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On this page is a list of children’s classic books, which were published at least 60 years ago, and were written for children and are still enjoyed by children today.

Arabian Nights (One Thousand and One Nights)

One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the Arabian Nights, from the first English language edition (1706), which rendered the title as The Arabian Nights' Entertainment.

The work as we have it was collected over many centuries by various authors, translators and scholars across the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa. The tales themselves trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic, Persian, Indian, Turkish, Egyptian and Mesopotamian folklore and literature. In particular, many tales were originally folk stories from the Caliphate era, while others, especially the frame story, are most probably drawn from the Pahlavi Persian work Hazār Afsān (A Thousand Tales) which in turn relied partly on Indian elements.

Aesop's Fables

Aesop's Fables or the Aesopica are a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and story-teller supposed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BCE. The fables remain a popular choice for moral education of children today.

Many of the stories, such as The Fox and the Grapes (from which the idiom "sour grapes" derives), The Tortoise and the Hare, The North Wind and the Sun, The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Ant and the Grasshopper are well-known throughout the world.

Le Morte d'Arthur - Thomas Malory – 1485

Le Morte d'Arthur (originally spelled Le Morte Darthur, Middle French for "the death of Arthur") is a compilation by Sir Thomas Malory of Romance tales about the legendary King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, and the Knights of the Round Table.

The book interprets existing French and English stories about these figures, with some of Malory's own original material (the Gareth story).

First published in 1485 by William Caxton, Le Morte d'Arthur is perhaps the best-known work of English-language Arthurian literature today.

Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes – 1616

Don Quixote , fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, is a novel written by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes. Published in two volumes a decade apart (in 1605 and 1615), Don Quixote is the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age in the Spanish literary canon.

As a founding work of modern Western literature, and one of the earliest canonical novels, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published. In one such list, Don Quixote was cited as the "best literary work ever written".

A Token for Children - James Janeway – 1675

James Janeway (1636–1674) was a Puritan minister and author who, after John Bunyan, had the widest and longest popularity as the author of works read by English-speaking children.

The book for which Janeway is most known is A Token for Children, in which he collected personal accounts of the conversions of a number of children under his pastoral care, and published it.

Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan – 1678

The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come is a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan and published in February, 1678. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature, has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print.

Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe – 1719

Robinson Crusoe is a novel by Daniel Defoe that was first published in 1719. Epistolary, confessional, and didactic in form, the book is a fictional autobiography of the title character—a castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers before being rescued.

Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift – 1726

Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, better known simply as Gulliver's Travels (1726, amended 1735), is a novel by Anglo-Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of the "travellers' tales" literary sub-genre.

It is Swift's best known full-length work, and a classic of English literature.

Tales of Mother Goose - Charles Perrault - 1729

Tales of Mother Goose is a collection of eight literary fairy tales written by Charles Perrault and published by Barbin in Paris in January 1697. The book's contents include "Sleeping Beauty", "Little Red Riding Hood", "Bluebeard", "The Master Cat, or Puss in Boots", "Diamonds and Toads", "Cinderella", "Riquet with the Tuft", and "Hop o' My Thumb".

The book became instantly successfull and has remained popular. It was first translated into English by Robert Samber as Histories or Tales of Times Past and published in London in 1729.

Little Pretty Pocket-book - John Newbery – 1744

A Little Pretty Pocket-Book, intended for the Amusement of Little Master Tommy and Pretty Miss Polly with Two Letters from Jack the Giant Killer is the title of a 1744 children's book by British publisher John Newbery. It is generally considered the first children's book, and consists of simple rhymes for each of the letters of the alphabet.

Little Goody Two Shoes - Oliver Goldsmith – 1765

The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes is a little children's story published by John Newbery in London in 1765. The story popularized the phrase "goody two-shoes", often used to describe an excessively virtuous person.

The Swiss Family Robinson - Johann Rudolf Wyss - 1812

The Swiss Family Robinson is a novel, first published in 1812, about a Swiss family who are shipwrecked in the East Indies en route to Port Jackson, Australia.

Written by Swiss pastor Johann David Wyss, and edited by his son Johann Rudolf Wyss, the novel was intended to teach his four sons about family values, good husbandry, the uses of the natural world and self-reliance. Wyss's attitude towards education is in line with the teachings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and many of the episodes have to do with Christian-oriented moral lessons.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King - E. T. A. Hoffman – 1816

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is a story written in 1816 by E. T. A. Hoffmann in which young Marie Stahlbaum's favorite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker, comes alive and, after defeating the evil Mouse King in battle, whisks her away to a magical kingdom populated by dolls.

In 1892, the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov turned the story (Alexandre Dumas père's adapted version) into the ballet The Nutcracker, which became one of Tchaikovsky's most famous compositions, and perhaps the most popular ballet in the world.

Ivanhoe - Walter Scott – 1819

Ivanhoe is a novel by Sir Walter Scott. It was written in 1819, and is set in 12th-century England, and is an example of historical fiction. Ivanhoe is sometimes credited for increasing interest in Romanticism and Medievalism; John Henry Newman claimed that Scott "had first turned men's minds in the direction of the middle ages," while Carlyle and Ruskin made similar claims to Scott's overwhelming influence over the revival based primarily on the publication of this novel.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving – 1819

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is a short story by Washington Irving contained in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., written while he was living in Birmingham, England, and first published in 1820. With Irving's companion piece "Rip Van Winkle", "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is among the earliest examples of American fiction still read today.

Rip Van Winkle - Washington Irving – 1820

"Rip Van Winkle" is a short story by the American author Washington Irving published in 1819, as well as the name of the story's fictional protagonist. Written while Irving was living in Birmingham, England, it was part of a collection entitled The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon.

Although the story is set in New York's Catskill Mountains, Irving later admitted, "When I wrote the story, I had never been on the Catskills."

Grimm's Fairy Tales - Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm - 1823

Children's and Household Tales is a collection of German origin fairy tales first published in 1812 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the Brothers Grimm. The collection is commonly known today as Grimms' Fairy Tales.

Lots of their tales are worldwide known, including The Bremen Town-Musicians, Rapunzel, and Hansel and Grethel.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Victor Hugo – 1831

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is a novel by Victor Hugo published in 1831. The French title refers to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, around which the story is centered.

The story dates back to Epiphany (6 January), 1482 in Paris, France, the day of the 'Feast of Fools' in Paris.

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens – 1843

A Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens first published by Chapman & Hall on 17 December 1843. The story tells of sour and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge's ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation after the supernatural visits of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.

The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim.

The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas, père – 1844

The Three Musketeers is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, first serialized in March–July 1844. Set in the 17th century, it recounts the adventures of a young man named d'Artagnan after he leaves home to become a guard of the musketeers. D'Artagnan is not one of the musketeers of the title; those are his friends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, inseparable friends who live by the motto "all for one, one for all".