Best Children's Books About Classic literature

Our Favorite 48 Books to Read With Your Kids About Classic Literature

Updated Jan. 29, 2019

If you are anything like us, the classic literature never gets old. We can read it over and over again. We are so pleased to share with you this great list of classic literature for children! Many great companies have taken our favorite stories and adapted them to fit our children's ages and understanding. Take a look below and we hope you'll find your favorite to share with a special little one in your life.

Little Women  book
#1
Little Women
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-14

Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. Alcott wrote the books rapidly over several months at the request of her publisher. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters. Little Women was an immediate commercial and critical success, and readers demanded to know more about the characters. Alcott quickly completed a second volume (entitled Good Wives in the United Kingdom, although this name derived from the publisher and not from Alcott). It was also successful. The two volumes were issued in 1880 in a single work entitled Little Women. Alcott also wrote two sequels to her popular work, both of which also featured the March sisters: Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886). Although Little Women was a novel for girls, it differed notably from the current writings for children, especially girls. The novel addressed three major themes: "domesticity, work, and true love, all of them interdependent and each necessary to the achievement of its heroine's individual identity."

Anne of Green Gables (Puffin in Bloom) book
#2
Anne of Green Gables (Puffin in Bloom)
Written by L.M. Montgomery
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

Anne of Green Gables is such a fun tale! Her imagination is simply fascinating and so intriguing. It makes me want to learn all kinds of new words and enjoy fancy places. Of course, she creates many of these places through her thoughts and that was so fun to think that if life is ever boring we can make it brighter by thinking it so.

Puffin in Bloom is a charming assortment of classic novels with coming-of-age themes, aimed at the young reader. Bond, a stationary artist with Rifle Paper Co. renowned for her floral patterns, puts her signature touch on the covers in this line, because just as a flower blossoms, a young child comes into her own.

Arabian Nights Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp book
#3
Arabian Nights Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

With this sounds primer, hear the whoosh of a jinni, the rustle of a magician's robes, the tinkle of jewels in a cave of treasures, and much more.

Pride & Prejudice book
#4
Pride & Prejudice
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Introduce your little bibliophile to the romantic world of Jane Austen in Pride & Prejudice: A BabyLit® Counting Primer. Stroll through 1 English village to meet 2 rich gentlemen and discover what happens when the 5 Bennet sisters encounter 4 marriage proposals! Alison Oliver’s charming illustrations accompany Jennifer Adams’ clever, simple text to make this take on a beloved classic perfect for little ones.

Frankenstein book
#5
Frankenstein
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

What could be cuter than a Frankenstein anatomy primer? Pretty much nothing. The illustrations for BabyLit books are all adorable, but I particularly enjoy them when whatever they're "priming" is some way related to the content of the book itself!

BabyLit® is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar’s Alison Oliver, these books are a must for every savvy parent’s nursery library.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer book
#6
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Written by Mark Twain
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a memorable classic with an entertaining mix of juvenile musings and attitude, elementary-school-style romance, sneaky midnight blood oaths with best friends, and of course, the silent witness of a graveyard murder. At its climax, Tom Sawyer keeps readers on edge as they tread carefully--and then frantically--with Tom through the cave where the runaway killer hides.

They’re Puffin Classics for a reason, it’s because they’re the best Tom Sawyer is sure to find trouble wherever the river leads him . . . On the banks of the Mississippi River, Tom Sawyer and his friends seek out adventure at every turn. Then one fateful night in the graveyard they witness a murder. The boys make a blood oath never to reveal the secret, and they run away to be pirates in search of hidden treasure. But when Tom gets trapped in a cave with scary Injun Joe, can he escape unharmed?

Lit for Little Hands: Pride and Prejudice book
#7
Lit for Little Hands: Pride and Prejudice
Written by Brooke Jordan, Jane Austen and illustrated by David Miles
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I'm totally biased because I'm quite an avid Jane Austen fan (Pride and Prejudice in particular!) but I love this book. There are tons of interesting interactive features that give little hands things to do while I read, which is important because there's quite a bit of text per page, particularly if you read the excerpts. I love that there are actual quotes for the book!

Filled with interactive wheels and pull-tabs and lavishly illustrated, Lit for Little Hands: Pride and Prejudice is an unprecedented kid's introduction to Jane Austen's beloved classic novel. Unlike many board books that tackle the classics, Lit for Little Hands tells the actual story in simple, engaging prose. Goregous pastoral illustrations transport the reader to the fields and estates of Lizzy's England, while tons of interactive elements invite kids to spin the dancers at the ball, care for Jane, open a shocking letter, and more! Austen fans will be delighted by the book's attention to detail and clever use of original dialog. And the book's use of super-sturdy board means everyone can enjoy this tale of wit and romance over . . . and over . . . and over again!

