boy named Peter and his mischievous younger brother Fudge.

Follow Peter as he tries to navigate life with Fudge making everything difficult for him. Despite the challenges, Peter always manages to stay positive and loving towards his family. This book is perfect for kids who are looking for an engaging and entertaining read.



20. The Boxcar Children

Price: $16.27

Recommended Reading Age: 7-10

Book Highlights: Created and written by a first-grade teacher, and has more than 50 million copies sold.

About Classic Children’s Book: Welcome in quick-thinking and ingenuity with The Boxcar Children books by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Engage young readers with one of the best mystery books featuring Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny, four dear friends who come together as orphans to explore the world, find a home, and, most importantly: solve mysteries. With more than one hundred books in this series, all kids are sure to find a favorite Boxcar Children mystery!



21. Amelia Bedelia

Price: $21.56

Recommended Reading Age: 6-10

Book Highlights: #1 best-selling chapter book series, and has illustrations on every page.

About Classic Children’s Book: Amelia Bedelia is one of the funniest, all-time favorite characters for young readers to enjoy. Her spunk and comedic understanding of situations are hilarious, while this book’s short chapters effectively build independent readers’ confidence. Better yet, this edition includes a guide for all of the idioms included in the story, allowing all readers to effectively expand their understanding of language use. Undoubtedly, Amelia Bedilia is the perfect option for newly independent readers.



22. Mrs. Pepperpot Stories

Price: $12.24

Recommended Reading Age: 7-9

Book Highlights: Magical adventures, charming illustrations, and will provide plenty of fuel for young imaginations.

About Classic Children’s Book: Delight your little ones with the magical adventures of Mrs. Pepperpot. These classic children’s books have been enchanting readers for over 60 years, and are still just as beloved today. With charming illustrations and exciting stories, these books are sure to captivate your child’s imagination.



23. The Three Little Pigs Los Tres Cerditos

Price: $3.99

Recommended Reading Age: 4-8

Book Highlights: Bilingual learning, easy-to-read pages, and is well-suited for elementary-level readers.

About Classic Children’s Book: Beginner readers can enjoy this classic fairytale about hard work and imagination in both English and Spanish with The Three Little Pigs/Los Tres Cerditos by Patricia Seibert. In fact, with side-by-side bilingual text and wonderful illustrations, this book offers an enchanting and enjoyable way to practice comprehension, expand vocabulary, increase language skills, and boost overall reading success!



24. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Price: $5.99

Recommended Reading Age: 8-12

Book Highlights: Ideal for independent readers, seasonally themed, and filled with chaotic charm.

About Classic Children’s Book: In this best-selling book, the Herdmans, six siblings who have never heard the Christmas story before, interpret the holiday season in a whole new way. Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claude, Ollie, and Gladys approach all people and events in this tale with their characteristic shenanigans and hilarity.

If you’re looking for a bizarre and entertaining story to share with the whole family or to gift to an energetic reader, look no further! The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is your answer.



25. The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Price: $7.99

Recommended Reading Age: 3-7

Book Highlights: True children’s classic, has been in print since 1902, and provides valuable life lessons.

About Classic Children’s Book: If you’re looking for a classic children’s book that will keep your youngster entertained for hours on end, look no further than The Tale of Peter Rabbit. This timeless story has been in print since 1902 and is still as popular today as it was then.

Peter Rabbit is a mischievous rabbit who gets into all sorts of trouble with his family, friends, and neighbors, but he always manages to find his way home in the end. Along the way, your child will learn valuable lessons about life, such as dealing with authority figures and learning from their mistakes.


Best Classic Children’s Books Conclusion

After looking through this list, you have most likely seen several books that you also enjoyed as a child, and that is because they are truly classics. This list of the best classic children’s books has stood the test of time and continues to provide fun, educational content for kids. And of course, each child will have their own interests, but many of these books will appeal to all children.

Many of these books also have excellent imagery as well. So even if you have a child that can’t read yet, they will love looking at the pictures even if you aren’t actively reading them the story. This will allow for hours of entertainment on their own.

Along with reading, make sure to visit our lists of the best kid’s games and best board games. These lists will provide even more family-fun opportunities for you and your kids.

Have you read any of these classic children’s books before? If you have, we would love to hear which one is your favorite. Or, if you feel like one of your favorites isn’t on this list, please feel free to share that in the comments below as well.