Building a Collection of Classic Children’s Books

What are your favourite children’s books?

People ask me that a lot. It’s a hard question to answer, isn’t it? There are so many favourites! So where do you begin?

Well, maybe with the classics.

What makes a children’s story a classic? I think there are at least 3 qualities.

1. They stand the test of time. They’re stories you want to return to again and again—whatever age you are, whether 2 or 102.

2. They are living. A good children’s book tells the truth, whether or not it actually happened. Scroll to see a few examples of beautiful true things in some classic children’s books.

3. They can be enjoyed by an adult and a child together.  There is nothing snuck in to appeal only to an adult or simply to keep the adult’s attention. Nothing happens behind the child’s back. It is a story that is generous and true and good enough to keep everyone’s attention.

As one of my favourite quotes goes: “There are good books which are only for adults, because their comprehension presupposes adult experience, but there are no good books which are only for children.” – WH Auden

Beautiful True Things from Classic Children’s Books

OK. Your turn. Which of these marvelous books have you yet to read? Which one is your favourite? If you think I’ve missed any (and yes, of course, I have!) please add your favourites to the list by submitting your comment below.

And do you want some adult picks? Here are mine!

Classic Adult Books


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