100 Greatest Childrens Books of All Time

This is one of the 280 lists we use to generate our main The Greatest Books list.

  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

    A young boy named Max, dressed in his wolf costume, wreaks such havoc through his household that he is sent to bed without his supper. In his room, a mysterious, wild forest and sea grows out of his imagination, and Max sails to the land of the Wild Things. The Wild Things are fearsome-looking monsters, but Max conquers them by “staring into their yellow eyes without blinking once”, and he is made the king of all wild things. However, he soon finds himself lonely and homesick and returns home to his bedroom where he finds his supper waiting for him, still hot.

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

    This novel follows the story of a young girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantastical world full of peculiar creatures and bizarre experiences. As she navigates through this strange land, she encounters a series of nonsensical events, including a tea party with a Mad Hatter, a pool of tears, and a trial over stolen tarts. The book is renowned for its playful use of language, logic, and its exploration of the boundaries of reality.

  • Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

    The book tells the story of Pippi Longstocking, a young girl with superhuman strength who lives alone in a colorful house in a small Swedish village. With her pet monkey and horse, Pippi embarks on a series of humorous and often absurd adventures, defying societal norms and adult authority with her unconventional wisdom and moral code. Despite her wild antics, Pippi's kindness, generosity, and courage make her a beloved figure in her community.

  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    A young prince from a tiny asteroid embarks on a journey across the universe, visiting various planets and meeting their strange inhabitants. Along the way, he learns about the follies and absurdities of the adult world, the nature of friendship, and the importance of retaining a childlike wonder and curiosity. His journey eventually leads him to Earth, where he befriends a fox and learns about love and loss before finally returning to his asteroid.

  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

    In this fantasy novel, a timid and unadventurous hobbit named Bilbo Baggins is whisked away on a grand adventure by a wizard and a group of dwarves. Their mission is to reclaim the dwarves' homeland and treasure from a fearsome dragon. Throughout the journey, Bilbo grows in courage and cunning, proving himself a true hero as he encounters trolls, goblins, giant spiders, and other perils. The novel culminates with a great battle involving various races of Middle Earth, after which Bilbo returns home, forever changed by his experiences.

  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

    "His Dark Materials" is a fantasy trilogy that follows the journey of a young girl named Lyra Belacqua and her daemon, Pantalaimon, across parallel universes. Throughout their adventures, they encounter a variety of mythical creatures, confront religious and political systems, and grapple with complex themes such as free will, original sin, and the nature of consciousness. The series also delves into the mysteries of Dust, a strange particle integral to the multiverse's function.

  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

    This seven-part series follows the adventures of various children who play central roles in the unfolding history of the fantastical realm of Narnia. The children are magically transported to Narnia from our world, where they aid the noble lion Aslan in his struggles against evil forces in order to restore peace and justice. The series explores themes of good versus evil, the nature of faith, and the power of sacrifice, all set against a richly imagined magical world full of diverse creatures and landscapes.

  • Winnie the Pooh by A. A Milne

    This classic children's tale follows the charming adventures of a lovable, honey-loving bear named Winnie the Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. With his companions, including the timid Piglet, the gloomy Eeyore, the energetic Tigger, and the wise Owl, Pooh navigates through various situations and dilemmas, often with humorous and heartwarming results. The book is a celebration of friendship, imagination, and the simple joys of life.

  • Charlotte's Web by E. B. White

    A young girl named Fern saves a runt piglet from being slaughtered and names him Wilbur. When Wilbur grows too large, he is sent to live in her uncle's barn, where he befriends a clever spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur's life is in danger again, Charlotte weaves messages into her web to convince the farmer that Wilbur is too special to kill. The book explores themes of friendship, sacrifice, and the cycle of life.

  • Matilda by Roald Dahl

    The book follows the story of Matilda, an exceptionally intelligent young girl who is neglected and mistreated by her parents. She finds solace and companionship in the local library, where she develops a love of books and a remarkable talent for telekinesis. Matilda eventually uses these abilities to defend her friends from their tyrannical headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and help her kind-hearted teacher, Miss Honey, reclaim her life.

  • Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

    The book follows the life of a young orphan girl who is mistakenly sent to live with an elderly brother and sister who originally wanted to adopt a boy to help them with their farm in Prince Edward Island. Despite the initial disappointment, the girl's charm, vivacity, and imagination soon win over her new guardians. The story details her adventures and mishaps in her new home, her struggles and triumphs at school, and her gradual maturing into a smart, independent young woman.

  • Fairy Tales and Stories by Hans Christian Andersen

    This collection of stories offers a mix of enchanting fairy tales and narratives, many of which have become universally recognized classics. The stories range from tales of whimsical creatures and magical realms to poignant narratives that explore themes of love, sacrifice, and the human condition. Some tales are light-hearted and humorous, while others are profound and thought-provoking, demonstrating the breadth and depth of the author's storytelling abilities.

  • Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone by J. K Rowling

    The story follows a young boy, Harry Potter, who learns on his 11th birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own. He is summoned from his life as an unwanted child to become a student at Hogwarts, an English boarding school for wizards. There, he meets several friends who become his closest allies and help him discover the truth about his parents' mysterious deaths, the dark wizard who wants to kill him, and the magical stone that holds immense power.

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

    The book is a beautifully illustrated children's story that follows the journey of a small caterpillar who eats his way through a variety of foods, growing bigger and bigger, until he eventually transforms into a beautiful butterfly. The story is not only entertaining but also educational, teaching children about the life cycle of a butterfly and the days of the week.

  • The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper

    In "The Dark Is Rising," a young boy named Will Stanton discovers on his eleventh birthday that he is the last of the Old Ones, a group of immortal beings who must protect the world from the forces of darkness. As he embarks on a dangerous quest to find six powerful signs, Will must navigate a treacherous battle between good and evil, facing ancient magic, time travel, and his own inner demons along the way. With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Will must embrace his destiny and harness his newfound powers to save humanity from the rising darkness.

  • The Arrival by Shaun Tan

    "The Arrival" is a wordless graphic novel that tells the story of a man who leaves his troubled homeland to seek a better life in an unknown country. The man's journey is filled with strange, surreal experiences as he navigates a new culture, language, and way of life, all while missing his family. The book explores themes of immigration, displacement, and hope in a beautifully illustrated, silent narrative.

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

    This classic novel follows the lives of the four March sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy - as they navigate the challenges and joys of adolescence and adulthood in 19th century New England. As they grow, they grapple with issues of poverty, gender roles, love, and personal identity, each in her own unique way. The story is a testament to the power of family, sisterhood, and female resilience in a time of societal constraints.

  • Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl

    A young boy named Charlie lives in poverty and dreams of visiting the nearby chocolate factory owned by the eccentric and mysterious Willy Wonka. When Charlie finds one of the five golden tickets hidden in chocolate bars worldwide, he earns the chance to tour the factory. Accompanied by his Grandpa Joe and four other children, Charlie embarks on a magical and surreal adventure inside the factory, where he learns valuable lessons about greed, arrogance, and honesty.

  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri

    "Heidi" is a heartwarming tale about a young orphan girl named Heidi who is sent to live with her grumpy grandfather in the Swiss Alps. Despite the initial challenges she faces, Heidi's pure and joyful spirit brings warmth and happiness to the people around her. Through her adventures and friendships, Heidi learns important lessons about love, resilience, and the beauty of nature.

  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

    This classic children's book follows a young rabbit's bedtime routine, as it says goodnight to everything around: from the red balloon and a pair of mittens, to the kittens, the picture of the cow jumping over the moon, the old lady whispering "hush", and more. The soothing, repetitive text and warm, detailed illustrations create a peaceful, comforting atmosphere that eases children into sleep.

  • The Adventures Of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

    "The Adventures of Pinocchio" is a classic children's novel that follows the mischievous adventures of a wooden puppet named Pinocchio. As he strives to become a real boy, Pinocchio encounters a series of trials and temptations, learning valuable life lessons along the way. From encounters with talking animals to being swallowed by a giant fish, Pinocchio's journey is filled with humor, excitement, and moral dilemmas. With themes of honesty, bravery, and the consequences of one's actions, this timeless tale captivates readers of all ages.

  • A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

    This fantasy novel follows the story of a young boy named Ged who lives in a world of islands called Earthsea. Ged discovers he has a natural talent for magic and is sent to a school for wizards on the island of Roke. As he grows and learns, his arrogance leads him to unleash a shadow creature that he must then spend years trying to defeat. The book explores themes of balance, power, and the danger of hubris, as Ged learns to control his abilities and accept responsibility for his actions.

  • Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson

    "Moominland Midwinter" follows the adventures of Moomintroll, a curious and adventurous creature who wakes up from his winter hibernation to find himself in a snowy and unfamiliar landscape. As he explores this new world, Moomintroll encounters various characters, including a lonely squirrel and a mischievous creature called the Lady of the Cold. Together, they navigate the challenges of winter and discover the beauty and magic that can be found in unexpected places.

  • I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

    In this humorous and cleverly illustrated children's book, a bear searches for his missing hat, asking various animals along the way if they have seen it. As the bear's frustration grows, readers are left to wonder if the bear will ever find his hat and what might happen when he does.

  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

    A young, spoiled and unloved girl is sent to live with her reclusive uncle in a large, lonely house after the death of her parents. Through the discovery and cultivation of a hidden, neglected garden, she befriends a local boy and her sickly cousin, and the three children find healing and transformation through their friendship and the magic of the garden.

  • Duck, Death And The Tulip by Wolf Erlbruch

    "Duck, Death And The Tulip" is a poignant and thought-provoking illustrated book that explores the themes of life, death, and friendship. The story follows a duck who unexpectedly befriends Death, and together they embark on a journey of contemplation and acceptance. Through their conversations and experiences, the book delicately tackles the existential questions surrounding mortality, while offering a tender and comforting perspective on the inevitability of death.

