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100 Classic: Books For Kids

Our list of familiar favorites is a great resource to guide you as you begin building your child's library. Many of these titles you might recognize as favorites from your own childhood, while others have more recently earned a spot as a classic children's book. If you're searching for fresh, new titles to share with your young reader, check out our list of the Best 100 Hidden Gem Children's Books. It will introduce you to some of our favorite clever, fun, and inspiring children's books that are not yet as well known as others.

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs book
#1
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs
Written by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

You thought you knew the story of the “The Three Little Pigs”… You thought wrong. In this hysterical and clever fracture fairy tale picture book that twists point of view and perspective, young readers will finally hear the other side of the story of “The Three Little Pigs.” “In this humorous story, Alexander T. Wolf tells his own outlandish version of what really happens during his encounter with the three pigs…. Smith's simplistic and wacky illustrations add to the effectiveness of this fractured fairy tale.” —Children’s Literature “Older kids (and adults) will find very funny.” —School Library Journal

The Paper Bag Princess book
#2
The Paper Bag Princess
Written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Over five million copies in print! When the fiercest dragon in the whole world smashes Princess Elizabeth’s castle, burns all her clothes, and captures her fiancé, Prince Ronald, Elizabeth takes matters into her own hands. With her wits alone and nothing but a paper bag to wear, the princess challenges the dragon to show his strength in the hopes of saving the prince. But is it worth all that trouble? Readers the world-over have fallen in love with this classic story of girl power. Now a newly designed Classic Munsch edition will introduce the tale to a new generation of young feminists.

The Story of Babar book
#3
The Story of Babar
Written and illustrated by Jean De Brunhoff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The classic story of literature’s most beloved elephant. After his mother is killed by a hunter, Babar avoids capture by escaping to the city, where he is befriended by the kindly Old Lady. Later, with cousins Celeste and Arthur, he returns to the great forest to be crowned King of the Elephants. With the original illustrations from Jean de Brunhoff's 1931 classic, this first Babar story has enchanted generations.

Are You My Mother? book
#4
Are You My Mother?
Written and illustrated by P. D. Eastman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Never having seen his mother, a baby bird makes humorous mistakes trying to find her.

The Frog and Toad Collection book
#5
The Frog and Toad Collection
Written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Frog and Toad are always there for each other—just as best friends should be! From sledding in winter to eating ice cream on hot summer days, these two friends have fun together the whole year round! This collection includes the complete art and text from three classics in a paperback slipcase: Caldecott Honor title Frog and Toad Are Friends, Newbery Honor title Frog and Toad Together, and Frog and Toad All Year. This reading collection is a Level Two I Can Read, geared toward kids who read on their own but still need a little help.

  1. The Tale Of Peter Rabbit - This original, authorised version has been lovingly recreated electronically for the first time, with reproductions of Potter's unmistakeable artwork optimised for use on colour devices such as the iPad. The Tale of Peter Rabbit was first published by Frederick Warne in 1902 and endures as Beatrix Potter's most popular and well-loved tale. Re-originated in 2002 to mark the centenary of publication bringing it closer to the original edition, six illustrations were restored, four that were removed in 1903 to make room for endpapers and two that have never been used before, Beatrix having initially prepared more illustrations than could be accommodated in the original format.

  2. Millions of Cats - How can an old man and his wife select one cat from a choice of millions and trillions?

  3. Jumanji - Left on their own for an afternoon, two bored and restless children find more excitement than they bargained for in a mysterious and mystical jungle adventure board game.

  4. Love You Forever - Booksellers have sold more than 30 million copies of Love You Forever in paperback and hardcover. Now we have a board version, printed on light, crisp whiteboard and slightly reduced for child-sized hands. Yet it contains every word of the original, which is much-loved by grandparents and parents everywhere. Watch for major promotion this fall. A young mother holds her baby, and while she sings to it she rocks it back and forth. And through her life, and the stages of his life, she holds her son and rocks him back and forth as she tells him that she will love him forever.

Corduroy book
#10
Corduroy
Written and illustrated by Don Freeman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Corduroy was first introduced to readers in 1968, and in the fifty years since, his adventures have never stopped. Corduroy has been on the department store shelf for a long time. Yet as soon as Lisa sees him, she knows that he’s the bear for her. Her mother, though, thinks he’s a little shopworn—he’s even missing a button! Still, Corduroy knows that with a bit of work he can tidy himself up and be just the bear for Lisa. And where better to start than with a nighttime adventure through the department store, searching for a new button! Celebrate 50 years of this irresistible childhood classic, a heartwarming story about a little bear and a little girl finding the friend they have always wanted in each other.

Curious George and the Firefighters book
#11
Curious George and the Firefighters
Written by Anna Grossnickle Hines and illustrated by H. A. Rey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

While on a field trip to a fire station with Mrs. Gray's class, Curious George goes off on his own and is soon at the scene of a fire, where he finds a way to be helpful.

