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Classic Children’s Book Sets For Preschoolers With Beautiful Illustrations

-Classic Children’s Books-

Reading classic children’s books is an amazing way to spend time, especially when you are bored and out of idea what to do. It doesn’t just keep you entertained, it also educates you, which is what every kid needs. In this article, we’ve listed some of the best classic children’s books that will get you glued to your chair reading.

classic children's books

Classic Children’s Book Sets For Preschoolers With Beautiful Illustrations

There’s this popular saying that childhood unfolds mostly inside our heads and is forever remembered as an amazing and formative time.

If therefore this is true, the focus should be that a child’s imagination should be a space populated by friendly animals, formidable warriors, and the sheer sense of possibility and just blissfulness

There are tons of amazing classic children’s books in the world today, however, getting the right one is the problem, but this article solves this problem.

Here we have the best classic children’s books that are enriched with moral lessons and entertainment.

Reading this classic children’s book in this article doesn’t just open doors of boundless potential and possibilities.

it’s also a unique way to connect little children to enduring characters and magical stories that have had an impact on generations.

In this article, we’ll be listing the best classic children’s books

1. Frog and Toad, by Arnold Lobel


classic children's books

This is one amazing book every kid should read.  In this book, Arnold Lobel talks about two best friends that are subtle and sweet.

My favorite is “Alone,” a story about a Frog needing a bit of alone time (What parent can’t relate to that?).

In the book, the Toad gets bothered that his friend is angry at him, but Frog reassures him he just wanted to reflect on how happy he is.

Just like in every Frog and Toad story, the friends are happiest when they’re together.

The story ends with the beautiful line, “They were two best friends, spending time alone together.”

2. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees

classic children's books

This is the second on our list and it’s an amazing book. In the book, Gerald the Giraffe is remarkably tall.

But that comes at a cost: his tall form stands in the way of his dancing along with the other animals.

In order to help prove the title Giraffes Can’t Dance wrong, a friendly cricket came through just as Gerald is about to give up and informs this piece of wisdom: “Sometimes when you’re different, you just need a different song.”

As young readers watch Gerald embrace his unique melody, they’re reminded in this children’s book about diversity that they, too, can chase even the wildest dreams. 

3. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

classic children's books

Sendak’s unusual drawing style may have been well received in his early career, but it latterly came lauded for its capability to capture the untamed wanderings of youthful minds.

 And nowhere is this more potent than in his best-known book after Max has been transferred to his bedroom without food because of his “wild” behavior.

Where the Wild things Are, takes him on an adventure in his own room. But while Max can sail down the river and into the mysterious jungle of his mind.

As important as he likes to, he no way loses complete sight of home.

If maybe he needs something, his mind can’t give, like a hot supper staying for him outside his door,  his parents will always.

4. If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff

classic children's books

Other than offering lovable ( yet really messy) illustrations of what it’s like to have kiddies around.

If You Give a pig a Hotcake also carries an important communication, it’s no way too early to get children reasoning from a different perspective.

As Pig’s demands rise from pancake to bubble bath, this domestic adventure shows children how silly and ridiculous their arbitrary requests might appear to those who look after them.

5. Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold

classic children's books

In this book, the writer Used colorful and childlike illustrations to capture the youthful hopes and dreams of a young girl.

From her family’s house, whose rooftop she enthusiastically calls “tar beach”, she has always dreamt of flying over the shining New York skyline and treasuring all the good things the city has to provide.

Ringgold balances the nuances of struggling home life with the irresistible ideas of gliding through the night sky.

Drawing children into the story world and nudging them to think deeper about their own world at the same time. 

6. The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

classic children's books

This quirky tale of a tiger who crashes little Sophie’s tea party has actually been adapted for the theater and also the television screen. The story itself is very simple and straightforward.

 In the story, a friendly but hungry tiger rings Sophie’s doorbell just as she and her mother are about to settle down for afternoon tea.

They resolve to welcome him into their house and watch in wonder as he happily eats their snacks.

It’s a strange arrangement for adults, but for children, this odd little story is precisely what their wild imaginations crave.

7. No Matter What by Debi Gliori

classic children's books

Get ready for yet another amazing story about parents’ unreserved love for their children. In the snuggly location of their home, Small comes up with all types of settings in which Large, his parent, might not love him any longer.

He realizes he has turned into a ginormous bug, a crocodile, a grizzly bear.

But like the title, No Matter What sums up, Large will love him irrespective of what he becomes. 

8. Peter Pan

classic children's books

You’ve probably heard about the story, Peter Pan. It is a fictional character made by a popular Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie.

