In the world of literature, children’s classics have the same effect as an old toy or a favourite t-shirt. As Julie Andrews sang in the famous song from Sound of Music, when everything else makes you sad and unhappy, you simply remember your favourite things and that makes you feel a little less bad.
Children’s Classics have appealed to kids irrespective of generation or region. These classics remain relevant to all because they talk about certain core human values that are the foundation to leading a good life.
They have an intriguing charm that never seems to fade, no matter how many times they are read. Hence, these books are the best way to introduce children to the world of reading. These books will always remain a favourite, creating comforting memories that intrinsically associate the habit of reading to joy.
This week we bring to you a list of children’s classics every child should have read by the age of 11.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Brown
In a great big room, a little bunny is tucked in bed and wishes goodnight to all the things around him. This book is a favourite bedtime story among toddlers.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
This story tells us about the journey of a caterpillar to become a beautiful butterfly. It’s illustrations and interesting cut-outs makes this simple story enchanting for little children.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Children who find it difficult to be obedient find a kindred spirit in Peter Rabbit. When Mrs Rabbit warns her four children not to go into Mr McGregor’s garden, Peter can resist it. This cautionary tale will have children deeply engrossed in the story.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Here is another tale about endearing mischief. When Max is called “Wild Things” and sent to bed, he will journey to the place where the wild things are for a grand adventure.
The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
Written in 1957 by Dr Seuss, this book revolutionized the way children learnt to read. It is a simple story about a brother and sister, whose cold rainy day gets transformed into adventure by a giant cat in a hat.
Gajapati Kulpati by Ashok Rajagopalan
From Tulika Publication, this story is about a lovable temple elephant that catches a cold after getting wet in the rain. Set in the Indian context, this story is easy to relate to and enjoy.
Curious George H.A. Rey
This is a story of a little monkey who is curious about everything he sees and invariably gets into trouble. This is a very relatable character most children of ages 5 to 8 since they are at their curious best at this time too.
The Why-Why Girl Mahashweta Devi
Most children have a billion and one questions about the world. Moyna is no different. The Why-Why Girl is the story of Moyna learning to reading and finding the answers to her why-whys.
The Gruffalo Julia Donaldson
This rhyming story of a mouse and a monster will spark the readers’ imagination. Little mouse invents tales of a fantastical creature called the Gruffalo only to find out that it is real! The story magical element keeps the reader hooked.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
After reading Charlotte’s Web, every kid will hold a place in her heart for Wilbur the pig. Wilbur’s future seems bleak when he discovers that he is destined to be the farmer’s Christmas dinner — until his wise spider friend, Charlotte, decides to help him.
The Mahabharata – a child’s view by Samhita Arni
The ancient and complex epic is retold in this book with a twist. It is seen from a child’s perspective. The story was written and illustrated by Samhita Arni at the age of 11. It is the perfect book to introduce children to the epic stories in the most relevant way.
Malgudi Days by R.K. Narayan
The classic collection of stories about Swami and his friends in the imaginary town of Malgudi will always remain a nostalgic reminder of childhood. The adventures of the young boys spark a sense of mischief and imagination in young readers.