Four Classic Children’s Books You Must Read


Books are a timeless form of entertainment available to many around the world. The accessibility of reading has never been higher thanks to the invention of PDF e-books coupled with libraries. People are often read to as children, but the longer books tend to be overlooked nowadays simply because of time constraints.


Just because something is marketed as a children’s book doesn’t automatically mean you have to be a child to read it, especially if it is one of the longer classics. They often have subtle life lessons within them, messages of hope, love, joy, sadness, and the overall complexity of everything.


Below are four children’s books you absolutely must read at some point in your life:


Heidi: Heidi is a work of children's fiction published in 1881 by Swiss author  Johanna Spyri, originally published in two parts as Heidi: Her Years of  Wandering and Learning. - Kindle edition

1) Heidi

Heidi was written by Johanna Spyri in 1881 and two sequels were written 30 years after its release by Spyri’s translator Charles Tritten. The book is about a little girl named Heidi who lives in the Swiss Alps with her grandfather and lives a very simple life amongst the mountains and the goats.


She is hired as a companion to an older invalid girl, Clara, in Frankfurt after a few years and the lifestyle change is foreign and difficult to adjust to. The book teaches us lessons about not judging people by the first impression, the power of kindness, the joy in the simple things, and the everlasting hope that things get better.



The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

2) The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden was written by Frances Hodgson Burnett in 1910 and published as a book in 1911. It focuses on the transition of Mary Lennox, a little girl raised in India, from Indian life to English life. She is rather cross and spoilt at first, with a sallow complexion, and struggles with the changes she faces.


She learns to adapt when she meets two boys, one a mysterious invalid boy named Colin who lives in the same house as her, and the other is Dickon, the brother of a serving girl in the house. Together, they explore a secret locked garden and Colin learns to not be afraid of the daylight or going outside, and gradually begins to get better.


The book is renowned as a story of self-healing and the power a change of lifestyle can have on your overall health and happiness.



The Borrowers - Wikipedia

3) The Borrowers

The Borrowers is a lesser-known children’s book written by Mary Norton in 1952 and is the most modern on our list. Its popularity grew thanks to adaptations such as The Borrowers film adaptation and the Japanese cartoon film Arrietty.


The book is about a small family of ‘Borrowers’, the people behind the mysterious disappearances of ordinary household items such as hair slides and spools of cotton. They are smaller than mice but human in appearance and are named after ‘human bean’ inventions. The main characters are the Clock family, who, like their name, live in the grandfather clock within a big house. Pod, Homely, and teenager Arrietty make up the family.


Things change for the family when they are discovered by a Boy who is staying in the house for the summer, and they must adapt to survive. The main lessons are about not being afraid of unfamiliar or different things, resilience, and the bonds of familial love.



Black Beauty - Wikipedia

4) Black Beauty

Finally, we have the timeless classic Black Beauty, written by Anna Sewell in 1877. This book is a self-proclaimed autobiography of a single black horse, from birth until retirement, and everything a working horse went through in the Victorian era.


The book deals with animal mistreatment and neglect, the various jobs horses used to do for mankind, how cruel yet kind humans can be to animals, and how everything happens for a reason. The main lessons taken from the pages are to be kind, to remember that everyone, especially animals, should be treated with respect, and the brutality that horses used to face.

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