  • The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren

    "The Brothers Lionheart" is a heartwarming and adventurous tale that follows the lives of two brothers, Karl and Jonathan, who embark on an extraordinary journey in the magical realm of Nangijala after their untimely deaths. In this enchanting world, they find themselves caught in a battle between good and evil, where they must summon their bravery and loyalty to protect their newfound friends and fight against the oppressive forces that threaten to destroy everything they hold dear. This timeless story explores themes of love, friendship, and the power of hope, captivating readers of all ages.

  • Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban by J. K Rowling

    In this third installment of the popular fantasy series, the protagonist enters his third year at a magical school, only to find out that a notorious prisoner has escaped from a supposedly inescapable prison and is believed to be after him. As the school year progresses, he learns more about his parents' history, uncovers secrets about his professor, and discovers a magical map. He also learns to summon a powerful defensive spell, confronts the escaped prisoner, and uncovers the truth about his parents' betrayal and death. The book ends with him saving an innocent life and learning a valuable lesson about the complexity of human nature and the importance of true friendship.

  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

    This is a poignant memoir written in verse, detailing the author's childhood as an African-American growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, split between South Carolina and New York. The narrative explores her experiences with segregation, her growing awareness of the civil rights movement, her deep love for storytelling and her gradual understanding of her own identity as a writer. The book provides a powerful portrayal of a girl finding her voice in a time of social and political unrest.

  • The Three Robbers by Tomi Ungerer

    "The Three Robbers" is a captivating children's book about three fierce robbers who terrorize the countryside, stealing from the rich and leaving the poor with nothing. However, their lives take an unexpected turn when they encounter a lonely little girl named Tiffany, who teaches them the power of love and compassion. Through vivid illustrations and a heartwarming storyline, this book teaches young readers the importance of kindness and the transformative nature of friendship.

  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

    The book tells the story of a young boy's adventures on a snowy day. He wakes up to find his city covered in snow and spends the day exploring, making tracks, building a snowman, and even trying to save a snowball for the next day. The story beautifully captures the wonder and joy that a child experiences during a snowfall, making it a timeless classic for children.

  • The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

    A little girl named Sophie and her mother are surprised when a tiger shows up at their door asking for tea. The tiger proceeds to eat all the food in the house and drink all the water in the tap, leaving nothing for Sophie's father when he comes home. The family then goes out for dinner and buys more food, including a big tin of tiger food, in case the tiger should come to tea again. However, the tiger never returns.

  • Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

    In a magical land where witches and wizards exist, a young hat maker named Sophie is cursed by a jealous witch and transformed into an old woman. Determined to break the curse, Sophie seeks refuge in the mysterious moving castle of the feared wizard Howl. As Sophie navigates the castle's enchanting rooms and encounters its eccentric inhabitants, she discovers the power of love, friendship, and self-acceptance. Together with Howl and his apprentice Michael, Sophie embarks on a captivating journey filled with adventure, magic, and unexpected twists that will change their lives forever.

  • A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle

    The novel follows the story of a young girl named Meg Murry, her younger brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O'Keefe as they embark on a cosmic journey to rescue Meg and Charles Wallace's father. The father, a scientist, has been missing since he discovered a new planet using the concept of Tesseract, which is a wrinkle in time. Guided by three mysterious celestial beings, the children travel across different dimensions, face evil forces, and learn about the power of love and self-sacrifice.

  • Watership Down by Richard Adams

    This novel follows a group of rabbits as they flee their warren due to a foreseen catastrophe. The rabbits, led by Hazel and his psychic brother Fiver, face numerous challenges and adventures as they search for a new home. They encounter predators, hostile rabbit communities, and human threats. The book explores themes of leadership, survival, and freedom, all set within the natural world and its inherent dangers.

  • Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

    In "Tom's Midnight Garden," a young boy named Tom is sent to stay with his aunt and uncle in their small apartment while his brother recovers from measles. Feeling bored and lonely, Tom discovers a magical garden that only appears at midnight. As he explores the garden, he meets a young girl named Hatty who lived there in the past. Together, they embark on a series of adventures, uncovering the mysteries of time and friendship.

  • Household Tales by Brothers Grimm

    "Household Tales" is a collection of German fairy tales that includes popular stories such as "Cinderella", "Little Red Riding Hood", "Hansel and Gretel", and "Snow White". These narratives, often featuring magical elements and moral lessons, have been influential in shaping Western popular culture. The tales range from the whimsical and humorous to the dark and cautionary, reflecting a wide array of human experiences and emotions.

  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

    This children's classic tells the story of a mischievous young rabbit who disobeys his mother's warning and ventures into Mr. McGregor's garden. After indulging in the garden's bountiful offerings, the young rabbit finds himself chased by Mr. McGregor, narrowly escaping capture. He eventually makes his way back home to his mother, who scolds him for his disobedience and sends him to bed without supper.

  • The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit

    "The Railway Children" is a classic children's story about three siblings who move to the countryside after their father is falsely accused of spying and imprisoned. They live near a railway station and have many adventures, including saving a train from disaster, helping a Russian exile find his family, and aiding a gentleman who had been robbed. The story is filled with themes of courage, kindness, and resourcefulness, culminating in the children's efforts to prove their father's innocence, leading to his eventual release.

  • Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

    "Noughts and Crosses" is a thought-provoking novel set in a dystopian society where racial segregation is reversed. It follows the lives of two main characters: a girl from the ruling class (Crosses) and a boy from the underclass (Noughts). Despite their different backgrounds, they form a deep bond that eventually turns into a romantic relationship, challenging the societal norms and prejudices. The novel explores themes of love, racism, and power, offering a poignant commentary on the repercussions of societal divisions.

  • The BFG by Roald Dahl

    The book tells the story of a young orphan girl who befriends a benevolent giant, known as the Big Friendly Giant (BFG). Together, they embark on a mission to stop the other evil, man-eating giants from terrorizing the human world. With the help of the Queen of England and her armed forces, they manage to capture the evil giants and bring peace. The BFG and the girl then live happily in England, with the BFG delivering good dreams to children and the girl living in a new home at the palace.

  • Rules Of Summer by Shaun Tan

    "Rules of Summer" is a visually stunning and thought-provoking picture book that explores the complex relationship between two young boys during their summer vacation. Through a series of surreal and imaginative illustrations, the book delves into themes of friendship, power dynamics, and the unspoken rules that govern their interactions. With its rich imagery and open-ended narrative, "Rules of Summer" invites readers to reflect on the nuances of human relationships and the lessons learned during the season of growth and change.

  • Momo by Michael Ende

    "Momo" by Michael Ende is a captivating tale about a young orphan girl named Momo who possesses an extraordinary ability to listen and understand people. Set in a town plagued by time thieves, Momo's unique gift becomes crucial as she embarks on a quest to save the community from losing their most precious possession: time. With the help of her loyal friends, Momo must confront the enigmatic Men in Grey and their sinister plan to rob people of their time, teaching readers the importance of cherishing the present moment and the power of human connection.

  • Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

    The book tells the story of Ferdinand, a gentle, peace-loving bull living in Spain who would rather smell flowers than participate in bullfights. Despite his mother's worries, Ferdinand grows up to be a strong bull still with a kind heart who loves smelling flowers. However, when five men come to choose the fiercest bull for a bullfight and Ferdinand is mistakenly selected, he must find a way to stay true to himself even in the face of danger and expectations.

  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

    This epic high-fantasy novel centers around a modest hobbit who is entrusted with the task of destroying a powerful ring that could enable the dark lord to conquer the world. Accompanied by a diverse group of companions, the hobbit embarks on a perilous journey across Middle-earth, battling evil forces and facing numerous challenges. The narrative, rich in mythology and complex themes of good versus evil, friendship, and heroism, has had a profound influence on the fantasy genre.

  • The Owl Service by Alan Garner

    "The Owl Service" is a gripping and mysterious novel that follows three teenagers, Alison, Roger, and Gwyn, as they uncover a dark and ancient secret hidden within a Welsh valley. As they become entangled in a haunting and supernatural phenomenon involving an ancient Welsh myth, the three must confront their own fears and unravel the truth before it consumes them. With elements of folklore, mythology, and psychological suspense, this atmospheric tale explores themes of identity, destiny, and the power of ancient forces that still hold sway in the present day.

  • Ronia, The Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren

    In a secluded forest, Ronia, the daughter of a feared robber chieftain, grows up surrounded by nature and the wild creatures that inhabit it. Despite her father's wishes for her to be tough and ruthless like him, Ronia's gentle heart and love for the forest lead her to form an unlikely friendship with Birk, the son of a rival robber chief. Together, they navigate the challenges of their feuding families, discovering the power of friendship, loyalty, and the importance of following their own paths.

  • The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

    "The Neverending Story" is a captivating fantasy novel that follows the adventures of a young boy named Bastian. When he stumbles upon a mysterious book, he becomes engrossed in the magical world of Fantastica, where he must embark on a perilous quest to save the realm from destruction. As Bastian's imagination intertwines with reality, he discovers the power of storytelling and the importance of believing in oneself. This enchanting tale explores themes of courage, friendship, and the boundless nature of imagination.

  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

    This classic adventure novel tells the story of young Jim Hawkins, who stumbles upon a treasure map and embarks on a perilous journey to find the buried treasure. Along the way, he encounters a host of memorable characters, including the cunning and treacherous Long John Silver. The narrative is filled with action, intrigue, and suspense, as Hawkins and his companions face pirates, mutiny, and other dangers in their quest for the hidden treasure.

  • Mary Poppins by PL Travers

    In this beloved classic, a magical and enigmatic nanny named Mary Poppins arrives at the Banks' household to care for their mischievous children. With her peculiar and extraordinary abilities, Mary Poppins takes the children on whimsical adventures, teaching them valuable life lessons along the way. As the family learns to appreciate the wonder and joy in everyday life, Mary Poppins proves that even the most ordinary moments can be extraordinary.

  • Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

    "Ballet Shoes" is a charming tale of three adopted sisters, Pauline, Petrova, and Posy, living in 1930s London. Raised by their guardian Sylvia and her nurse Nana, the girls attend a performing arts academy where each discovers her unique talent. Pauline shows a knack for acting, Petrova has a passion for cars and machinery, while Posy is a natural ballet dancer. The story follows their struggles and triumphs as they strive to make their dreams come true, all while navigating the challenges of growing up.

  • So Much! by Trish Cooke

    "So Much!" is a heartwarming children's book that follows a young girl named Mama, as she excitedly prepares for her family's arrival. With each page, the anticipation builds as Mama eagerly cleans, cooks, and organizes, ensuring everything is perfect for their visit. Through lively and colorful illustrations, this joyful story captures the love and warmth of a close-knit family, highlighting the importance of togetherness and the joy that comes from sharing special moments with loved ones.

  • We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

    This children's book is a captivating adventure story about a family that embarks on a playful and imaginative bear hunt. They overcome a series of obstacles along the way, such as long, wavy grass, a deep, cold river, and a swirling, whirling snowstorm. The family's hunt ends when they come face to face with an actual bear and have to rush back home. The narrative is filled with fun repetitive phrases and sound effects, making it an engaging read for young children.

  • The Adventures Of Cipollino by Gianni Rodari

    "The Adventures of Cipollino" is a delightful children's book filled with whimsical characters and enchanting adventures. Set in a world of fruits and vegetables, the story follows the brave and mischievous Cipollino, a little onion, as he leads a rebellion against the tyrannical Prince Lemon and his oppressive regime. With a blend of humor, fantasy, and social commentary, this captivating tale teaches valuable lessons about justice, friendship, and the power of standing up for what is right.

  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

    "The Giving Tree" is a heartwarming tale that follows the lifelong friendship between a young boy and a generous tree. As the boy grows older, he continuously returns to the tree, seeking its help and companionship. The tree, selflessly giving everything it has, provides the boy with shelter, food, and even its own trunk. Through the tree's unwavering love and sacrifice, the story explores themes of selflessness, friendship, and the importance of appreciating the natural world.

  • The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

    This children's book tells the story of a clever mouse who uses his wits to avoid being eaten by various predators in the woods. The mouse invents a monster, the Gruffalo, to scare away a fox, an owl, and a snake, only to discover that the creature actually exists. Using his quick thinking, the mouse manages to convince the Gruffalo that he is the most feared creature in the forest, thus avoiding becoming the Gruffalo's meal.

  • Julián Is A Mermaid by Jessica Love

    In this heartwarming and beautifully illustrated picture book, a young boy named Julián is captivated by the enchanting world of mermaids. After spotting a group of glamorous women dressed as mermaids on the subway, Julián dreams of becoming one himself. With his abuela's loving support, he embraces his true identity and expresses his creativity by transforming into a stunning mermaid. This empowering story celebrates self-acceptance, love, and the power of imagination.

  • Comet In Moominland by Tove Jansson

    "Comet In Moominland" follows the adventures of Moomintroll and his friends as they embark on a journey to find out more about the approaching comet that threatens their peaceful Moominvalley. Along the way, they encounter various creatures and face challenges, all while exploring themes of friendship, courage, and the importance of home. The book combines whimsical storytelling with beautiful illustrations, captivating readers of all ages.

  • Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson

    In this whimsical tale, the Moomins embark on a thrilling adventure when they discover a magical hat that grants wishes. As they explore the mysterious Hat Valley, they encounter a wide array of eccentric characters, including a mischievous Hobgoblin and a wise Hemulen. Along the way, they navigate through enchanting landscapes and encounter unexpected challenges, all while strengthening their bond as a family. With its delightful blend of fantasy and heartwarming themes, "Finn Family Moomintroll" captivates readers of all ages.

  • The Witches by Roald Dahl

    This children's dark fantasy novel tells the story of a young British boy and his Norwegian grandmother as they battle against England's child-hating witches. After losing his parents, the boy lives with his grandmother who educates him about the evil witches that appear ordinary but have a deep hatred for children. The boy accidentally stumbles upon the witches' convention and gets turned into a mouse, but with his grandmother's help, he manages to foil their plan to turn all the children into mice.

  • A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond

    In this heartwarming tale, a young bear named Paddington travels from Peru to London, where he is discovered by the Brown family at Paddington Station. Despite his initial clumsiness and lack of knowledge about the human world, Paddington's kind-hearted nature and love for marmalade sandwiches endear him to the Browns and the community. As Paddington navigates his new life, he embarks on various adventures while teaching the importance of acceptance, family, and friendship.

  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

    "The Wind in the Willows" is a charming tale about the adventures of four anthropomorphic animal friends - Mole, Rat, Badger, and the rebellious and extravagant Toad. The story is set in the idyllic English countryside and explores themes of friendship, exploration, and respect for nature. The narrative is marked by Toad's reckless behavior, his obsession with motor cars, and his eventual redemption. The other characters, with their contrasting personalities, bring balance and depth to the story.

  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

    Set in Mississippi during the Great Depression, this novel follows the life of a young African American girl and her family who are struggling to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice. The family owns a piece of land which provides them some protection from the harsh realities of racial discrimination. The story is a poignant exploration of how they navigate through a prejudiced society, face social and economic challenges, and fight to keep their land.

