Reading aloud is a great way to connect with your children when they are young. I have very fond memories of cuddling on the couch with my mother while she read us our favorite books in the evening.
Reading aloud also helps your children reach their highest potential for development and academia. Research shows that children who are read from an early age have a larger vocabulary and learn to read more easily than children who are not read. It’s amazing how much our little ones learn by listening to us read stories!
Here are some of the most classic children’s books you can start reading to your child. Although we have broken down these books into the most appropriate age groups, all of these suggestions can be read to (and loved by) children of all ages!
30 classic books for your child to read
We go bear hunting
It is a thirty-year-old tale of a father and his four young children crossing a field of tall grass, wading through a cold river, fighting through muddy mud, finding their way through a dark forest, fighting through a snowstorm, and finally entering a gloomy cave. What will they find? You will have to read to find out!
Tiki Tiki Tembo
At three decades old, this is the story of a boy with a long name who falls into a well. Tiki Tiki Tembo is a classic retelling of an ancient Chinese folk tale that warns of the danger of having such an honorary name as Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo.
A classic story in which a teddy bear waiting hopefully in the toy department finds a home with a little girl. She wants Corduroy so badly that she comes to the store with her own money after her mother refuses to buy it.
Stellaluna, a fruit bat, is thrown from its mother’s safe embrace by an attacking owl and lands head first into a bird’s nest. Her world turns upside down when she is adopted by the inhabitants of the nest and adapts to their bird habits.
The little red hen
Little red hen is a humorous, classic tale of how we reap what we sow. The red hen wants to make a cake, but when the hen asks a cat, a dog and a mouse for help, she hears, “Not me!” Guess who ends up eating the cake alone?
Cloudy with meatballs
In this classic book, the city of Chewandswallow was an ordinary city with exceptional time. She came three times a day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and it rained, snowed, or blew her food! But the weather is getting worse and the city is a mess and people are afraid for their lives.
The velvet rabbit
Originally a brand new toy, now an old, worn-out relic, the velvet rabbit is rescued by a magical fairy who pushes it away from the Rabbit Side. There he becomes a “True” and a cherished companion from childhood, who will be loved forever. This is a beautiful story of transformation and redemption through the unshakable love of the child.
Alexander and the Terrible, Terrible, Not good, Very bad day
Alexander had a terrible, terrible, not good, very bad day. Nothing was right at all. Everything went wrong. His mother served Lima beans for dinner and had kisses on TV! But his mother reassures him that some days are the same for other people.
Madeline is a fairy tale with a brave heroine, cheerful humor and beautiful drawings of Paris. Madeline’s stories are a classic that has delighted young readers for 75 years!
The story of Ferdinand
While all the other bulls snort, jump and bang their heads, Ferdinand prefers to just sit and smell the flowers under his favorite tree. This is another story that children have loved for more than 75 years.
Where the wild things are
Max dresses in his wolf costume and causes chaos in the house, so his mother sends him to sleep. Instead of sleeping, Max sails to an island inhabited by the Wild Things, who make him king and share a wild lump with him.
The donating tree
There was once a tree that loved a little boy. Every day the boy came to the tree. He would eat her apples, sway from its branches, or descend its trunk. The tree was happy. When the boy grew up, he needed more than the tree, and the tree gave, gave and gave. This book is a touching story.
The kissing hand
Chester Raccoon doesn’t want to go to school. Ms. Raccoon shares a family secret called The Kissing Hand to help Chester feel her love when his world feels a little scary.
At the age of 6 and more years
A girl named Fern rescues a skinny pig, names it Wilbur, and raises it in her Uncle Zuckerman’s barn. There Wilbur found dear friends in many of the farm animals and a clever spider named Charlotte.
Peter Pan’s story has been a favorite for more than 100 years. This is the story of a boy who can fly and never grow up. He meets a girl named Wendy and takes her and her brothers to the fantasy world of Neverland, where they share an adventure with its magical inhabitants, including the Lost Boys, Captain Hook, Tiger Lily and Tinker Bell.
