Some books stay with us all our lives, even if we haven’t read them since we were kids, and that’s definitely the case for the titles on this list.
These classic children’s books are some of the most memorable stories of all time, and they’re still igniting the imaginations of little ones today. How many have you read?
15 Memorable Childhood Books
|Where to Buy
|April 10, 2012
|E. B White
|Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone
|October 1, 1998
|The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
|October 06, 2015
|Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
|Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
|December 21, 2020
|Louisa May Alcott
|CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
|The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
|January 2, 2008
|C. S. Lewis
|Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
|July 07, 2020
|Lucy Maud Montgomery
|MacMillan Collector's Library
|Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin and John Archambault
|August 1, 2000
|Bill Martin Jr.
|Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
|January 23, 2007
|Margaret Wise Brown
|Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
|December 26, 2012
|Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
|May 30, 1988
|Bridge to Terabithia
|May 2, 2017
|The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen
|March 24, 1999
|Hans Christian Andersen
|The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
|October 28, 1976
|Ezra Jack Keats
|James and the Giant Peach
|August 16, 2007
|Viking Books for Young Readers
|Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! By Mo Willems
|April 01, 2003
|Hyperion Books for Children
1. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
From the author of Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan, this childhood favorite tells the story of Wilbur the pig and his unlikely friendship with a spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur looks set to become the main course at dinner, Charlotte comes to his rescue with her web weaving skills and literally ‘saves his bacon.’
This heartwarming tale is one of the best-selling children’s books of all time, and even today, 70 years after its original publication, it’s still adored by children worldwide.
2. Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone
Originally named Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (UK), this first installment of this world-famous series set the stage for the entire smash hit Harry Potter franchise. It’s when we first meet young Harry, living a miserable life with his mean-spirited aunt and uncle after the death of his parents. He’s treated like a slave by his muggle relatives, and his only solitude is a tiny little closet under the stairs.
But things are about to change for this young wizard when a surprise visitor arrives to tell him who he really is.
3. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This beautiful tale is an all-time favorite not just for children but for adults too. Originally written in French, it’s been translated into more than 300 languages and dialects, serving as an important reminder to global readers about what really matters in life.
The story begins when a pilot finds himself stranded in the desert, all alone. Except he’s not alone after all, as a little prince appears and leads him on an extraordinary journey that will change him forever.
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Little Women is another classic tale adored by children and adults in equal measure. It follows the unforgettable March sisters, Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth, growing up in New England during the time of the American Civil War. These “little women” have delighted generations of readers and inspired countless authors in their own work too.
5. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The first installment of the Chronicles of Narnia tells the tale of Lucy, Edmund, Peter, and Susan, four children who are packed away to the safety of the English countryside during the war.
But when they arrive, they find a war of their own to fight, in the mysterious land of Narnia. This epic adventure tale was published way back in 1950, but it’s bound to be an enduring classic for generations of children to come.
6. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
One of the most heartwarming stories ever told, Anne of Green Gables takes young readers on a journey to the faraway land of Prince Edward Island, where a young orphaned girl is struggling to fit in in her new home.
But despite a rocky start, her adopted parents can resist her audacious charm, and she soon becomes a fully-fledged member of the family, loved by all.
7. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin and John Archambault
This vibrantly illustrated alphabet classic has been a children’s favorite for over thirty years, and it’s no wonder; kids love singing along to this fun-filled rhyme about a bunch of animals and their race to the top of a coconut tree.
But there’s not a lot of space up there, and sooner or later, it’s going to go Chicka Chicka Boom! Boom!
8. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
In what might be the most soothing bedtime book of all time, children join a little bunny in saying goodnight to all the familiar things in their bedrooms; the kittens, the mittens, the socks, and the clocks, and of course, the rising moon.
9. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
This classic 1963 adventure picture book is a favorite for imaginative kids everywhere. It tells the tale of a young, wild, undisciplined boy called Max, sent to bed without his supper after disobeying his mother again. But up there in his room, he goes on an incredible journey through his imagination, to the faraway land of the Wild Things.
And since Max is a ‘wild thing’ himself, he joins the tribe and eventually becomes their king.
10. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
The sharp, spunky, and voracious Pippi Longstocking is an unforgettable character, loved by generations of children worldwide.
In the first book of this classic Swedish series, we journey with her to a small and unsuspecting village, who don’t quite know what to make of their new neighbor. She’s as outrageous and wild as her pet monkey Mr. Nilsson, and with no parents to tell her what to do, she’s free to stir things up in this sleepy little town.
But despite her eccentric ways, she has a heart of gold, and her new neighbors can’t help but fall in love with Pippi and her hilarious escapades.
11. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Katherin Patterson’s 1977 children’s novel tells the tale of Jesse Aarons and Leslie Burke, a pair of school children who strike up an unlikely friendship.
Leslie teaches Jesse to be brave, and for the first time in his life, he’s able to let go of his fear and frustration. Armed with newfound confidence, the pair embark on an incredible adventure in their own imaginations, creating a magical world called Terabithia.
Bonus Read: 14 Places to Find Free Books for Children
12. The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen’s universally adored fairy tale has been teaching children to believe in themselves for almost 170 years now.
The story begins with a young duckling who looks different from his brothers and sisters. Every day, they tease him and call him names, and eventually, when he can no longer take it any longer, the little duckling feels he has no choice but to leave the flock.
After wandering in lonely isolation for months, he’s not quite so little anymore. Now, he’s grown big and strong, and when he turns to see his reflection in the water for the very first time, he realizes something amazing; he was never an ugly duckling after all! He’s always been a beautiful swan, and now, he’s ready to spread his wings and fly.
13. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
This classic wintertime picture book tells the story of a young African American boy named Peter, who wakes up one morning to find his neighborhood blanketed in snow. He excitedly hurries outside in his bright red snowsuit to explore the transformed streets, but he’s too little to join the older kids and their snowball fights.
Instead, he makes his very own snowman, practices the perfect snow angel, and slides down the snowy hill just like he’d always dreamed of doing.
But when he gets home to find a snowball he secretly stashed away has melted, he fears the magic of the snow might be over. Yet the very next morning, he wakes up to find the same big white flakes falling from the sky, and he heads out again for another day of adventure.
14. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
This is arguably Roald Dahl’s most celebrated book, and for an author with so many children’s classics under his belt, that’s really saying something.
The story begins when a young orphan boy called James acquires some magic crystals, which he accidentally drops next to an old peach tree. Soon, the peach starts to grow bigger and bigger, until eventually, it’s the size of a house.
That’s when James discovers a secret doorway that leads him into the center of the fruit, where he meets an entire cast of unforgettable creepy-crawly characters who welcome him in with open arms.
15. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! By Mo Willems
This 2003 illustrated story was Mo Willems’ debut children’s book, and what a debut it was. It’s gone on to become a worldwide bestseller, and it also sparked a series of 3 follow-up books about our feathered friend’s adventures and escapades.
In this first offering in the pigeon series, a bus driver asks the reader to keep an eye on the unpredictable bird while he is away from his station. “Make sure the pigeon doesn’t drive the bus!” he says. But keeping this particular pigeon in check isn’t as easy as it seems…
These classic stories are among the most memorable children’s books of all time. Some are modern-day titles, and many have been around for decades, but all of them are still delighting young readers today.
Did I miss any of your favorite memorable childhood books from this list? Let me know in the comments below!