List of children's classic books

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This is a list of children's classic books published at least 20 years ago and still available in the English language.[1][2][3]

Books specifically for children existed by the 17th century. Before that, books were written mainly for adults – although some later became popular with children. Most printed works were hard to come by due to their cost and were mostly available for purchase only by upper class society. Scholarship on children's literature includes professional organizations, dedicated publications, and university courses.

Before 18th century[edit]

TitleAuthorYear publishedReferences and Brief Introduction
PanchatantraVishnu Sharmac. 800 BCAncient Indian inter-related collection of animal fables in verse and prose, in a frame story format. Similar stories are found in later works including Aesop's Fables and the Sindbad tales in Arabian Nights.[4]
Aesop's FablesAesopc. 600 BC[5][6]
KathasaritsagaraSomadeva11th Century ADCollection of Indian legends, fairy tales and folk tales as retold by a Saivite Brahmin named Somadeva. Generally believed to derive from Gunadhya's Brhat-katha, written in Paisachi dialect from the south of India.[citation needed]
Arabian Nightsunknownbefore 8th century AD[7][8]
Orbis PictusJohn Amos Comenius1658Earliest picture book specifically for children.[9][10]
A Token for Children. Being An Exact Account of the Conversion, Holy and Exemplary Lives, and Joyful Deaths of several Young ChildrenJames Janeway1672One of the first books specifically written for children which shaped much eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century writing for children.[citation needed][11]

18th century[edit]

TitleAuthorYear publishedReferences
Robinson CrusoeDaniel Defoe1719[1][3][12]
Gulliver's TravelsJonathan Swift1726[1][13]
Tales of Mother GooseCharles Perrault1729 (English)[3][2][14]
Little Pretty Pocket-bookJohn Newbery1744[15]
Little Goody Two ShoesOliver Goldsmith1765[16]
Lessons for ChildrenAnna Laetitia Barbauld1778-9The first series of age-adapted reading primers for children printed with large text and wide margins; in print for over a century.[17]
The History of Sandford and MertonThomas Day1783-9A bestseller for over a century, it embodied Rousseau's educational ideals.[18]

19th century[edit]

TitleAuthorYear publishedReferences
The Swiss Family RobinsonJohann Rudolf Wyss1812-3[1]
The Nutcracker and the Mouse KingE. T. A. Hoffman1816[19]
IvanhoeWalter Scott1819[20]
The Legend of Sleepy HollowWashington Irving1819[1][21]
Rip Van WinkleWashington Irving1820[1][22]
Grimm's Fairy TalesJacob and Wilhelm Grimm1823 (English)[3][23]
A Visit From St. NicholasClement Clarke Moore1823[3]
Tales of Peter Parley About AmericaPeter Parley (pseudonym)1827[3]
Oliver TwistCharles Dickens1838[1]
Nicholas NickelbyCharles Dickens1839
A Christmas CarolCharles Dickens1843[1][2]
The Three MusketeersAlexandre Dumas, père1844
The Count of Monte CristoAlexandre Dumas, père1845
Fairy TalesHans Christian Andersen1846 (English)[3]
The Children of the New ForestFrederick Marryat1847
Slovenly PeterHeinrich Hoffmann1848 (English)
David CopperfieldCharles Dickens1850[1]
The Wide, Wide WorldElizabeth Wetherell (pseudonym)1850[3]
The King of the Golden RiverJohn Ruskin1851[3]
Little Eva: The Flower of the SouthPhilip J. Cozans1853First known children's novel to feature racial (i.e. pro-slavery) bias.[citation needed]
A Tale of Two CitiesCharles Dickens1853[1]
The Coral IslandR. M. Ballantyne1857
Tom Brown's SchooldaysThomas Hughes1857[3]
Great ExpectationsCharles Dickens1861[1][24]
The Water BabiesCharles Kingsley1863[3]
A Journey to the Center of the EarthJules Verne1864[1]
Alice's Adventures in WonderlandLewis Carroll1865[1][2]
Max and MoritzWilhelm Busch1865
Hans Brinker or the Silver SkatesMary Mapes Dodge1865[1]
Little WomenLouisa May Alcott1868[1][3][2]
Ragged DickHoratio Alger, Jr.1868[3]
Lorna DooneR. D. Blackmore1869
Twenty Thousand Leagues under the SeaJules Verne1870[1]
At the Back of the North WindGeorge MacDonald1871[1]
The Princess and the GoblinGeorge MacDonald1871[3]
Through the Looking-GlassLewis Carroll1871[1][3]
A Dog of FlandersOuida1872
What Katy DidSusan Coolidge1873[3]
The Adventures of Tom SawyerMark Twain1876[1][3][2][25]
Black BeautyAnna Sewell1877[1][3]
The Adventures of PinocchioCarlo Collodi1883[1][3][2][25]
The Merry Adventures of Robin HoodHoward Pyle1883[2][25]
Nights with Uncle RemusJoel Chandler Harris1883
Treasure IslandRobert Louis Stevenson1883[1][3][2][25]
Adventures of Huckleberry FinnMark Twain1884[1][25]
HeidiJohanna Spyri1884 (English)[3]
King Solomon's MinesH. Rider Haggard1885
KidnappedRobert Louis Stevenson1886[1][2]
Little Lord FauntleroyFrances Hodgson Burnett1886[1][3]
The Happy Prince and Other TalesOscar Wilde1888
The Blue Fairy BookAndrew Lang1889
The Jungle BookRudyard Kipling1894[1][3][2][25]
Seven Little AustraliansEthel Turner1894[3]
The Second Jungle BookRudyard Kipling1895[1]
MoonfleetJ. Meade Falkner1898
The Story of the Treasure SeekersE. Nesbit1899