Anne of the Green Gables
Anne is an eleven-year-old orphan who was mistakenly sent to live with a single middle-aged brother and sister on a farm on Prince Edward Island. The first of a favorite series of books, Anne of the Green Gables, shares how a young girl makes a lasting impression on everyone around her.
The secret Garden
After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox moved to the Myseltwaite mansion with her solitary uncle and hated him. The only convenience Mary has is to explore the mansion. She soon discovers a hidden key and realizes that it opens the door to an old, abandoned garden with a few secrets.
The wind in the willows
Rat, mole, badger and Mr. Frog have delighted readers for generations with their strange adventures on and along the river and in the large residence of Toad Hall.
Henry, Jesse, Violet and Benny are orphaned siblings who decide that the only way to stay together is to manage on their own. The children find an abandoned wagon in the forest and it becomes a home.
The full tales of Winnie the Pooh
Author AA Milne wrote these enduring, timeless tales of his son Christopher Robin in 1926. They are stories of Winnie the Pooh and his friends – Piglet, Owl, Tiger, Kangaroo, Roo and the Gloomy Ior – and their adventures in the Hundred Acre. Wood.
A bear named Paddington
The Brown family meets an unusual bear named Paddington, who has traveled all the way from Peru. Their lives have never been the same since.
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lives in a house upside down and always has freshly baked cookies. And she knows everything there is to know about children. When one of the children in the story behaves badly, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has the perfect cure. And her cheerful decisions always work!
The tale of Despereaux
Despero Tilling is a mouse in love with music, stories and a princess named Pea. A rat named Roscuro lives in the dark and wants a world full of light. And Migrey Sow is a service girl who has a simple desire. These three characters embark on a fantastic journey and come to find each other … and help each other.
My father’s dragon
This is the story of Elmer Elevator, who learns about a captured dragon on the Wild Island. Anyone who saved the dragon from its cruel kidnappers could be entitled to a free ride, and Elmer always wanted to fly. Elmer returns aboard a ship to the island, where he encounters many capricious creatures.
Pippi Longstocking has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a pet monkey named Mr. Nilsson. No matter what Pippi does, such as scrubbing floors, doing math, or having a fancy tea party, her scandalous antics always seem to lead to a new adventure.
The Clock family are small people who live under the kitchen floor of an old English country mansion. All of their small home furnishings, from postage stamp paintings to champagne cork chairs, are “borrowed” from the “human grains” that live above them. Their little life is going well until one of them is spotted above by a human boy!
The Penderwick family
The Penderwick sisters spend the summer on the grounds of a beautiful mansion called Arundel. They soon discover the magic of Arundel’s gardens and the treasure-filled attic. They also find Jeffrey Tifton, the son of the owner of Arundel, who quickly turns out to be the perfect friend.
The green embers
Green embers are a fantastic adventure tale that takes place in a time of great chaos in the world. Two brave rabbits embark on an epic adventure to fight evil heroes to save themselves, their friends they meet along the way, and ultimately the kingdom.
Mr. Popper’s penguins
Mr. Popper wants to have seen something of the world before he meets Mrs. Popper and settles down. Most of all, he wants to have seen the Poles and spends his free time reading polar research. One day a friend sends him a penguin and soon the Popper family grows to include 12 penguins, all of which need to be fed. Mr. Popper creates “Pingvins Performing Penguins, for the first time on any stage, directly from the South Pole” and they go on a world tour!
This classic tale tells of the beloved Mary Poppins and how her arrival at number seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane changes the Banks family forever. She becomes a most an unusual babysitter for Jane, Michael and the twins. Magic and adventure come to life in this bizarre story!
Do you remember any of these classics from your childhood? What will you read to your children? I hope you try reading one (or several!) Of these classic books aloud to your child. You will create wonderful memories of them and play an important role in their language development. Enjoy reading!