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An image of a magic wand Children's Literature Classics: Discover the Wonder and Magic    
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Introduction to
Children’s Literature Classics

Why was this site created?

Are you looking for a great book to share with your child, grandchild, class, or library group? Would you like to know more about one of the classics? This site was created for anyone who loves children’s literature, and especially for educators, parents, librarians, students, and grandparents. Its purpose is to guide, inform, enlighten, and above all inspire, by introducing you to the enchanting world of children’s books.

Click on a genre for an examination of its main features, a discussion of representative novels, and a list of recommended books. Although each novel is discussed under a specific genre, children’s stories can cross boundaries.

Why read children’s classics?

Great children’s stories resonate with readers of all ages and have a lasting and profound impact. This site will examine a selection of classic children's novels as distinguished works of art. It will look at what makes these novels notable and why they have such universal appeal.

Why should you care about children’s literature?

If you are in a position of influence with children, be it as parent, teacher, librarian, or grandparent, you can make an impact on their lives by fostering a love of reading. Research has shown a demonstrated relationship between reading, cognitive development, verbal skills, and academic achievement. Children who are read to, not only are more articulate, but also have higher order reasoning skills, a more effective writing style, superior reading comprehension, and more advanced critical-thinking skills.2

Stories teach children how to cope with life’s challenges and provide a trial run of life’s possibilities. Children learn through models and heroes.


1. Cathy Collins Block and John N. Mangieri, “Recreational Reading: 20 Years Later,” The Reading Teacher 55, no 3 (2002): 572-573; Bernice E. Cullinan, “Independent Reading and School Achievement,” School Library Media Research 3 (2000); Julie Elliott, “Academic Libraries and Extracurricular Reading Promotion. Reference and User Services Quarterly 46, no. 3 (2007): 41; Jude D. Gallik, “Do They Read for Pleasure? Recreational Reading Habits of College Students,” Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 42, no. 6 (1994): 486; Stephen D. Krashen, The Power of Reading: Insights from the Research, 2nd ed. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2004, 34, 37; Barbara MacAdam, “Sustaining the Culture of the Book: The Role of Enrichment Reading and Critical Thinking in the Undergraduate Curriculum,” Library Trends 44, no. 6 (1995); National Endowment for the Arts. To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consequence. 2007. Retrieved from http://arts.endow.gov/research/ToRead.pdf; Bette Rathe and Lisa Blankenship, “Recreational Reading Collections in Academic Libraries,” Collection Management 30, no. 2 (2005): 82; Keith E. Stanovich and Anne E. Cunningham, “Studying the Consequences of Literacy Within a Literate Society: The Cognitive Correlates of Print Exposure,” Memory and Cognition 20, no. 1 (1992): 51-68.

Updated July 2, 2017