CCF is a 501(c)3 educational nonprofit. You help support the work of CCF when you purchase from vendors via the links posted on our site.
Home | About | Subscribe | Postcards | Polls | Translate | BookSense | BookCloseouts | Blog | | Contact Us | Add to My Yahoo! RSS feed

 CCF Top Picks
 CCF Kids
 CCF Youth
 Tibbetts' POV
 Book Clubs
 Holiday Favorites

Shipping & Returns
Privacy Notice
Conditions of Use
Contact Us

Home > CCF Top Picks                           Share this article with others!
Children's Classics: A Booklist for Parents
by staff writer, A CCF Recommended Resource
Printer-friendly page Printer page
Email this Page Email article

"Since it was founded in 1924, The Horn Book Magazine has celebrated notable achievements in the writing and illustrating of books for children. A logical consequence of this emphasis is the periodic compilation of lists of classics, beginning with an article by pioneering librarian Alice M. Jordan in 1947." [Mary M. Burns, Children's Classics].

The Horn Book’s Children’s Classics is available as a PDF file. It is newly updated and revised by Mary M. Burns and is a comprehensive list of both classic and recent books that every parent and child should know. Print out this list and bring it with you on your trips to the library and bookstore. The Horn Book also offers other lists of recommended books under various categories such as paperbacks, summer reading, African-American books, etc. 

In addition to information on recommended books, they have expanded their Parents Page, adding several annotated lists of recommended books and articles about family reading. 

This is a wonderful service The Horn Book Magazine is providing parents and educators at large. Bookmark their Parents Page and return to it often for new suggestions appropriate to children's reading ability as they grow. As your young readers grow, you can return to this page for new suggestions appropriate to their reading ability. carries many of the wonderful titles listed in the Horn Book Magazine's Children's Classics. Most of them are available used at a good discount. Type the title in this search box and, if the book is available, you'll be taken to where you can purchase it online. You can also browse through the complete list we've posted below. Because the Horn Book Magazine's Children Classics lists just that, classics, some of the titles might not longer be available for sale. You should, however, be able to check them out from your local public library. Print the entire list we've posted below and check them off as you introduce these titles to your children.

Search Now:
In Association with

The Horn Book Magazine's has compiled their Children's Classic List in a new PDF file. It’s 14 pages long in an easy-to-read format. You can browse through the table below that lists the titles or access the entire annotated and illustrated list by going directly to The Horn Book's PDF file. Click here to find out more.

The Horn Book Magazine's
Children's Classics Lists

For the Very Young

book covers

  • The ABC Bunny . Written and illustrated by Wanda Gág. Coward, 1933.
  • The Carrot Seed. Written by Ruth Krauss. Illustrated by Crocket Johnson. Harper, 1945.
  • Freight Train. Written and illustrated by Donald Crews. Greenwillow, 1978.
  • Goodnight Moon. Written by Margaret Wise Brown. Illustrated by Clement Hurd. Harper, 1947.
  • Max's First Word. Written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells. Dial, 1979.
  • Mr. Gumpy's Outing. Written and illustrated by John Burningham. Holt, 1971.
  • Rosie's Walk. Written and illustrated by Pat Hutchins. Macmillan, 1968.
  • The Snowman. Written and illustrated by Raymond Briggs. Random House, 1978.
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Written and illustrated by Eric Carle. Putnam, 1970.

