List of Recommended Children’s Literature

by Sarah Clarkson

For all of you who requested… here ’tis! And for all of you who didn’t, well, have fun anyway. You can never know about too many good books now can you? I began this list for the talks I did at the WHM conferences this year. I tend to talk too quickly in my speeches for people to write everything down, so here is the list in its completed glory:

Picture Books

1. When I Was Young In the Mountains (Cynthia Rylant)
2. When the Relatives Came (Cynthia Rylant)
3. Bunny Bungalow (Cynthia Rylant)
4. Miss Rumphius (Barbara Cooney)
5. Roxaboxen (Barbara Cooney)
6. Only Opal (Barbara Cooney)
7. The Brambly Hedge Series (Jill Barklem)
8. The Boy Who Held Back the Sea (Thomas Locker)
9. The Young Artist (Thomas Locker)
10. Fritz and the Beautiful Horses (Jan Brett)
11. The Bear Who Heard Crying (Natalie Kinsey Warnock)
12. All the Places to Love (Patricia MacLachlan)
13. A Song for Lena (Hilary Horder Hippely)
14. Goodnight Moon (Margaret Wise Brown)
15. Make Way For the Ducklings (Robert McCloskey)

Children’s Classics

1. Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie)
2. The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame)
3. The Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
4. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
5. The Tales of Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne)
6. The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Beatrix Potter)
7. The Anne Series (L.M. Montgomery)
8. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
9. Little Men (Louisa May Alcott)
10. Kidnapped (Robert Louis Stevenson)
11. Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson)
12. The Water Babies (Charles Kingsley)
13. The Railway Children (E. Nesbit)
14. The Treasure Seekers (E. Nesbit)
15. Heidi (Johanna Spyri)

Children’s Fiction

1. The Little Britches Series (Ralph Moody)
2. All of A Kind Family (Sydney Taylor)
3. Caddie Woodlawn (Carol Ryrie Brink)
4. The Winter Cottage (Carol Ryrie Brink)
5. Johnny Tremain (Esther Forbes)
6. The Good Master (Kate Seredy)
7. Carry On Mr. Bowditch (Jean Lee Latham)
8. Ellen (E.M. Almedingen)
9. Across Five Aprils (Irene Hunt)
10. I, Juan de Pareja (Elizabeth Borton de Trevino)
11. The Journeyman (Elizabeth Yates)
12. Escape from Warsaw (Julian Padowicz)
13. The Trumpeter of Krakow (Eric Kelly)
14. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Joan Aiken)
15. Because of Winn Dixie (Kate DiCamillo)

Fairy Tale/Fantasy

1. The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis)
2. The Princess and the Goblins (George MacDonald)
3. The Princess and the Curdie (George MacDonald)
4. At the Back of the North Wind (George MacDonald)
5. The Light Princess (George MacDonald)
6. The Lost Princess (George MacDonald)
7. Tales of Hans Christian Andersen
8. The Redwall Series (Brian Jacques)
9. Dangerous Journey (John Bunyan)


  1. Hi Sarah! I just watched a DVD of your Storyformed talk at the Mom Heart conference. I’m interested in the Robert Lawson books you spoke about. Two of my boys are 6 and 7, which of Lawson’s books would be best for them?

  2. (((((HUGS))))) sandi says:

    I would love to see your list of possible recommended movies? I was just thinking about how movies can inspire, but WOW it seems hard to remember GOOD ones! TIA!

  3. I am a mother of a two year old boy, and I come from China. I was looking for a list of good books for my son and also myself, and now, thanks Lord, i have one! Thank you, Sarah!

  4. Thank you for publishing this great list. We will be visiting the local library this summer with all our young children and using it. Love the website.

  5. Hi, I loved this list of books that you recommended… But do you have any character building books for a 2 year old that have scripture references in it by any chance? I would love to get a hold of some to read to Myah.. I want to reach her heart and build her character at the same time. Blessings.. Judith

  6. Sally Evans says:

    Hello…I am a mother of 3 little boys – almost 3 to 7 1/2, and we love to read aloud. I saw Peter Pan as one of the recommended books, and frankly I have not read the story but have vague notions of what it is about. I have always avoided it thinking that the story is about children discontented and misunderstood by parents who had to escape into a fantasy world in order to be able to cope with their sad reality. Any comments….?? We are enjoying the Narnia Series and the Hardy Boys.

    • wholeheart says:

      Peter Pan is classic children’s literature. It can be read and enjoyed for what it is, and generate good discussions in your family. It did in ours.


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