Anne of Green Gables: A BabyLit Places Primer book
#8
Anne of Green Gables: A BabyLit Places Primer
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

If you're a fan of Anne of Green Gables, you're going to want a copy of this book! The illustrations (as always for BabyLit books) are gorgeous. I loved that this book focused on places in Green Gables. You can just imagine Anne saying all of the beautiful and lyrical descriptions of the places around the island. Just know that this book isn't an overview of the story, but the places from the story from Prince Edward Island.

BabyLit(R) is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature Introduce little ones to beloved redheaded orphan Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables: A BabyLit(R) Places Primer. as they explore Prince Edward Island and the places that Anne loves. Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver, with their words and bright illustrations, introduce toddlers to Anne's home and her favorite pond, wood, field, garden, and the avenue to Avonlea. This delightful board book will captivate your brainy baby's imagination, and yours. Jennifer Adams is the author of many books including Remarkably Jane: Notable Quotations on Jane Austen and the popular Edgar the Raven series. Jennifer works as a writer and editor in Salt Lake City, Utah. Allison Oliver runs Sugar design studio. Alison's design portfolio includes everything from logos to packaging and product design for clients such as Chronicle Books, Citibabes, and Aerie. She lives in New York.

The Nutcracker: A BabyLit Dancing Primer book
#9
The Nutcracker: A BabyLit Dancing Primer
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

BabyLit(R) is a fashionable way to introduce your baby to the world of classic literature With this colorfully illustrated board book version of the classic Christmas-time ballet, Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver present a new holiday favorite, The Nutcracker: A BabyLit(R) Dancing Primer. This board book features soldiers marching, mice prancing, snowflakes swirling, dolls bending, and buffoons skipping as a way to introduce basic movement terms to babies and toddlers. Jennifer Adams is the author of many books including Remarkably Jane: Notable Quotations on Jane Austen and the popular Edgar the Raven series. Jennifer works as a writer and editor in Salt Lake City, Utah. Alison Oliver runs Sugar design studio. Her design portfolio includes everything from logos to packaging and product design for clients such as Chronicle Books, Citibabes, and Aerie. She lives in New York.

A Christmas Carol book
#10
A Christmas Carol
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love the illustrations in this book, they are gorgeous! This book mentions little portions of the traditional Christmas Carol story and incorporates learning colors, but might feel a little disjointed for those who don't know the traditional story well (especially little ones).

Take a walk with the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come in Little Master Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: A BabyLit® Colors Primer. See old Jacob Marley shaking silver chains, gold stars shining around the Ghost of Christmas Past, and a red scarf keeping Tiny Tim warm. This bright retelling of a Christmas classic will scare any “bah, humbug” feelings away.

First Stories: Peter Pan book
#11
First Stories: Peter Pan
Written and illustrated by Miriam Bos
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Fun, interactive book about Peter Pan. :) My favorite part of this book is the mix of interactive abilities--it has tabs to pull out, flaps to lift, and parts to swipe back and forth. I think the illustrations are darling and that it's a pretty well-condensed version of the story. While the rhyme is pretty cute, I didn't love all of the word choice.

Push, pull, and slide the scenes to bring the classic story of Peter Pan to life. "Second star to the right and straight on till morning!" First Stories: Peter Pan is a perfect introduction to this classic tale. Push, pull, and turn mechanisms bring the story to life and introduce all the main characters: Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, The Lost Boys, and Captain Hook. This well-loved fairy tale is beautifully imagined for a new generation by illustrator Miriam Bos.

Dracula book
#12
Dracula
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Meet 2 friends, Mina and Lucy, and the 5 heroes who try to save them from the dreaded Count Dracula in Dracula: A BabyLit® Counting Primer. Make sure you’re wearing a necklace of 10 garlic flowers as you count wolves, ships, tombstones, and boxes full of soil in this witty retelling of Little Master Stoker’s classic gothic tale.

Classic Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault book
#13
Classic Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-18

In 1697, Charles Perrault published The Tales of Mother Goose, which became a staple in every child's library. This classic collection gathers nine of those beloved stories, accompanied by the bright and colorful illustrations of Francesca Rossi. Her art, like the fresh, modern retelling, bring a touch of modernity to Perrault's timeless work--including "The Fairies," "Bluebeard," "Tom Thumb," "Donkey Skin," and "Sleeping Beauty."

The Peter Rabbit Oversized Padded Board Book book
#14
The Peter Rabbit Oversized Padded Board Book
Written by Beatrix Potter and illustrated by Charles Santore
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

The beloved tale of Peter Rabbit is now available in a beautiful oversized padded board book format, featuring original Charles Santore illustrations. The beloved classic tale of mischievous Peter Rabbit is now available as a stunning oversized padded board book featuring original illustrations from New York Times bestselling artist Charles Santore. From a frightening journey out of Mr. McGregor’s garden to his fir-tree home with Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail, Peter Rabbit leads the most risky and adventurous life of the bunnies. After losing his shoes and new blue jacket with brass buttons, he narrowly escapes his demise and makes it home sickly, but safely. Incredible illustrations with the finest details capture these classic moments, printed on sturdy board stock that will withstand years and generations of repeated reading and handling. This edition is a must-have for every child’s library.