Picture Books

book covers

book covers

book covers

book covers

book covers

For Beginning Readers
book covers
Echoes of Times Past: Part One
A selection of retellings for children based on works from Ancient Days through the Eighteenth Century.
  • Black Ships before Troy: The Story of the Iliad. Retold by Rosemary Sutcliff. Illustrated by Alan Lee. Delacorte, 1993. Young Adult.
  • The Canterbury Tales. Written by Geoffrey Chaucer. Adapted by Barbara Cohen. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. Introduction by Christopher Baswell. Lothrop, 1988. Young Adult.
  • David’s Songs: His Psalms and Their Story. Selected and edited with an introduction by Colin Eisler. Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. Dial, 1992. All ages.
  • Gulliver in Lilliput. Retold by Margaret Hodges from Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, illustrated by Kimberly Bulcken Root. Holiday House, 1995. Primary, Intermediate.
  • Robinson Crusoe. Written by Daniel Defoe. Illustrated by N. C. Wyeth. Repr. of 1990 edition. Running Press. Young Adult.
  • St. George and the Dragon. Adapted by Margaret Hodges from The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. Little, 1984. Primary, Intermediate.
  • Stories from Shakespeare. Retold by Geraldine McCaughrean. Illustrated by Anthony Maitland. McElderry, 1995. Intermediate, Young Adult.
Echoes of Times Past: Part Two
Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries through 1920
  • The Adventures of Pinocchio. (1883, 1891 — first English translation) By Carlo Collodi. Illustrated by Roberto Innocenti. Translated by E. Harden. Creative Education, 1988. Intermediate.
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. (1876) Written by Mark Twain. Illustrated by Barry Moser. Afterword by Peter Glassman. Morrow, 1989. (Books of Wonder) Intermediate.
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. (1865) By Lewis Carroll. Illustrated by John Tenniel. Afterword by Peter Glassman. Morrow, 1992. (Books of Wonder) Intermediate, Young Adult.
  • Anne of Green Gables. (1908) By Lucy Maud Montgomery. Illustrated by Inga Moore. With an introduction by Naomi Lewis. Holt, 1994. (Little Classics Edition) Intermediate.
  • Around the World in Eighty Days. (1873) By Jules Verne. Illustrated by Barry Moser. Afterword by Peter Glassman. Morrow, 1988. Intermediate.
  • Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse. (1877) By Anna Sewell. Illustrated by Charles Keeping. Farrar, 1990. Also Holt (Little Classics Edition), 1993. Illustrated by Victor Ambrus. Introduction by Naomi Lewis. Intermediate, Young Adult.
  • A Christmas Carol. (1843) By Charles Dickens. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. Holiday, 1983. Intermediate, Young Adult.
  • The Enchanted Castle. (1907) By E. Nesbit, Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. Afterword by Peter Glassman. Morrow, 1992. (Books of Wonder) Intermediate.
  • Heidi. (1884 — first English translation) By Joanna Spyri. Illustrated by Ted Rand. Holt, 1994. (Little Classics Edition) Intermediate.
  • The Jungle Book: The Mowgli Stories (1894, 1895) By Rudyard Kipling. Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. Afterword by Peter Glassman. Morrow, 1995. (Books of Wonder) Intermediate.
  • Little Women. (1868) Louisa May Alcott. Centennial Edition. Little Brown, 1968. Intermediate, Young Adult.
  • Peter Pan (1904) By James M. Barrie. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. Scribner’s/Macmillan, 1980. Intermediate.
  • The Secret Garden. (1911) By Frances Hodgson Burnett. Illustrated by Tasha Tudor. HarperCollins, 1987. Intermediate.
  • Treasure Island. (1883) By Robert Louis Stevenson. Illustrated by N. C. Wyeth. Scribner’s/Macmillan, 1981. Intermediate, Young Adult.
  • Twelve Tales: Hans Christian Andersen. (1835-1871) Selected, translated, and illustrated by Erik Blegvad. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 1994. (Primary, Intermediate).
  • The Wind in the Willows (1908) By Kenneth Grahame. Illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard. Scribner’s/ Macmillan, 1991. Intermediate.
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. (1900) By L. Frank Baum. Illustrated by W.W. Denslow. Afterword by Peter Glassman. Morrow, 1987. (Books of Wonder) Primary, Intermediate.
Myths, Legends, and Folklore
  • About Wise Men and Simpletons: Twelve Tales from Grimm. Written by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm. Translated by Elizabeth Shub. Illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian. Macmillan, 1971. Primary, Intermediate.
  • Aesop’s Fables. Illustrated by Fritz Kredel. Grosset, 1963. (Deluxe edition.) Primary, Intermediate.
  • The Arabian Nights: Their Best Known Tales. Edited by Kate D. Wiggin and Nora A. Smith. Illustrated by Maxfield Parrish. Scribners/Macmillan, 1993. Intermediate.
  • D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths. Retold and illustrated by Ingri and Edgar P. D’Aulaire. Doubleday, 1962, 1980. Primary, Intermediate.
  • D’Aulaire’s Norse Gods and Giants. Retold and illustrated by Ingri and Edgar P. D’Aulaire. Doubleday, 1967, 1986. Primary, Intermediate.
  • Favorite Fairy Tales Told around the World. Selected and retold by Virginia Haviland. Illustrated by S. D. Schindler. Little Brown, 1985. Primary.
  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood. Written and illustrated by Howard Pyle. Dover, 1968. Intermediate.
  • Nursery Tales around the World. Selected and retold by Judy Sierra. Illustrated by Stefano Vitale. Clarion, 1996. Primary.
  • The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales. By Virginia Hamilton. Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. Knopf, 1985. Intermediate, Young Adult.
  • The Rainbow People. Retold by Laurence Yep. Illustrated by David Wiesner. Harper & Row, 1989. Young Adult.
  • Uncle Remus: The Complete Tales. Retold by Julius Lester. Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. Dial, 1999. Intermediate, Young Adult.
  • Also recommended: The Three Bears and 15 Other Stories. Retold by Anne Rockwell. Crowell, 1975. Preschool, Primary.
  • And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? Written by Jean Fritz. Illustrated by Margot Tomes. Coward-McCann, 1973.
    Primary, Intermediate.
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Written by Anne Frank. Rev. ed. Translated by B. M. Mooyart. Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt. Doubleday, 1967. Young Adult.
  • Anne Frank. Beyond the Diary: A Photographic Remembrance. By Ruud and Rian Verhoeven. Viking, 1993. Young Adult.
  • Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction. Written and illustrated by David Macaulay. Houghton, 1973. Intermediate.
  • Charlie Needs A Cloak. Written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. Prentice Hall, 1973. Primary.
  • The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia. By Esther Hautzig. Crowell, 1968. Intermediate, Young Adult.
  • Harriet and the Promised Land. Written and illustrated by Jacob Lawrence. Simon, 1993. First published in 1962. Primary, Younger.
  • Lincoln: A Photobiography. Written by Russell Freedman. Clarion, 1987. Intermediate, Young Adult.
  • Indian Chiefs, a collection of short, incisive biographies of Native Americans leaders, published by Holiday House, 1987, is also recommended.


Top of PageTop of Page

Advanced Search
click to subscribe and get the CCF bulletin click to subscribe and get the CCF bulletin

Click to blog image

What's New
"Pa'lante" (Move on) by Willy Chirino
Rainbow Maker: Magical Show! Beautiful Gift
Life Is So Good
All Things Einstein
Children's Classics: A Booklist for Parents
"Sissi: Forever My Love"
Fun screensavers
The 10 Habits of Naturally Slim People
Techniques of the Selling Writer
The Great Book of Amber

© 1998-2008 Children Come First. All rights reserved.