The story talks about a free-spirited and naughty boy who can fly and never grows up.

The story ventures with Peter Pan spending his never-ending childhood having exploits on the mythical island of Neverland as the leader of the Lost Boys.

conversing with fairies, pirates, mermaids, Native Americans, and sometimes ordinary children from the world outside Neverland.

Peter Pan was first seen as a character in Barrie’s The Little White Bird (1902), an adult novel. In chapters 13–18, titled “Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.

Peter is a seven-day-old baby and has flown from his nursery to Kensington Gardens in London, where the fairies and birds taught him to fly.

He is described as “betwixt-and-between” a boy and a bird. 

9. Elmer by David McKee

classic children's books

Elmer is a patchwork elephant whose character is as lively as his skin. While his personality and physical differences often make him the life of the party, Elmer wonders what it’s like to be like the rest of his herd for once.

As he figures out a way to tone down his colors, Elmer realizes the importance of his individuality, thereby reminding young readers that they don’t have to change for anyone. 

10. Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers

classic children's books

True be told, not every book will spark a child’s imagination as Oliver’s Jeffers’ Here We Are would show you.

Jeffers provides an all-around review of what kids will bump into on this planet as they grow up.

He went further to show Earth’s place in space to sketch human’s place in nature.

He also shows them that life is amazing enough as is, and as they mature, it’s imperative to continue approaching the universe with care and compassion.

There’s a reminder that even adults can benefit from!

11. The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats

classic children's books

This is another amazing book every kid should read. The 1962 children’s book by the famed author and illustrator Ezra Keats is about a little boy called Peter loving the season’s first snow.

It is as beautiful as it is interesting to read. The moment you’ve read The Snowy Day, you’ll notice Peter references everywhere.

This would include stamps to statues (there’s one in New York City’s Imagination Playground). All thanks to the book’s cultural importance.

The book “Peter was among the first non-caricatured African-Americans to be featured in a major children’s book,” according to NPR.

 12. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd

classic children's books

I personally read this book when I was little, and it use to be among my best classic children’s books back then, it’s still a good book though.

Margaret Wise Brown wrote this beloved and is about as soothing a bedtime story as you can find.

Although there’s no real narrative in the book because the book centers on a little bunny’s sweet bedtime ritual of saying goodnight to everything in the room and, finally, to the moon.

The illustrations in this classic, which substitute between color and black-and-white, are simple but remarkable, and the lenient, rhyming prose reads like a warm hug.

13. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

classic children's books

Celebrated picture book author and illustrator Eric Carle is the person behind this lasting favorite about a caterpillar’s change into a good-looking butterfly.

Just as the title proposes, the caterpillar in question gets himself from point A to point B by doing eating a whole lot.

But it’s the interactive pages and beautiful artwork that has made it unique from others.

The holes perforated out of each piece of food serve as an invitation for little hands to explore, and Carle’s signature collage technique is, of course, a feast for the eyes.

 14. Corduroy by Don Freeman

classic children's books

You can’t talk about classic children’s books and not mention this one. Just after visiting a department store alongside her mom, a little girl falls in love with a teddy bear called Corduroy.

A purchase her mother pooh-poohs, citing (among other things) that the bear is missing a button on his shoulder strap.

 Things start getting exciting when the store shut its doors and Corduroy came to life, looking high and low for the lost button (apparently to make himself a more attractive product).

While the bear’s hours of exploit amount to nothing, there is a silver lining. The little girl comes to the shop the next day to scoop up her new friend because she doesn’t really care about his looks. As for Corduroy.

He learned it was a friend, not a button that he really wanted all along. 

15. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

classic children's books

Dr. Seuss’s best-known book, The Cat in the Hat, has been a typical youthful read since it was first released in the year 1957, and it’s worth a spot in every little kid’s library.

 The story is about two siblings who get into mischief with an attractive trouble-maker of a cat.

Unravel by way of fast-paced and eye-popping rhymes for a read-aloud that’s easy to rattle off and comprehensively pleasant to listen to.

And the fun part of it all, the book contains both a happy ending and some model behavior.

The rule-abiding brother and sister duo manage to clean up the cat’s mess before their mother gets home. This book is great and is among the best classic children’s books every kid should read.

16. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

classic children's books

 Calamity suddenly strikes when Sylvester, a good and innocent donkey with a weakness for pebbles, came across a tiny stone with remarkable power, i.e., the power to grant wishes.

This thrilling discovery takes a turn when, in a moment of fear, Sylvester by mistake wishes to become a rock himself.

