Saturday, August 7, 2010

What is a children’s book classic?

What defines a piece of children’s literature as a classic? Based on my research the answer seems to depend on an individual's personal viewpoint. I am expressing only my personal perception and opinion of classic children’s books in this post.

During my childhood and continuous education process through my adulthood  I have defined many read children's  books as classics. This includes all the books which I treasured and loved then and do so now. Beloved books witch were always around to  comfort me throughout the years like good friends who never fail to be with you when you need them.

I am referring to all the wonderful, imaginative, enchanting, engaging and magical timeless pieces of children’s literature which filled my heart with joy and my mind with wisdom at an early age. With years passing by these beloved and unique books  also became timeless treasures and guiding lights  in my life.

I define classic children’s books as any authentic books of creative, valuable and memorable work of art-in words, writing and illustrations. Many of my favourite children’s book classics have withstood the true test of time in popularity and are still in print. These brilliant books also left a lasting impression on me. I learned something important from the story and character(s), the ending or even of all aspects of the book combined.

These creative books made me memorize something unique, like a valuable lesson about the essence of life, family, friendship,love, forgiveness, courage, creativity or anything else encouraging in regards to the human spirit.  In this aspect I always will consider my favourite children’s classics as  inspiring and also educational for my life.

Here is a list of  my beloved classic children’s books (and some young adult fiction) which I  treasure until today and  highly recommend for children and young people to read. All of the listed books on here will enhance a child’s creativity and imagination. Please kindly note that I have not listed the books in in any age groups.

The Little Prince written and illustrated by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This is my all time most favourite! This classic book  is listed as a children’s story but it is also a big  favourite among adults today and I am sure it will continue to be so in future. The unique and wonderful thing about this magical novel is that it never gets old. Every time I read it I discover a new and valuable lesson and meaning from this enchanting novel.


The Little Prince- book cover illustration by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, publication date: 1943 in French language


The Little Prince drawn  by  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


The Little Prince drawn  by  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


The Little Prince drawn  by  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I will be writing in detail about The Little Price by  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in an upcoming post.

Alan Alexander Milne 

  • Winnie-the-Pooh
  • The House at Pooh Corner
  • Now We Are Six
  • When We Were Very Young

The Wind in the Willows  by Kenneth Grahame

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Madeline series by Ludwig Bemelmans

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

The Moomins by Tove Jansson 

The Jungle Book by  Rudyard Kipling

Doctor Doolittle series by Hugh Lofting

Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

One Thousand and One Nights -various unknown authors over many centuries

Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lindgren

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Mark Twain

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Here are also some great children’s book treasures which I discovered as an adult (I still love to read children’s books!) I believe some of them will be considered as children’s classics in  future.

E.B. White

  • Stuart Little
  • Charlotte's Web

Kate DiCamillo

The Tale of Despereaux

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

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