20th century[edit]

TitleAuthorYear publishedReferences
The Wonderful Wizard of OzL. Frank Baum1900[1][3][2][25]
Five Children and ItE. Nesbit1902[3]
Just So StoriesRudyard Kipling1902[1][3][2]
The Tale of Peter RabbitBeatrix Potter1902[3][2]
King Arthur and His KnightsHoward Pyle1902-3
The Call of the WildJack London1903[1]
Rebecca of Sunnybrook FarmKate Douglas Wiggin1903[1]
Peter PanJ. M. Barrie1904[2]
A Little PrincessFrances Hodgson Burnett1905[1][3]
The Railway ChildrenE. Nesbit1906
White FangJack London1906
Anne of Green GablesLucy Maud Montgomery1908[1][3]
The Wind in the WillowsKenneth Grahame1908[1][3][25]
The Secret GardenFrances Hodgson Burnett1909/1911[1][3][2]
The Lost WorldSir Arthur Conan Doyle1912
PollyannaEleanor H. Porter1913[3]
The Magic PuddingNorman Lindsay1918[26]
The Story of Doctor DolittleHugh Lofting1920[1][3][2]
The Heart of a DogAlbert Payson Terhune1921[1]
Juan BoboPuerto Rican school children1921[27]
Velveteen RabbitMargery Bianco1922[1]
The Voyages of Doctor DolittleHugh Lofting1922[1]
The Dark FrigateCharles Boardman Hawes1923[1]
Smoky the CowhorseWill James1926[1]
Winnie-the-PoohA. A. Milne1926[1][3][2]
The House at Pooh CornerA. A. Milne1927[1][3]
BambiFelix Salten1928[1]
The Trumpeter of KrakowEric P. Kelly1928[1]
Emil and the DetectivesErich Kästner1929[28]
Swallows and AmazonsArthur Ransome1930–1931[3]
Little House in the Big WoodsLaura Ingalls Wilder1932[1]
The HobbitJ. R. R. Tolkien1937[1][3][2][25]
The Reluctant DragonKenneth Grahame1938[2]
Curious GeorgeH. A. Rey1941
Five on a Treasure IslandEnid Blyton1942
Johnny TremainEsther Forbes1943[1][2]
The Little PrinceAntoine de Saint-Exupéry1943[1][29]
Pippi LongstockingAstrid Lindgren1945[1][30]
The Little White HorseElizabeth Goudge1946
Goodnight MoonMargaret Wise Brown1947[2][31]
Finn Family MoomintrollTove Jansson1949[32]
The Lion, the Witch, and the WardrobeC.S. Lewis1950[1][3][2][25]
Charlotte's WebE. B. White1952[1][33][34]
The Cat in the HatDr. Seuss1957First high quality limited-vocabulary book, written for early readers[citation needed]
Tom's Midnight GardenPhilippa Pearce1958
James and the Giant PeachRoald Dahl1961[1]
The Phantom TollboothNorton Juster1961[1]
To Kill a MockingbirdHarper Lee1962Widely read work on race.[35][36]
Where the Wild Things AreMaurice Sendak1963
Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryRoald Dahl1964[1]
A Wizard of EarthseaUrsula K. Le Guin1968With its sequels, it broke ground for epic fantasy in several ways: the first book had a non-white hero, the later books explored the role of gender in fantasy and power, and the quest structure is not good vs. evil but balance.[citation needed]
Are You There, God? It's Me, MargaretJudy Blume1970approached puberty more openly than children's books had in the past.[citation needed]
A Taste of BlackberriesDoris Buchanan Smith1973Taboo breaking children's book (Grades 4-6) concerning a child's first grief experience. HarperCollins. 19th edition published 2005.[37][38]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc Nesbit, Eva Marie. "Classic novels". Cullinan & Person 2003. pp. 171–175. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Silvey 1995, pp. xi–xvi