The Story of Ferdinand book
#12
The Story of Ferdinand
Written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A true classic with a timeless message! All the other bulls run, jump, and butt their heads together in fights. Ferdinand, on the other hand, would rather sit and smell the flowers. So what will happen when Ferdinand is picked for the bullfights in Madrid? The Story of Ferdinand has inspired, enchanted, and provoked readers ever since it was first published in 1936 for its message of nonviolence and pacifism. In WWII times, Adolf Hitler ordered the book burned in Nazi Germany, while Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, granted it privileged status as the only non-communist children’s book allowed in Poland. The preeminent leader of Indian nationalism and civil rights, Mahatma Gandhi—whose nonviolent and pacifistic practices went on to inspire Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.—even called it his favorite book. The story was adapted by Walt Disney into a short animated film entitled Ferdinand the Bull in 1938. Ferdinand the Bull won the 1938 Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons).

Goodnight Moon book
#13
Goodnight Moon
Written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. "Goodnight room, goodnight moon." And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room -- to the picture of the three little bears sitting on chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to themittens and the kittens, toeverything one by one -- the little bunny says goodnight. In this classic of children's literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day.

Go, Dog, Go! book
#14
Go, Dog, Go!
Written and illustrated by P. D. Eastman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Different kinds of dogs drive cars, wear hats, run around in mazes, and even have wild parties in treetops.

  1. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - The perennially popular tale of Alexander’s worst day is a storybook that belongs on every child’s bookshelf. Alexander knew it was going to be a terrible day when he woke up with gum in this hair. And it got worse... His best friend deserted him. There was no dessert in his lunch bag. And, on top of all that, there were lima beans for dinner and kissing on TV! This handsome new edition of Judith Viorst's classic picture book is sure to charm readers of all ages.

  2. Where the Sidewalk Ends - If you are a dreamer, come in, If you are a dreamer, A wisher, a liar, A hope-er, a pray-er, A magic bean buyer … Come in … for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. You’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist. Shel Silverstein’s masterful collection of poems and drawings is at once outrageously funny and profound.

  3. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales - Madcap revisions of familiar fairy tales.

  4. Eloise - Meet Eloise, the precocious darling of the Plaza Hotel! Eloise is a little girl who lives at The Plaza Hotel in New York. She is not yet pretty but she is already a Person. Henry James would want to study her. Queen Victoria would recognize her as an Equal. The New York Jets would want to have her on their side. Lewis Carroll would love her (once he got over the initial shock). She knows everything about The Plaza. She is interested in people when they are not boring. She has Inner Resources. If you take her home with you, you will always be glad you did.

Amelia Bedelia book
#19
Amelia Bedelia
Written by Peggy Parish and illustrated by Fritz Siebel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A literal-minded housekeeper causes chaos in the Rogers household when she attempts to make sense of some instructions.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie book
#20
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

If a hungry little traveler shows up at your house, you might want to give him a cookie. If you give him a cookie, he's going to ask for a glass of milk. He'll want to look in a mirror to make sure he doesn't have a milk mustache, and then he'll ask for a pair of scissors to give himself a trim.... The consequences of giving a cookie to this energetic mouse run the young host ragged, but young readers will come away smiling at the antics that tumble like dominoes through the pages of this delightful picture book.

The Cat in the Hat book
#21
The Cat in the Hat
Written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Two children sitting at home on a rainy day are visited by the Cat in the Hat who shows them some tricks and games.

Brave Irene book
#22
Brave Irene
Written and illustrated by William Steig
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Brave Irene is Irene Bobbin, the dressmaker's daughter. Her mother, Mrs. Bobbin, isn't feeling so well and can't possibly deliver the beautiful ball gown she's made for the duchess to wear that very evening. So plucky Irene volunteers to get the gown to the palace on time, in spite of the fierce snowstorm that's brewing— quite an errand for a little girl. But where there's a will, there's a way, as Irene proves in the danger-fraught adventure that follows. She must defy the wiles of the wicked wind, her most formidable opponent, and overcome many obstacles before she completes her mission. Surely, this winning heroine will inspire every child to cheer her on. Brave Irene is a 1986 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year.

The Snowy Day book
#23
The Snowy Day
Written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Celebrate a major anniversary of a true classic! In 1962, a little boy named Peter put on his snowsuit and stepped out of his house and into the hearts of millions of readers. The Snowy Day transformed children’s literature with its pioneering portrayal of an African-American child and the charming story and artwork that won it the Caldecott Medal. Fifty years later, Viking proudly celebrates Peter’s adventure in this very special edition. Featuring eight pages of bonus material and a festive cover, this oversized edition of Keats’s beloved book is a must-have.

  1. Clifford the Big Red Dog - Emily Elizabeth loves her huge dog Clifford even though he's far from perfect.

  2. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - In this lively alphabet rhyme, the letters of the alphabet race up the cocunut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no - Chicka Chicka Boom! Boom! A told B, and B told C, I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree. In this lively alphabet rhyme, all the letters of the alphabet race each other up the cocunut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no - Chicka Chicka Boom! Boom! The well-known authors of Barn Dance and Knots on a Counting Rope have created a rhythmic alphabet chant that rolls along on waves of fun. Lois Ehlert's rainbow of bright, bold, cheerful colors makes the merry parade of letters unforgettable.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!