  • Karlsson On The Roof by Astrid Lindgren

    "Karlsson On The Roof" is a heartwarming children's book that follows the adventures of a mischievous and imaginative little boy named Smidge and his unlikely friend, Karlsson, a small, chubby man with a propeller on his back. Together, they embark on thrilling escapades, flying around Stockholm and outsmarting bullies, all while teaching valuable lessons about friendship, bravery, and the power of imagination.

  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

    A young boy named Milo, who is always bored and uninterested in the world around him, unexpectedly receives a magic tollbooth. When he drives through it in his toy car, he is transported to the Kingdom of Wisdom. Here, he embarks on a quest to rescue the princesses Rhyme and Reason, who have been exiled by the warring brothers, King Azaz of Dictionopolis (where words are supremely important) and the Mathemagician of Digitopolis (where numbers are most valued). Along his journey, Milo learns the value of learning and the excitement that can be found in the world around him.

  • The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

    When a mischievous cat wearing a red and white-striped hat appears at the home of two bored children on a rainy day, their afternoon is turned upside down. The cat's antics, including juggling various household items and introducing two chaotic creatures, Thing 1 and Thing 2, create a mess and a series of adventures. However, just as their mother is returning home, the cat manages to clean up the mess with a special machine, leaving the children wondering if their wild afternoon was real or just a dream.

  • The Miraculous Journey Of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

    In this heartwarming tale, a china rabbit named Edward Tulane embarks on a miraculous journey of self-discovery. From being lost at sea to finding himself in the hands of various owners, Edward learns the true meaning of love, loss, and the importance of opening one's heart to others. Through his encounters with different people, Edward's once cold and self-centered nature gradually transforms, as he learns to value the connections he forms and the impact he can have on the lives of those around him.

  • Peter And Wendy by J. M. Barrie

    "Peter And Wendy" by JM Barrie is a beloved children's classic that tells the enchanting story of a young girl named Wendy Darling who, along with her two brothers, embarks on a magical adventure to the whimsical world of Neverland. There, they encounter the mischievous and eternal boy, Peter Pan, and his fairy companion, Tinker Bell. Together, they face thrilling escapades, battles with the villainous Captain Hook, and discover the importance of imagination, friendship, and the power of never growing up.

  • From The Mixed Up Files Of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler by EL Konigsburg

    In this captivating book, two siblings, Claudia and Jamie, decide to run away from home and live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. As they explore the museum during the day and hide in the exhibits at night, they stumble upon a mysterious statue that may have been created by the famous sculptor Michelangelo. Determined to solve the statue's origin, Claudia and Jamie embark on an exciting adventure, uncovering secrets and learning valuable lessons about family, art, and self-discovery along the way.

  • When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr

    "When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit" is a poignant and autobiographical novel that follows the life of a young Jewish girl named Anna and her family as they flee Germany in the 1930s to escape the rise of the Nazi regime. Through Anna's eyes, the book explores the challenges and hardships faced by refugees, as well as the loss of identity and sense of belonging. It is a touching story of resilience, courage, and the power of family bonds in the face of adversity.

  • Shum Bola by G'afur G'ulоm

    "Shum Bola" by G'afur G'ulоm is a captivating and thought-provoking novel set in a remote village in Uzbekistan. The story revolves around the life of Shum Bola, a young and ambitious shepherd who dreams of escaping the confines of his traditional rural life. Through his journey, the novel explores themes of love, sacrifice, and the clash between tradition and modernity. With vivid descriptions and rich character development, "Shum Bola" offers a compelling narrative that transports readers to a world filled with cultural complexities and personal struggles.

  • Ernest And Celestine by Gabrielle Vincent

    "Ernest And Celestine" is a heartwarming children's book about an unlikely friendship between a bear named Ernest and a young mouse named Celestine. Despite societal expectations and prejudices, the two form a deep bond and defy the norms of their respective worlds. Through their adventures and challenges, they teach readers the importance of acceptance, friendship, and the power of love.

  • A Kind Of Spark by Elle McNicoll

    "A Kind of Spark" tells the story of Addie, an 11-year-old girl with autism who is determined to fight for acceptance and understanding in her small town. Inspired by the historical injustices faced by those accused of witchcraft, Addie embarks on a mission to have a memorial erected in memory of the people who were wrongfully persecuted. Through her unwavering determination, Addie not only educates her community about neurodiversity but also discovers the power of her own voice. This heartfelt and empowering novel explores themes of identity, friendship, and the importance of standing up for what is right.

  • Little Nicholas by Rene Goscinny

    "Little Nicholas" is a collection of humorous and heartwarming stories that revolve around the mischievous adventures of a young boy named Nicholas and his group of friends. From pranks at school to family vacations, the book offers a delightful glimpse into the innocent and imaginative world of childhood, filled with relatable anecdotes that will resonate with readers of all ages.

