Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday: Classic Children’s Books and Stories

Dear kids,

Here is a collection of the stories I often try to remember at bedtime, but can’t.  My plan is to use the handy links in this list to read most of these to you at least several times in the coming years. Also, while you’re still young, I’m going to read you summaries of some of our great ancient stories (like the Illiad and the Odyssey) to give you a jump on classic literature before you’re old enough to read them yourselves.

The links take you to either free, full-text versions of the book or story or free online summaries as appropriate. Just pull up this list on your phone or tablet and your complete children’s literature education is ready to go.

Love,

Mom

Fairy Tales

Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Aesop’s Fables, Aesop
Kim, Rudyard Kipling
The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling
Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling
The Blue Fairy Book, Andrew Lang
The Orange Fairy Book, Andrew Lang
The Lilac Fairy Book, Andrew Lang
Norwegian Folk Tales, Peter Asbjornsen
Irish Fairy Tales, James Stephens
The Sleeping Beauty and Other Fairy Tales from the Old French, Charles Perrault
The Classic Mother Goose
Chinese folk tales
Japanese folk tales
Egyptian folk tales
Indian folk tales
African folk tales
The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Richard Francis Burton
Three Little Pigs
The Tortoise and the Hare
Jack and the Beanstalk
Little Red Riding Hood
Snow White
Cinderella
The Ugly Duckling
Thumbelina
The Pied Piper
Chicken Little
The Emperor’s New Clothes
The Princess and the Pea
Rapunzel
The Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe
Old Mother Goose and Her Son Jack
Hansel and Gretel
Briar-Rose
Little Snow-White
Rumpelstiltskin
The Adventures of Aladdin
The Frog Prince
The Little Mermaid
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
The Ant and the Grasshopper
Little Bo-Peep
The Three Billy Goats Gruff
The Gingerbread Man
The Owl and the Pussy Cat
Androclus and the Lion
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
Sleeping Beauty
The Happy Prince
The Blind Man and the Elephant
The Little Match Girl
The Story of Little Boy Blue
The Snow Queen
Father Frost
Puss in Boots
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
The Fox and the Grapes
Stories about Paul Bunyan
The Gift of the Magi
The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg
Torn Thumb
Beauty and the Beast
St. George and the Dragon

Classic Children’s Books:

Peter Rabbit and other stories by Beatrix Potter
Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein
The Little Engine that Could, Watty Piper
The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr. Seuss
The Lorax, Dr. Seuss
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Dr. Seuss
There’s a Wocket in My Pocket, Dr. Seuss
Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss
The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Willems
Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
Goodnight, Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein
The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne
Harold and the Purple Crayon, Crockett Johnson
Pipi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst
Matilda, Roald Dahl
Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans
Oh, The Places You’ll Go, Dr. Seuss
James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney
Are You My Mother?, P.D. Eastman
Amelia Bedelia, Peggy Parish
Corduroy, Don Freeman
The Curious George series, H.A. Rey
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and other books by Mo Willems
The Frog and Toad series, Arnold Lobel
Miss Nelson Is Back, Harry Allard
Let’s Go All Around the Neighborhood, Patty Thomas and Anthony Rae
Books by Richard Scarry
On the Night You Were Born, Nancy Tillman and Peter Parnall
Everybody Needs a Rock, Byrd Baylor
Once There Were Giants, Martin Waddell and Penny Dale
Love You Forever, Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw
The Father Bear series, Else Homelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak
The Encyclopedia Brown series, Donald J. Sobol
The Alfie series, Shirley Hughes
I Love You Through and Through, Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak and Caroline Jayne Church
The Monster at the End of This Book, Jon Stone and Michael Smollin
The Berenstain Bears series, Stan and Jan Berenstain
The Magic School Bus series, Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen
Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday, Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz
The Marshmallow Incident Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett
Georgie and the Robbers, Robert Bright
Each Peach Pear Plum, Janet and Allan Ahlberg
This Moose Belongs to Me, Oliver Jeffers
There Was and Old Woman Who Lived in a Glove, Bernard Lodge
The Clifford, the Big Red Dog series, Norman Bridwell

Summaries of Adult Classics

The Illiad, Homer
The Odyssey, Homer
The Aeneid, Virgil
The Oedipus Plays, Sophocles
Orestia, Aeschylus
Medea, Euripedes
The Bacchae, Euripedes
Lysistrata, Aristophanes
The Frogs, Aristophanes
The Clouds, Aristophanes
Lives of Noble Greeks and Romans, Plutarch
The Fairie Queene, Edmund Spenser
Paradise Lost, Dante
Paradise Regained, Dante
Beowulf, Anonymous
Mabinogion, Anonymous
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Anonymous
The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser
La Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory
The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri
Greek and Roman mythology
Important stories of the Bible
Selected works by William Shakespeare

Find more fiction to read to your kids at Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday: Classic Fiction.

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