There is no such thing as a child who doesn’t like reading; you only need to hand them the right kind of book to fire up their reading habits. The following 10 books are those that have thrilled generations of children and no child should have the misfortune of growing up without reading them.
1. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Brown (1947)
Age Range: 0-3 years
Listed by School Library Journal as the ‘Top 100 Picture Books’ of all time in 2012 and one of teachers’ top 100 books for children by National Education Association, Goodnight Moon is a simple but lovable children’s picture books that has been well-appreciated by children as a bed time story. In it, a personified bunny ritualistically goes through a process of saying goodnight to everything visible to him from his room. “Goodnight Moon . . . Goodnight Air. Goodnight noises everywhere”.
2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (1969)
Age Range: 0-4 years
One of the greatest children’s classics of all time, The Very Hungry Caterpillar pictographically describes the evolution of caterpillar eating his way through an array of food to eventually pupate into a beautiful butterfly. According to Amazon, a copy of this children’s book is sold every 30 seconds somewhere in the world. Educating children about days of the week, types of foods, and the lifecycle of a butterfly, Carle’s book has also been endorsed by the Royal Etymological Society.
3. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1963)
Age Range: 2-6 years
1963’s most distinguished American picture book for children, Where the Wild Things Are won Sendak the Caldecott Medal and is a delight for both kids and adults. The story revolves around a boy named John Max who, dressed in his wolf outfit goes to his bedroom and sails away into an unknown island where he encounters ‘wild things’ or creatures.
4. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss (1957)
Age Range: 3-8 years
Regarded as one of the best-selling children’s books of all time and adapted into animation and film, Theodor Geisel wrote and illustrated The Cat in the Hat under the pen name of Dr. Seuss. This children’s story revolves around an anthropomorphic cat who shows up at Sally’s house, makes a mess while entertaining her and her brother and cleans up with the help of his friends, Thing 1 and Thing 2 just before Sally’s mother comes home.
5. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White (1952)
Age Range: 8-11
Inspiring animations, live-action films, direct-to-video sequels and a video game, E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web is counted as classic in children’s English literature and one of the best selling paperback of all time. The story is about a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte; when the farmer is about to slaughter Wilbur, Charlotte uses her web-making skills to create praise-worthy words for Wilbur to save him from slaughtering.
6. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (1955)
Age Range: 3-7 years
How wonderful would it be if we could simply draw the world as we understand it? Crockett Johnson explores this possibility in Harold and the Purple Crayon where an inquiring four year old boy own a purple crayon with which he creates the world by drawing it. Through this power he takes many adventures and when he feels sleepy he simple draws a bed and falls asleep on it. This is Johnson’s most popular book which has also inspired many
7. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (1964)
Age Range: 8-10 years
Written by famous British author, Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a two part series about a destitute but very selfless and caring boy named Charlie. Both his grandparents, parents and he live in a run-down house and have little for themselves. Charlie secretly loves the chocolate factory owned by chocolatier, Willy Wonka and hopes to be see it from inside one day…much to his surprise Charlie ends up becoming the heir to Wonka’s factory. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is regarded as one of those books that every child has to have read at least once in their childhood. Famous author J.K.Rowling too listed it as one of her top ten books as a child. The books won many accolades and has been adapted into film as well.
8. Little Women by Louis May Alcott (1880)
Age Range: 9-12 years
Suitable for children and adults, the all-time classic, Little Women is hard to classify into one genre. It has been said to involve romance, an adventure, a family drama and largely women-oriented depicting themes like domesticity, love and giving each character a distinct female identity of their own. It has been adapted several times into film and also a Japanese anime. The story revolves around four sisters and their journey from children to becoming women. Many say that the plot is loosely based on Alcott’s own life and her sisters.
9. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling (1997)
Age Range: 8-14 years
The first of the seven-part series written by J. K. Rowling is not only a novel but a legacy that will live on for many years to come. Harry Potter has been adapted into blockbuster films, won numerous British and American awards and reached New York Times’ best-seller list. The plot involves the boy himself, Harry Potter who discovers he is a wizard and begins his life at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
10. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis (1950)
Age Range: 8-12 years
Set in a fictional land called Narnia with talking animals and mythical creatures and their ruler, the White Witch who has ruled for a 100 years, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the first of a seven-part series by C. S. Lewis where four children, the youngest of whom can visit Narnia through his wardrobe closet. It has been included in the ‘All-Time 100 Novels’ by TIME magazine and ranks 9 on BBC’s ‘The Big Read’.