  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

    "Black Beauty" is a heartwarming and poignant novel that follows the life of a beautiful black horse named Black Beauty. From his early years as a carefree colt to his later life as a loyal and hardworking carriage horse, Black Beauty encounters various owners and experiences both kindness and cruelty. Through his eyes, readers witness the mistreatment of horses and the importance of compassion and empathy towards animals. This timeless classic serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring bond between humans and animals.

  • Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster

    "Daddy Long Legs" is a heartwarming and humorous novel that follows the story of an orphaned girl named Judy Abbott. After being granted a scholarship to attend college, Judy begins exchanging letters with her mysterious benefactor, whom she affectionately calls "Daddy Long Legs." Through these letters, Judy shares her experiences, struggles, and dreams, while also discovering her own independence and identity. With witty and charming prose, the book explores themes of love, friendship, and the pursuit of one's dreams.

  • No Kiss For Mother by Tomi Ungerer

    "No Kiss For Mother" is a heartwarming children's book that follows a young boy named Toby who is determined to find the perfect gift for his mother on her birthday. Along the way, Toby encounters various animals who offer him advice and assistance, leading him to realize that the greatest gift he can give his mother is a heartfelt kiss. Through colorful illustrations and a charming storyline, the book emphasizes the importance of love and affection within a family.

  • My Family And Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

    In this humorous and heartwarming memoir, a young boy named Gerald Durrell recounts his unconventional upbringing on the idyllic Greek island of Corfu. Surrounded by a colorful cast of eccentric family members and a menagerie of unique animals, Gerald's adventures and misadventures bring joy and laughter to readers as he navigates the wonders of nature and the challenges of growing up. With vivid descriptions and witty anecdotes, this book is a delightful tribute to the beauty of the natural world and the bonds of family.

  • Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

    "Jacob Have I Loved" is a coming-of-age novel that follows the story of Louise, a twin sister overshadowed by her talented and beloved sibling, Caroline. Set in a small fishing village on the Chesapeake Bay during World War II, Louise struggles to find her own identity and pursue her dreams amidst the challenges of family dynamics, societal expectations, and the limitations of her environment. As she navigates the complexities of adolescence, Louise must confront jealousy, resentment, and the search for self-worth, ultimately discovering the strength to forge her own path and claim her independence.

  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

    In a world where greed and destruction prevail, a curious young boy seeks answers about the disappearance of trees and the strange creature called the Lorax. Through an enchanting tale, Dr. Seuss sheds light on the importance of environmental conservation and the devastating consequences of human exploitation, inspiring readers to take responsibility for protecting the Earth's natural resources.

  • The Complete Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault by Charles Perrault

    This book is a comprehensive collection of classic fairy tales, featuring enchanting stories that have been passed down through generations. It includes beloved tales such as "Cinderella", "Sleeping Beauty", "Little Red Riding Hood", "Puss in Boots", and "Bluebeard", among others. Each story is rich in fantasy, moral lessons, and iconic characters, making it a timeless treasure for both children and adults.

  • The Moomins And The Great Flood by Tove Jansson

    "The Moomins And The Great Flood" is a charming and whimsical tale that follows the adventures of the Moomin family as they search for a safe and peaceful place to call home. Set against the backdrop of a world devastated by a great flood, the Moomins encounter a variety of endearing characters and face numerous challenges along the way. With its enchanting illustrations and heartfelt storytelling, this book is a delightful introduction to the beloved Moomin series.

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

    A young girl from Kansas is swept away by a tornado to a fantastical land called Oz. To return home, she must find the mysterious Wizard in the Emerald City, and on her journey, she befriends a Scarecrow in need of a brain, a Tin Woodman longing for a heart, and a Cowardly Lion seeking courage. They all hope the Wizard can grant their wishes, but they must first overcome the Wicked Witch of the West who poses a great danger to them.

  • Just William by Richmal Crompton

    In this humorous and delightful collection of stories, the mischievous and imaginative William Brown takes center stage. From his adventures with a stolen dog to his attempts at starting a zoo in his backyard, William's escapades are sure to bring laughter and joy to readers of all ages. With his boundless energy and knack for getting into trouble, William proves that life is never dull when he is around.

  • The Twits by Roald Dahl

    "The Twits" is a humorous children's book that follows the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Twit, a repulsive and mean-spirited couple who delight in playing nasty tricks on each other. With their hairy faces and twisted minds, they make life miserable for everyone around them. However, their wickedness eventually catches up with them when a group of mischievous monkeys decide to teach them a lesson they will never forget.

  • The Mouse And His Child by Russell Hoban

    "The Mouse and His Child" is a heartwarming tale about a wind-up mouse and his child who embark on a journey to find their place in the world. Along the way, they encounter a diverse cast of characters, including a group of tramp-like animals and a malicious rat. Through their trials and adventures, the mouse and his child learn about the importance of family, friendship, and perseverance, ultimately discovering their true purpose in life.