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am Hunt 2001, p. xvi–xxii
  4. ^ Vijay Bedekar (27 December 2008). "Seminar on 'Suhbashita, Panchatantra & Gnomic Literature in Ancient & Medieval India'". Institute for Oriental Study, Thane. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Silvey 1995, p. 3
  6. ^ Temple, Olivia; Temple, Robert K. G. (translators) (1998). Aesop, The Complete Fables. New York: Penguin Classics. ISBN 0-14-044649-4. 
  7. ^ Silvey 1995, p. 25,86
  8. ^ Lyons (2008). Three tales from the Arabian nights. translated by Malcolm C. Lyons, Robert Irwin, and Ursula Lyons ; with an introduction by Robert Irwin. London: Penguin. ISBN 978-1-84614-158-4. 
  9. ^ Epstein, Connie C. (1991). The Art of Writing for Children. Archon Books. p. 2. ISBN 0-208-02297-X. 
  10. ^ Comenius, John Amos (1999). Orbis Pictus : [Orbis Sensualium Pictus. A world of things obvious to the scenes drawn in pictures] ([Faks.Repr.] ed.). Kessinger. ISBN 978-0-7661-0825-7. 
  11. ^ Janeway, James (1994). A token for children : being an exact account of the conversion, holy and exemplary lives and joyful deaths of several young children in two parts. To which is added, A token for the children of New England / by Cotton Mather. Pittsburgh, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications. ISBN 978-1-877611-76-6. 
  12. ^ Defoe, Daniel (2001). Robinson Crusoe (Modern Library paperback ed. ed.). New York: The Modern Library. ISBN 978-0-375-75732-7. 
  13. ^ Swift, Jonathan (2002). Rivero, Albert J., ed. Gulliver's travels. Based on the 1726 text : contexts, criticism (1st ed. ed.). New York: Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-95724-2. 
  14. ^ Perrault, Charles (1963). The complete fairy tales of Charles Perrault. Illustrated by Sally Holmes ; newly translated by Neil Philip and Nicoletta Simborowski ; with an introduction and notes on the story by Neil Philip. New York: Clarion Books. ISBN 978-0-395-57002-9. 
  15. ^ Newbery, John, ed. (2009). A Little pretty pocket-book. Dodo Press. ISBN 978-1-4099-4974-9. 
  16. ^ Welsh, Charles (2010). Goody Two Shoes (reprint ed.). Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 978-1-162-75622-6. 
  17. ^ Pickering, Samuel F., Jr. John Locke and Children's Books in Eighteenth-Century England. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1981. ISBN 0-87049-290-X.
  18. ^ Darton, F. J. Harvey. Children's Books in England: Five Centuries of Social Life. 3rd ed. Rev. Brian Alderson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1982), 146.
  19. ^ Hoffman, E.T.A. (2003). The Nutcracker : the heirloom edition. Illustrated by Don Daily. Philadelphia: Running Press. ISBN 978-0-7624-1668-4. 
  20. ^ Scott, Sir Walter (2000). Ivanhoe (1st Tor ed.). New York: Tom Doherty Associates. ISBN 978-0-8125-6565-2. 
  21. ^ Irving, Washington (1990). The legend of Sleepy Hollow. Introduction, afterword by Charles L. Grant] (1st Tor ed.). New York: Tom Doherty Associates. ISBN 978-0-8125-0475-0. 
  22. ^ Irving, Washington (1993). Rip Van Winkle and other selected stories (1st Tor ed.). New York: TOR. ISBN 978-0-8125-2332-4. 
