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.

The Secret Garden book
#1
The Secret Garden
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle’s gloomy mansion on the wild English moors. She is lonely and has no one to play with, but one day she learns of a secret garden somewhere in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter. Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed – and a gust of magic leads her to the hidden door. Slowly she turns the key and enters a world she could never have imagined.

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.

Emma book
#3
Emma
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Step into the drama filled world of Jane Austin’s Emma: A BabyLit Emotions Primer. Your little one will learn about the meddling Emma Woodhouse, who takes it upon herself to become the village matchmaker, creating all sorts of feelings in others. Her friend’s emotions include Mr. Elton being angry, Miss Taylor becoming happy, while Jane Fairfax is tired.

Frankenstein book
#4
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.

Little Women  book
#5
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."

Pride & Prejudice book
#6
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.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer book
#7
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
#8
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!

Arabian Nights Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp book
#9
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.

Les Miserables book
#10
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.

Anne of Green Gables: A BabyLit Places Primer book
#11
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 Secret Garden book
#12
The Secret Garden
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 Burnett's, The Secret Garden.

Don Quixote book
#13
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.

A Christmas Carol book
#14
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.

The Nutcracker: A BabyLit Dancing Primer book
#15
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.

First Stories: Peter Pan book
#16
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.

Romeo and Juliet book
#17
Romeo and Juliet
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Get swept away by Little Master Shakespeare’s tale of two star-crossed lovers in Romeo & Juliet: A BabyLit® Counting Primer. Count friends, kisses, love letters, and roses in this charming retelling of Shakespeare’s famous story of young love. Since parting from such a lovely little book will certainly bring feelings of sweet sorrow, you may find yourself re-reading 'till it be 'morrow!

Alice in Wonderland: A Babylit Storybook book
#18
Alice in Wonderland: A Babylit Storybook
Written by Mandy Archer and illustrated by Kevin Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In Alice in Wonderland: A BabyLit Storybook, preschoolers can tag along on Alice's beloved adventure, meeting new friends and defeating powerful enemies. Easy-to-follow, engaging text combined with original quotes and beautiful artwork create a book to be treasured through childhood and beyond. Part of the BabyLit Storybook Series. BabyLit primers have become the chic, smart way to introduce babies to the most beloved and readable literature of our time. Gibbs Smith is now presenting a delightful collection of picture books, lovingly designed and crafted for young children. Each book retells a story from the literary canon, bringing a classic to life for an entirely new audience. After training as an editor in London, Mandy Archer went on to become the Head of Children's Books for BBC Worldwide, nurturing such characters as Wallace & Gromit, Bob the Builder, and the Teletubbies. Since then she has written many titles, ranging from board books for babies right up to teen fiction. Mandy lives in England. Annabel Tempest has illustrated everything from children's books and greetings cards to maps and packaging. She lives in England in Somerset.

Dracula book
#19
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.

Sherlock Holmes in the Hound of the Baskervilles book
#20
Sherlock Holmes in the Hound of the Baskervilles
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Delight your little one with the sounds and sights of a mysterious night in Sherlock Holmes in the Hound of Baskervilles: A BabyLit Sounds Primer. Alison Oliver’s bold illustrations correspond with Jennifer Adams’ clever, simple text to create pairings little bibliophiles will love to have read to them, such as “hounds howl,” “gates screech,” and “stairs creak.”

Jane Eyre book
#21
Jane Eyre
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Jane Eyre Be the first to review this product With the perennial popularity of classic writers like Charlotte Brontë and Lewis Carroll, Baby Lit™ 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, Little Miss Brontë is a must for every savvy parent’s nursery library.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn book
#22
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Written and illustrated by Mark Twain
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Huckleberry Finn had a tough life with his drunk father until an adventure with Tom Sawyer changed everything. But when Huck’s dad returns and kidnaps him, he must escpe down the Mississippi river with runaway slave, Jim. They encounter trouble at every turn, from floods and gunfights to armed bandits and the long arm of the law. Through it all the friends stick together – but can Huck and Tom free Jim from slavery once and for all?

The Adventures of Robin Hood book
#23
The Adventures of Robin Hood
Written and illustrated by Roger Lancelyn Green
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The classic story of social justice and outrageous cunning. Robin Hood, champion of the poor and oppressed, stands against the cruel power of Prince John and the brutal Sheriff of Nottingham. Taking refuge in the vast Sherwood Forest with his band of men, he remains determined to outwit his enemies.

The Adventures of Robin Hood book
#24
The Adventures of Robin Hood
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Embrace your inner geek with Puffin Pixels Puffin Pixels is a collection of classics featuring pixelated, 8-bit video game cover artwork in the Minecraft style. Robin Hood, champion of the poor and opponent of the Sheriff of Nottingham, takes refuge in the Sherwood Forest and outwits his enemies with daring and panache.

Little Women book
#25
Little Women
Written by Louisa May Alcott and illustrated by Francesca Rossi
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-18

From the time it was written back in 1868, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women has enchanted young readers, who identify with the realistic and lively personalities of the four March sisters. Growing up as the Civil War rages, Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy face the challenges and difficulties of life—and, sometimes, each other. Francesca Rossi’s wonderful illustrations are perfect for the contemporary audience.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!