The Secret Garden book
#15
The Secret Garden
Written by Brooke Jorden and illustrated by David Miles
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Join Mary, Dickon, and Colin on their heartwarming journey of friendship and gardening magic. Filled with interactive wheels and pull-tabs, and lavishly illustrated, The Secret Garden is an unprecedented kid's introduction to Frances Hodgson Burnett's beloved classic novel. Unlike many board books that tackle the classics, Lit for Little Hands tells the actual story in simple, engaging prose. Gorgeous springtime illustrations transport the reader to the gardens and halls of Misselthwaite Manor, while tons of interactive elements invite kids to help Mary discover the secret garden, make friends, and help Colin walk! Fans of the novel will be delighted by the book's attention to detail and clever use of original text and dialogue. And the book's super-sturdy board means everyone can enjoy this tale over . . . and over . . . and over again! The magic of the secret garden will return each time you read!

Mary Poppins book
#16
Mary Poppins
Written by P. L. Travers and illustrated by Mary Shepard
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

An extraordinary English nanny blows in on the East Wind with her parrot-headed umbrella and magic carpetbag and introduces her charges, Jane and Michael, to some delightful people and experiences. Children's BOMC.

The Story of Doctor Dolittle book
#17
The Story of Doctor Dolittle
Written by Hugh Lofting
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

The Story of Doctor Dolittle is one of the most delightfully imaginative stories in children's literature, featuring the well-loved and eccentric doctor who learns to talk to animals. Unlike most doctors, Doctor Dolittle doesn't treat humans; he treats animals. His house in Puddleby-on-the-Marsh is full of an eclectic mix of creatures, from Polynesia the parrot to Gub-Gub the pig. And in that house something amazing happens--the doctor learns how to communicate with his animals! Doctor Dolittle's soon learns that the monkeys in Africa have become inflicted with a terrible disease, so with a team of trusty creatures by his side the kind-hearted doctor sets off on an action-packed adventure to save them. This beautiful paperback edition is illustrated with original line drawings from Hugh Lofting himself.

Pippi Longstocking book
#18
Pippi Longstocking
Written and illustrated by Astrid Lindgren
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Tommy and Annika have a new neighbor: red-haired, freckle-faced Pippi Longstocking, who has upside-down braids and no parents to tell her what to do. The three children have the most rollicking adventures on their own, with horses and monkeys, the circus, and more!

The Wind in the Willows book
#19
The Wind in the Willows
Written and illustrated by Kenneth Grahame
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The much-loved classic tales of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad. When Mole goes boating with Ratty instead of doing his spring-cleaning, he discovers a whole new world. As well as adventures on the river and in the Wild Wood, there are high jinks on the open road with that reckless ruffian, Mr Toad of Toad Hall. Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad become the firmest of friends, but after Toad’s latest escapade, can they join together and beat the wretched weasels once and for all?

A Little Princess: A Babylit(r) Friendship Primer book
#20
A Little Princess: A Babylit(r) Friendship Primer
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Meet Sara's friends with text from the original novel, A little princess, showing little ones that friends can be found in surprising places.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland book
#21
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Written and illustrated by Lewis Carroll
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When Alice follows the White Rabbit down a rabbit hole, she finds herself in an enchanted world, filled with creatures like the Mad Hatter, the disappearing Cheshire Cat, and the Queen of Hearts. Alice quickly finds out that nothing is as it seems in the wild world of Wonderland…

Les Miserables book
#22
Les Miserables
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Introduce your bébéto the world of Victor Hugo with 10 words and phrases from the classic Les Miserables.Colorful, eye-catching illustrations of characters and objects from the novel pair with French translations you’ll want to hear your baby say again and again.

Anna Karenina book
#23
Anna Karenina
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Introduce your little fashionista to classic fashions in Anna Karenina: A BabyLit Fashion Primer. Elegant illustrations of beautiful gowns, uniforms, hats, gloves, cloaks and more are paired with quotes from Little Master Tolstoy’s masterpiece to create a sophisticated book full of the finest fashions.

Don Quixote book
#24
Don Quixote
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

BabyLit® is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar's Alison Oliver, these books are a must for every savvy parent's nursery library. This book introduces your toddler to Cervantes's, Don Quixote.

Wuthering Heights book
#25
Wuthering Heights
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Watch Wuthering Heights endure the unpredictable weather of the Yorkshire moors in Wuthering Heights: A BabyLit Weather Primer. From sunny and breezy to windy and stormy, each page features charming illustrations by Alison Oliver and quotes from Little Miss Bronte selected by Jennifer Adams to describe the different types of weather Heathcliff and Catherine experience while strolling the grounds.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.