Though this picture book is a quick and easy read, its nuanced narrative, which features parents mourning the mysterious disappearance of a son, vows to inspire the full spectrum of emotion in young readers.

Don’t worry, though: Sylvester doesn’t remain a rock for long. In fact, the real magic happens when he comes back to life and basks in the joy of a sweet family reunion.

17. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

classic children's books

The writer of this amazing piece is Madeline, and he is now a full-blown media franchise.

 Madeline has had a humble beginning as a beloved classic book, confined and illustrated in 1939 by French author Ludwig Bemelmans. 

Madeline is a story about a courageous and energetic young boarding student who experiences a distressing medical emergency (i.e., appendicitis).

She however got well quickly with the love and care from her headmaster and also her friends.

This exciting story about an inspiring young superwoman is told with rhythmic verse and scenic scenes of 1930s Paris.

And also a romantic mixture that goes a long way toward describing why this Caldecott Honor book still is a home library staple over 80 years later.

 18. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

classic children's books

Better get tissues, because The Velveteen Rabbit is so full of nostalgia, it is more likely going to turn you to mush.

This perennial favorite features an uplifting narrative about a boy’s plush rabbit who becomes real.

 Though the book has a few sad moments, an example was when the boy’s doctor insists all his stuffed animals be burned after scarlet fever, but the happy ending is hard to miss.

A fairy appeared to the Velveteen Rabbit and gives him a new chance at life, an opportunity enjoyed only by those stuffed animals who were truly and fiercely loved.

19. Strega Nona by Tomie De Paola

Tomie de Paola is a popular author and also an illustrator behind this Caldecott Honor book.

The book gets its amazing narrative from an Italian fable but fused it with warmth and humor for a kid-friendly reciting that just feels right.

In this parable, a good witch, who also has a magic pot comes back from a journey to find that her well-meaning assistant has made big damage (and a big mess) in her absence.

 The storyline is embedded with positive messages about the significance of showing compassion and forgiveness when provoked by someone else’s mistakes.

Also, there’s rich vocabulary, colorful pictures, and oodles of noodles (i.e., plenty for young readers to digest).

19. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

This story comes with a moral lesson about selfless love; The Giving Tree is a somewhat melancholy classic that leaves plenty of room for interpretation.

So much so that it has motivated argumentative debate since it was first published in 1964.

Some would argue that the moral lesson in this book, which circles around a particularly one-sided relationship between a boy and a tree, isn’t solely positive.

 But this one is fairly innocuous (i.e., kids aren’t likely to read too much into it) overall, if not a little sad.

Mostly, The Giving Tree makes our list irrespective of how you feel about the narrative.

It’s sure to kick off a discussion about relationship dynamics, and it’s not every day a children’s book gives you so much to talk about.

20. Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o and Vashti Harrison

classic children's books

Trust me; the story Sulwe is an amazing story for every kid. The book tells the story of a 5-year-old girl whose skin is darker than that of her mother and sister.

It wasn’t until Sulwe (Her name “Star”) embarks on a magical quest through the night sky that she found how extraordinary she truly is.

Nyong’o has acknowledged that the book is centered on her personal encounter as a child.

she also says that she wrote the book to “inspire children to love the skin they’re in and see that beauty radiates from within.”

File this one under modern classics with a heartwarming message and beautiful illustrations, to boot.

21. Charlotte’s Web by E.b. White

Charlotte’s Ceb by E.b. White

Amazing writing and a moving message are among the many reasons that E. B. White’s classic story of friendship, love, and loss has held up so well over the over 60 years since its debut.

Try this one as a read-aloud for a younger kid, or let your tween tackle it on his own—either way, this poignant book about a pig and his unlikely bond with a spider (i.e., Charlotte) will make a big impression.

22. Ramona Series by Beverly Cleary

Ramona Series by Beverly Cleary

Beverly obviously delves into the little kid psyche with unmatched charm and skill, it should therefore not be a surprise that all the books in her classic Ramona series are winners.

This book is among the best classic children’s books we have currently.

These chapter books touch areas like sibling dynamics, peer interactions, and the highs and lows of grade school life with a masterful fusion of age-appropriate comedy and pure heart that for long been in existence.

The bottom line is, these page-turners will assist little kids and tweens in processing their own complex feelings.

 The antics of the spirited main character promise to bring boatloads of laughter.

23. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Jester

classic children's books

This quirky fantasy uses lots of rich wordplays, charming illustrations, and amazing wit to send a lifetime’s worth of valuable lessons to young readers.

