Must Read Classic Books for Kids

Classics are books that are timeless, that don’t grow old. Books that continue to be widely read and deeply loved long after they were written. Books that never lose their relevance. Books that ring true decades, even centuries, after they were first penned down.

The classic literature canon is both daunting and immense, and for a beginner, the list can be endless and exhausting. So here’s a quick guide to classic literature for the beginner, with something for every age!

Picture Books

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Eric Carle

Why read it?

Eric Carle, is an author who should be part of every child’s library! His stories are timeless and the kind that never lose their relevance. They are full of takeaways and are so addictive, your child will demand several readings every time you pick it up! The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a phenomenal book to start with!

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Crockett Johnson

Why read it?

Harold can’t sleep one night and draws himself an adventure! Another timeless picture book about the wonders of imagination and the power of pen!

Early Readers

Books by Dr. Seuss

Why read it?

Dr Seuss is an essential beginner reader experience. He’s full of rhyme, imagination and just the right amount of absurdity!

Alice in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll

Why read it?

Talking of absurdity! I don’t think I’ll ever stop gushing about this one! Alice finds herself in a strange land, full of strange creatures, when she falls down a rabbit hole. This story has some of my all time favourite characters but my favourite part about it is the inventive language, so witty and fun! This is a book that is new every time you read it. It’s also a great book to be read by parent to child!

Middle Grade

Anne of Green Gables

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Why read it?

This is the story of an orphan girl who is adopted by siblings Mathew and Marilla Cuthbert and is the most endearing series about finding family! The first thing you’ll fall in love with in this one is Anne. She’s a loquacious, vivacious, optimistic character, who’ll grow on you from chapter one and stay with you for a long time after the last page! Her unintended shenanigans will have you smiling from ear to ear throughout! The second thing I fell in love with is how drama free the plot is, no unnecessary theatrics, just plain life, with all its ups and downs and yet not one chapter that’ll fail to entertain or amuse.

The Phantom Tollbooth

Norton Juster

Why read it?

The Phantom Tollbooth is about Milo, a young boy who’s bored of everything and one day comes home to find a mysterious tollbooth at his home. He enters the tollbooth and is transported to a strange land! It’s full of puns, metaphors and allegory, there’s much more to the story than the surface and every dialogue, so rich in word play, is open for interpretation. This book is full of food for thought, and it’ll instil in its reader a love for words!

Young Adult

The Hobbit

J. R. R. Tolkien

Why read it?

The Hobbit is the prequel to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The story of Bilbo Baggins, who likes the simple life and disdains adventure, and is much to his dismay, dragged into accompanying his wizard friend Gandalf on an adventure to slay a mean dragon! Our very reluctant hero finds trolls, treacherous elves, spiders, and most important of all, himself, along the journey. Bilbo’s transformation from an unexpected hero to a mature, resourceful adventurer is the hero story we are all looking for! And let me just say, Tolkien’s Middle Earth is still one of the most magnificent fantasy universes ever created!

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen

Why read it?

The origin of the RomCom, with a lot of social commentary on the side! Originally titled first impressions, the book is about Elizabeth Bennet, a charming and opinionated young girl who meets rich, arrogant, pompous Mr. Darcy. What follows is a lot of banter, quite a few balls, and of course love. Jane Austen’s most popular work is a hugely entertaining read and that’s what makes it so readable! It’s the ultimate happily ever after!

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Kavya Mehta

Bookistaan is a recommendations-based children’s bookstore that believes that a child’s imagination is a black canvas that can and should be painted all sorts of colours and the best way to do it is through books. We bring the best of Children’s literature from India and abroad, offering diverse, age-appropriate reads for your child’s every need.

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