20 Classic Books for Children’s Book Day

20 Classic Children's Books

Today is Children’s Book Day, which was started by the International Board on Books for Young People in 1967.

I still remember my favorite books from childhood, as I imagine most people do. The books we read as children can stick with us through adulthood.

Here are twenty classic children’s books to celebrate today. Is your favorite left out? If it is, let me know what it is in the comments!


Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

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I read this book so many times when I was in elementary school. I reread it last year and it still holds as much magic as it did for me back then. The art in this book is really what makes it stand out.


Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

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Aside from The Hobbit, Shel Silverstein’s books were probably the ones I read the most. He writes children’s poetry, and it’s immensely fun.


Charlotte’s Webb by E.B. White

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First published in 1952, this book is a real classic. While most of us have seen the movie, it’s worth reading the novel too.


The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

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I obviously can’t include just one Shel Silverstein book. This book teaches an important lesson and is a moving story even as an adult.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

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Pretty much everyone has seen the movie (the original, not that travesty that came after), but trust me, the book is better.


Corduroy by Don Freeman

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I never read this book as a child, but when I asked my boyfriend what his favorite children’s books were, this was the first one he mentioned.


Bunnicula by James and Deborah Howe

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I never read Bunnicula as a child. I read it for the first time last year and really enjoyed it. Click here in you want to read my review.


The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

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Like Corduroy, this is another book that my boyfriend loved as a child and that I’ve never read. It looks adorable though, so perhaps I’ll give it a read around Christmas time.


The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

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What child hasn’t read and loved the most classic of classic children’s books? This book is simply iconic.


Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

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Despite the first book coming out nearly thirty years ago, the scary stories contained in each Goosebumps book is still perfect for kids today. Also, does anyone else remember how much fun the choose-your-own-adventure books were?


Animorphs by K.A. Applegate

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I’m including the Animorphs series because I was obsessed with these books. I read every single one as they came out, and they were my first introduction to science fiction, which quickly became my favorite genre.


Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

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Another Dr. Seuss classic. Did anyone else’s mother put green food coloring in the eggs after reading this?


The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids by Debbie Daley

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There are so many of these books! I had never read them before my boyfriend told me about them, and I read one last year. They’re adorable books that I would have enjoyed as a kid.


Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

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I promise this is the last Dr. Seuss book on the list! It’s so hard not to include all of his books because they are all wonderful and whimsical!


The Real Mother Goose by Blanche Fisher Wright

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Published in 1916, you don’t get more classic than the tales of Mother Goose. These stories are usually some of the first that children are introduced to.


The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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I remember my mother talking about this book, although I’ve never actually read it. From what I’ve heard, it’s a great story for both children and adults.


The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

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When I was really young, my grandparents gave me a three-set collection of the Peter Rabbit books. When my house burned down when I was 19, that set was one of the things I was most upset about losing.


Matilda by Roald Dahl

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Another Roald Dahl book! The film adaptation of Matilda came out when I was a kid, and it was immensely popular in our elementary school. How can you not love a children’s book about a kid who loves to read?


The Little Princess and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodges Burnett

Out of all of the books on this list, A Little Princess and The Secret Garden are the books that meant the most to me growing up. I have no idea how many times I read them, but I would always get lost in the story and imagine that it was me living these adventures.


What were your favorite childhood books?

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