The principal one of all is that life is never boring.

Indeed, the initially disenchanted main character, Milo, learns this for himself when a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his bedroom and takes him on a magical, mind-bending adventure to unknown lands. 

The Phantom Tollbooth is a one-of-a-kind book that promises to stir the imagination while providing a refreshing challenge to grade school readers.

 24. The BFG by Roald Dahl

classic children's books

This is among my favorite, a great classic children’s book.

The BFG is a fantastic story about a young girl named Sophie, who is kidnapped from her orphanage by a huge giant with a loving heart.

Though he seems fearful at first, Sophie however came to learn that the Big Friendly Giant has only good intentions.

She joins forces with him to defeat a far more threatening group of ogres with a horrible (and rather gruesome) plan to eat up Earth’s children.

 Full with suspense and magic, this Roald Dahl classic is as entertaining to read again as it is the first time you pick it up.

And the made-up words that readers encounter during their stay in giant land make for an interesting literacy test to boot.

25. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.s. Lewis

classic children's books

I read this novel when I was small.  The Witch and the Wardrobe, the first novel in C.S. Lewis’s famous trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia, presents readers to the land of Narnia.

A place that the book’s protagonists came upon after going through the depths of (you guessed it), a magic wardrobe during an ordinary game of hide-and-seek.

 Once taken to this strange, new land, the four siblings found lots of fantastical creatures, a whole world of adventure, and, well, their reason for being there in the first place.

To free Narnia from the power of the White Witch and the eternal winter she has cast. Riveting from start to finish, this one will go down easy.

Read Also:

26. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.k. Rowling

classic children's books

Another classic children’s book is Harry Potter. This book is no doubt one of the best stories in the world today and if you haven’t watched it, then you are missing it.

The Harry Potter series is more than just a modern classic, it’s a cultural wonder that has stood strong for more than 20 years now and if any kid should pick up one of these long novels will be able to explain just why.

J.K. Rowling’s extremely popular books are full of excitement, fascinating characters, and as you know magic.

Rowling’s world of wizardry is so interesting and full of adventure that any readers will complain of how fast the pages fly.


1. What are the Best children’s Books For a 3-Year-Old?

‣ The best children book for a 3-year-old are 

‣The Very Hungry Caterpillar. by Eric Carle. …

‣ Llama Llama Red Pajama. …

‣ All by Myself (Little Critter) …

‣ The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition. …

‣ Dragons Love Tacos. …

‣ The Story of Ferdinand. …

‣ Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. …

‣ The Wonderful Things You Will Be.

2. What are the Best Icelandic Children’s Books?

Here are some of the best icelandic books

‣ The Famous Smile by Geeta Dharmarajan

‣ What Shall I Make by Nandini Nayar

‣ Playtime by Sanjiv Jaiswal

‣ Adventures with Hanuman by Arshia Sattar

‣ Spinning Yarns by Deepa Agarwal

3. Where Can I Buy Classic Children’s Books?

There are lots of places to buy used books for children. For instance, ThriftBooks offers a huge selection of new and used children’s books that suit any occasion. Other places include Amazon, bookriots and many others.

Below are the Best Children’s Books For 5-8-Year-Olds

‣ The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne. …

‣ When We Were Very Young (1924) and Now We Are Six (1927) by A. A. Milne. …

‣ The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. …

‣ The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. …

‣ Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White. …

‣ Raggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle.

4. What are Some Classic Children’s Books Over 50 Years Old?

‣ Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. …

‣ Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming. …

‣ Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. …

‣ Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. …

‣ The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

Which Children’s Books Have Bias?

‣ If I Ran the Zoo. by Seuss. …

‣ Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. by Dahl, Roald. …

‣ Goggles. by Keats, Ezra Jack. …

‣ The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. by Twain, Mark. …

‣ A Fine Dessert. …

‣ The Indian in the Cupboard. …

‣ Alvin Ho.

‣ Tintin in America.

What are Some Children’s Books that Need to Exist, but Don’t Yet?

‣ How to Wipe Your Butt

‣ You Probably Shouldn’t Eat That Rock (Alternate title: Don’t Put That in Your Mouth!)

‣ Don’t Call Fat People Fat (And Other Obvious Things You Shouldn’t Point Out)

‣ Please Just Be Quiet for 15 Minutes

We’re living in an era of young-adult literature when books apparently written for teens are likewise revered by young readers.

Reading as we know is important for a sound mind, hence it’s important that we expose our kids to books that will help them.

Kindly share your thoughts in the comment section below and repost this article on social platforms.

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