  • Out Of My Mind by Sharon M Draper

    "Out of My Mind" is a captivating and heart-wrenching story that follows the life of Melody, a brilliant and determined girl with cerebral palsy. Trapped in a body that does not cooperate with her brilliant mind, Melody struggles to communicate and is often overlooked by those around her. However, her life takes an unexpected turn when she gains access to a communication device that allows her to finally express herself. Through perseverance and the support of her family and friends, Melody embarks on a journey to prove that she is more than her disability and has the ability to achieve greatness.

  • Moominvalley In November by Tove Jansson

    "Moominvalley In November" is a heartwarming and melancholic tale that follows a group of quirky and endearing characters who all find themselves drawn to Moominvalley. As they arrive one by one, they discover that Moomintroll and his family are nowhere to be found. Left to their own devices, the group embarks on a journey of self-discovery, friendship, and the search for meaning, ultimately finding solace and comfort in each other's company. With its beautiful prose and poignant exploration of themes such as loss, identity, and the transformative power of nature, "Moominvalley In November" is a captivating and bittersweet read.

  • Little House In The Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

    "Little House In The Big Woods" is a heartwarming story set in the late 1800s, following the life of a young girl named Laura and her family as they navigate the challenges and joys of living in the Wisconsin wilderness. Through vivid descriptions and engaging anecdotes, the book offers a glimpse into the daily routines, traditions, and adventures of pioneer life, highlighting the importance of family, resilience, and the simple pleasures found in nature.

  • Danny The Champion Of The World by Roald Dahl

    In this heartwarming tale, a young boy named Danny embarks on an extraordinary adventure with his father. Living in a cozy gypsy caravan behind their country petrol station, Danny's life takes an unexpected turn when he discovers his father's secret passion for poaching pheasants. As they devise a clever plan to outsmart the wealthy landowner, Danny becomes the unexpected hero of the village, showcasing the power of determination, love, and the bond between father and son.

  • The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

    "The Snowman" is a heartwarming and enchanting picture book that tells the story of a young boy who builds a snowman that magically comes to life. Together, they embark on a whimsical adventure, exploring the boy's world and experiencing the joys of friendship and imagination. This beautifully illustrated tale captures the wonder and innocence of childhood, leaving readers with a sense of warmth and nostalgia.

  • Wave by Suzy Lee

    "Wave" is a wordless picture book that follows the playful and imaginative journey of a young girl at the beach. Through beautifully illustrated pages, readers witness the girl's interactions with a wave, as she runs away from it, dances with it, and ultimately befriends it. The book captures the joy and wonder of childhood, highlighting the power of imagination and the beauty of nature.

  • The Black Brothers by Lisa Tetzner

    "The Black Brothers" is a captivating historical novel set in 19th-century Switzerland. It tells the story of four brothers, who, due to unfortunate circumstances, are forced to work as chimney sweeps. Through their perseverance and unity, they navigate the harsh realities of their profession and form a strong bond with each other. The book explores themes of resilience, friendship, and the fight for justice, making it a compelling and heartwarming read.

  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

    "The Velveteen Rabbit" is a heartwarming children's book about a stuffed rabbit who longs to become real. Through his encounters with other toys and his friendship with a young boy, the rabbit learns about love, loyalty, and the true meaning of being alive. With beautiful illustrations and a touching narrative, this timeless tale teaches valuable lessons about the power of imagination and the transformative nature of love.

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

    This book is the first in a series that follows the unfortunate lives of the Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, after their parents die in a mysterious fire. The children are sent to live with their distant relative, Count Olaf, who is cruel and only interested in their large inheritance. The children must use their unique skills and intellect to outsmart Olaf's evil plans and find a way to escape his clutches.

  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

    The novel follows the unusual life of a boy named Nobody "Bod" Owens who, after his family is murdered, is raised by the supernatural inhabitants of a graveyard. Under the protection of ghosts and his guardian, who is neither living nor dead, Bod learns about the living world and the dangers it holds, including the man Jack who continues to hunt for him. As he grows up among tombstones and crypts, Bod explores the limits of his graveyard home, encounters creatures of the night, and ultimately confronts the sinister forces that took his family from him, all while trying to lead a normal life despite his extraordinary upbringing.

  • American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

    "American Born Chinese" by Gene Luen Yang is a graphic novel that weaves together three distinct storylines to explore themes of identity, cultural assimilation, and self-acceptance. The book follows the lives of Jin Wang, a Chinese-American boy struggling to fit in at school, the Monkey King, a mythical character striving for acceptance among his peers, and Danny, a white American teenager dealing with his Chinese cousin's visit. Through these interconnected narratives, the book delves into the complexities of being an immigrant and the challenges of navigating multiple cultural identities in America.

  • Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

    The book is a fantastical children's novel that explores the importance of storytelling. It follows the journey of a young boy named Haroun who sets out on a magical adventure to restore his father's ability to tell stories. Along the way, he encounters a vast array of colorful characters and strange lands, including a Sea of Stories. The narrative addresses themes of censorship, the power of storytelling, and the struggle between light and darkness.

About this list

BBC, 98 Books

BBC Culture polled 177 books experts from 56 countries in order to find the greatest children's books ever. From Where the Wild Things Are to Haroun and the Sea of Stories, here's the top 100.

Added 7 months ago.

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