  23. ^ Grimm, Wilhelm (2006). Owens, Lily, ed. The complete Brothers Grimm fairy tales (Deluxe ed.). New York: Gramercy Books. ISBN 978-0-517-22925-5. 
  24. ^ Nesbit gave an incorrect date of 1863 for the publication. See, for example, Robert L. Patten (1978), Charles Dickens and His Publishers, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 288–293, ISBN 0198120761 
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Baskin, Barbara H.; Harris, Karen. "Classics". Silvey 1995, pp. 140–142. 
  26. ^ Hunt 2001, p. 36
  27. ^ Journal of American Folklore, Vol.34, p. 143; by J. Alden Mason & Aurelio M. Espinosa, ed.; 1921 Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  28. ^ Hunt 2001, p. 361
  29. ^ Hunt 2001, pp. 569–570
  30. ^ Hunt 2001, pp. 406–407
  31. ^ Hunt 2001, p. 97
  32. ^ Silvey 1995, p. 350
  33. ^ Introducing Children's Literature: From Romanticism to Postmodernism by Deborah Cogan Thacker, Routledge, 2002, page 123
  34. ^ 100 Best Books for Children by Anita Silvey, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004, page 131
  35. ^ Grieve, Quincey (Spring 2012). "A white woman addressing racial complexity in To Kill a Mockingbird". Independent Teacher (National Association of Independent Schools). Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  36. ^ Metcalf, Stephen (9 June 2006). "On first looking into To Kill a Mockingbird". Slate (The Slate Group). Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  37. ^ "Doris Buchanan Smith". St. James Guide to Young Adult Writers. Gale Biography In Contex. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  38. ^ Trelease, Jim (2006). The Read-Aloud Handbook. New York: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated. p. 236. ISBN 978-0-14-303739-2. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Kay E. Vandergrift. "Traditional Classics in Children's Literature". Rutgers University. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  • Baker, Franklin Thomas; Abbot, Allan (2008) [1908]. A bibliography of children's reading (digitized ed.). Teachers College. 
  • Cullinan, Bernice E.; Person, Diane G., eds. (2003). The Continuum encyclopedia of children's literature (Reprinted ed.). New York, NY: Continuum. ISBN 978-0-8264-1516-5. 
  • Hunt, Peter (2001). Children's literature (1st ed.). Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-21141-9. 
  • Lundin, Anne (2004). Constructing the canon of children's literature : beyond library walls and ivory towers. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-8153-3841-4.  A scholarly examination of canons of children's literature.
  • Silvey, Anita, ed. (1995). Children's books and their creators. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 978-0-395-65380-7.  Includes a basic reading list on pp. xi–xvi.
  • Spitz, Ellen Handler (2000). Inside picture books. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300084764. 
  • Thwaite, Mary F. (1972). From primer to pleasure in reading : an introduction to the history of children's books in England from the invention of printing to 1914 with an outline of some developments in other countries (1st American ed.). Boston: The Horn book. ISBN 978-0-87675-275-3.