The benefits of reading books to kids are valuable. With that, adults must instill a culture of reading and books to the children at the earliest time possible. To achieve that, you need to choose the best ones not only unique and engaging enough to keep you on flipping its pages but also something that will capture kids’ hearts and imagination. Providing them with an extraordinary experience with books can fire up your kid’s reading habits.
With all that in mind, read our rundown of the most famous children’s stories of all time and stock up on these favorites as no child should grow up without reading them.
1. “Goodnight Moon” – Margaret Brown (1947)
Margaret Brown’s “Goodnight Moon” is a book about an adorable young rabbit bidding a nighty-night to all things he sees from his room, using a calming, ritualistic tone. Greeting the moon, air, and noises everywhere, this highly-acclaimed kid bedtime story looks at the world from the modest eyes of a young child, allaying babies to slumber since 1947.
2. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” – Eric Carle (1969)
Now a half-century old, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is one of the greatest children’s stories of all time, tackling the story of a caterpillar, eating munching different kinds of food, before eventually pupating and turning into a stunning butterfly. It blends a fun and educational plot, plus a distinctive and captivating illustration – no surprise that it’s part of the best “first buy” books for your children.
3. “Where the Wild Things Are” – Maurice Sendak (1963)
Maurice Sendak’s 1963 book talks about the story of a little boy named Max, who was punished and sent to bed sans having dinner. He then escapes through his imagination and creates a new world for himself, learning to master his complex emotions, and eventually realizing the significance of his family and home. It’s a book that is simple yet brimmed with wisdom, truth, and insights, accentuated by a surprising depiction, making it one of the perfect books for children and influencing them at the early stages of their lives.
4. “Winnie-the-Pooh” – A. A. Milne (1926)
Created in 1926, the everlasting story of Winnie and his friends, Tigger, Piglet, and donkey Eeyore, and young kid Christopher Robin, still delights people today. It features adventures of pure childhood innocence whilst showing how they think and react to different situations in the enchanted forest. A certified classic, “Winnie-the-Pooh” has never been out of print since its successful first publication, and has been passed on from bookshelf to bookshelf.
5. “Charlotte’s Web” – EB White (1952)
A story revolving around friendship, loyalty, changing seasons, and the miracles of life and mortality, “Charlotte’s Web” is a masterpiece that has touched readers since 1952. A pig and spider transcend their differences and elicit mixed emotions from a simple barnyard setting to provide huge and genuine life lessons.
6. “Harold and the Purple Crayon” – Crockett Johnson (1955)
Who says a single crayon isn’t enough? In this book, a four-year-old boy makes a new world through his purple crayon. With this power and imagination, he takes on new adventures, from complex things such as drawing an entire ocean and a bot, to simple things, like drawing a bed and sleeping on it when he feels sleepy. A story about possibilities, it shows how beautiful the world can be if a kid can draw it the way he sees it.
7. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” – Roald Dahl (1964)
The poor yet caring and kind boy named Charlie Bucket has always hoped to see Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory. Much to his surprise, he won a chance to visit it, along with four other kids, not knowing what’s waiting ahead for them. Soon, it turned into a swirling adventure, featuring peculiar and singing factory workers, a perilous chocolate river, and a kid-transporting television set – perfect stuff to push young reader’s fascination into the limits.
8. “Little Women” – Louis May Alcott (1868)
This Alcott classic talks about sisters’ journey from being children to young adults, encompassing adventures, love, family, domesticity, and personal character. Boasting an enthralling plot and charming identities, and true-to-life conversations, it’s pages will coast along, gripping storytellers and its readers.
9. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll (1865)
Another classic children’s book fantasy, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” will take kids into a rabbit hole and transport them into a perplexed yet exciting alternating world. From there, they will encounter the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, and the Cheshire Cat that will tickle their curiosity, make them question reality, and spark their fancy.
10. “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” – C.S.Lewis (1950)
A magical fable of four children who happened to stumble in the fictional land of Narnia through a magic wardrobe closet, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is part of the seven high-fantasy classic series by C. S. Lewis. Though labeled as “a story for children” on its cover, it is an enchanting tale for everybody, going around mythical creatures, talking animals, psychological realism, and unnerving magic that will thrill its readers.
11. “The Little Prince” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1943)
A kid’s novel by French aviator, aristocrat, and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the “The Little Prince” follows the adventure of a young prince who finds his way into different planets, encircling the themes of loss and loneliness to hope, friendship, and love, opening up a new world for the prince.
12. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” J. K. Rowling (1997)
The “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” is the first part of one of the best-selling children’s book series, and the one that started the legacy not only in books but on the silver screen. The plot is about Harry Potter himself, who finds out he is a wizard, starts his new life, and faces his first weight challenges at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
13. “A Wrinkle in Time” – Madeleine L’Engle (1962)
For kids with a robust imagination, “A Wrinkle in Time” is a story about Charles and Meg, along with their friend and Neighbor, who turn into travelers and sweep through different universes, encounter odd creatures, and take part in an intergalactic turmoil, while in search for Meg’s father. Relying on their individual prowess and collective power, they dig deeper into themselves to discover the answers.
14. “Little House on the Prairie” – Laura Ingalls Wilder (1935)
Arguably the most successful in the “Little House” autobiographical novels by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the “Little House on the Prairie” covers her childhood at the time when her family moved to Kansas from the Big Woods of Wisconsin. The Ingalls family traveled for many days using their covered wagon before finally deciding to build their house on the prairie. Soon, the family discovered that life is not just milk and honey.
15. “The Runaway Bunny” – Margaret Brown (1942)
Another classic from Margaret Brown, “The Runaway Bunny” is a testament to the fierce and unconditional mother’s love for her child. The young bunny keeps running away from his mom, yet his mom always stays near him, constantly reminding him that even if he runs away, she’ll always run after him as she is her little bunny.
That’s the list of the most famous children’s stories of all time that no kid should ever miss, from prairie and barnyard life to wizard world, alternate universe, and intergalactic worlds, all stories have their own charm that will entice allure children’s fantasy and love for reading.