One of the great joys of parenting is when you get to share something you loved as a child with your own children. Seeing their excitement as Mr. MacGregor chases Peter Rabbit or Lucy steps through the wardrobe will take you back to your own years of childhood wonder.
There are so many great children’s books available today, it can be easy to overlook the tried and true classics. But like anything with great staying power, these childhood favorites are timeless for a reason. Your kids will love these stories–and they will love the time you spend together. With so many options from audio to Kindle, check out a few of these classics today and start reading tonight.
Classic Children’s Picture Books
Llama Llama, Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
This charming story appeals to all parents who have ever experienced bedtime drama, but little ones will especially love Llama’s sweet rhymes as he waits–not so patiently–for reassurance from his mama. The first of Dewdney’s Llama Llama series, this is a wonderful read-aloud for reluctant preschoolers who know exactly how to stall bedtime.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Carle’s colorful illustrations are visually appealing, and so is this board book’s finger play as the caterpillar eats his way through anything and everything. The end is a lovely reminder that growth leads to beauty, and this classic tale will usher in Carle’s place in your children’s library.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
One of the best known children’s books of all time and beloved by generations, Goodnight Moon‘s sweet repetition of goodnights belongs on every family’s bookshelf. With simple clarity, Brown depicts the great, green room and the slumber of one loved little bunny.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond
Celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year, this New York Times bestselling book introduces one feisty little mouse and his nearly never-ending quest to have all he needs with his cookie. Introducing children to cause and effect concepts and rhythm, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is a delightful romp through one long day that will make you grateful you give cookies to children–not mice. Don’t miss the rest of the If You Give… series as well.
The Complete Tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Well over a century of children have delighted in the timeless tales of Peter Rabbit and his mischief. The works of Beatrix Potter remain fresh and fun for children today. Fast-paced and witty, re-reading these tales aloud with your children will make you smile in whole new ways.
Classic Children’s Chapter Books for Early Readers
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The first introduction to Narnia through the wardrobe will capture your children’s imagination. Join Peter, Susan, Lucy, and Edmund on their quest to save Narnia from the White Witch with the guidance of Aslan and his sacrifice. After all, “The magic of C.S. Lewis’s parallel universe never fades.”
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Though a century old, this tale of Mary Lennox, tragically orphaned and sent to live with an aunt in Victorian England, continues to charm. When Mary discovers the secret garden–and dares to bring it back to life–she changes the lives of all involved.
The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh by A.A. Milne
The world’s most famous bear–and his companions–share timeless adventures when read unabridged or adapted. Your whole family will delight in Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Kanga, and Tigger’s mishaps, always set right by the care of Christopher Robin.
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Return to a simpler time–but with no less adventure. Laura Ingalls Wilder, inspired by her pioneering childhood, balances the hard times of early settler life with times of great joy. Cherished by generations, these stories are a glimpse into a time gone by–and the love of a remarkable family.