Talk:List of children's classic books

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for List of children's classic books:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Verify : *Provide reference to a recently published edition of each book
    • Provide reference for each statement about a book

Reason for list[edit]

There was no listing of children's classic books (greater than 90 years old) listed by title on wikipedia. There were lists by author and general listngs of all children's books old and new. but none like this listing.

--Urythmic 03:33, 27 November 2006 (UTC)urythmic


I'm very inclined to add in the "The"s at the beginning of the titles, but they were obviously deliberately omitted. If this was just done to facilitate alphabetisation, could it be corrected? It would surely be better to use the actual titles. Robina Fox 13:22, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Ivanhoe? This list needs to be edited[edit]

When I look at Ivanhoe, I see no reference about that being a Children's book. What is the reason for it to be here? Is it really for children? I believe this list should be reviewed. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:52, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

And in related areas... Robinson Crusoe? David Copperfield? Huck Finn? White Fang? PILGRIM'S PROGRESS??? Cornfused00 05:57, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

I was crazy about Pilgrim's Progress as a kid. Pilgrim's Progresss is great. But more to the point, THIS ARTICLE NEEDS REFERENCES badly. This is a good list, but we need to rely on outside sources to determine which books are "still enjoyed by children today". JosiahHenderson (talk) 18:52, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Robinson Crusoe was a book everybody loved when it was published. The original Gulliver's Travels is not a children's book, even if it is the version meant for children which is most known. David Copperfield, A Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Three Musketeers are other examples on books that is meant for everybody. And just because children can enjoy a book, doesn't mean it is childrens' literature. (talk) 04:58, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

I am not sure if "still enjoyed by children today" is possible to determine, but still published FOR children is. One way is to look at collections which publishers describe as "classic children's books" and find the books which are common to several collections - and which are 60+ years old, which is a sensible criterion for the list as it counters the tendency of publishers to jump the gun. Many - if not all - of the books queried above are in such collections (or have been in the past, at least). How about it, dear reader - would YOU like to do it? Robina Fox (talk) 02:07, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

There are still some serious issues with this list. "To Kill a Mockingbird" is not children's liturature nor are Dickens' books. I agree that books included on this list should be on other lists online. There are also some glaring ommisions like "Goodnight Moon" by Margret Wise Brown or "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams. The list just seems so poor and incomplete.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Rmawhorter (talkcontribs) 04:55, 11 January 2014

@Rmawhorter: Actually, To Kill a Mockingbird is often taught in middle school. I have added some citations. Feel free to add books - preferably with citations. RockMagnetist (talk) 17:59, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Goodnight Moon is already in the list. One way to make the list more complete would be to mine the sources provided in the first sentence. There are plenty that haven't been added yet. RockMagnetist (talk) 18:10, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I added Velveteen Rabbit and some others from the 1920's that were missing - including Bambi and The Trumpeter of Krakow. RockMagnetist (talk) 18:37, 11 January 2014 (UTC)


I have deleted Les Miserables from this list and added The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, The Neverending Story, Momo. The last three of them have been published less than 60 years ago, but they're all already classic books. Feel free to delete them again if you want to stick to the 60 years' principle (alberto_cassone, 14.3.2011)

Likewise, I'm adding A Dog of Flanders. It's a classic story from 1872 (even celebrated on Belgian postage stamps); on the back of the 1915 Grosset and Dunlap hardcover edition, it's listed among other "Famous Stories for young people" (also attested in out list) such as Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, Tom Sawyer, etc., etc. So it may not be too famous now, but it seems it was then. Dominus vobiscum, --Wikibojopayne (talk) 23:00, 8 July 2011 (UTC)


I don't see why those were not added. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ilya-42 (talkcontribs) 01:14, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Unfortunately, most don't pass the 60 years old criterion, but I was able to add one. RockMagnetist (talk) 04:47, 20 November 2011 (UTC)


This list overlaps with Children's literature canon. Some thought should go into what the roles of these two lists are. RockMagnetist (talk) 17:41, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Children's books?[edit]

I have tagged a few entries in the list that seem strange choices (to me) for children's books (seriously – Le Morte d'Arthur??). In the WP articles for these books, not a single mention is made of children – as readers, at least. Some have been adapted for children, but then the adaptation should be listed. For example, the article on Don Quixote mentions The Story of Don Quixote. RockMagnetist (talk) 21:56, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Similarly, what's Arabian Nights doing on the list?? A "selections from" would be fine for kids but not the whole thing. It gets pretty racy at times! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:10, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Some additional Sources[edit]

--Mike Cline (talk) 22:57, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

What are children's books?[edit]

Have deleted the following recent addition as unreferenced personal opinion (in WP jargon, maybe OR, POV).

"Children's books are for readers and listeners up to about age twelve. They can be written by children, written for children, chosen by children, or chosen for children. They are often illustrated. The term generally excludes young-adult fiction, comic books, or other genres."

I think it's probably OK to leave the term undefined; after all this is a list not an article on children's books. Otherwise we need an uncontentious, sourced, definition. The US Children's Book Council includes books described as "for age 14+", and I would expect to find books for teenagers in children's fiction. This may be contentious (though supported by looking through book reviews and ads), but that's why we need either a sourced definition, or none. Pol098 (talk) 08:17, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Merger with Children's literature canon and Children's literature timeline[edit]

A merger of Children's literature canon into this article has been proposed. I think that is a good idea. There is a lot of overlap between the two lists and no clear criterion to distinguish "classic" books from those in the "canon". To accommodate this merger, the age criterion in this list should be relaxed - perhaps to about 30 years. That would be consistent with many of the sources for this list. RockMagnetist (talk) 22:52, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

I agree with this merge, i made a proposal here, where i merged this article with children's literature canon, but also with Children's literature timeline. I took the age criterion down to 10 years. Feel free to correct, to comment, or to improve my attempt!--Narayan (talk) 19:51, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I think it is a good idea to justify the age criterion using citations. I looked again at the sources for this list. Cullinan goes up to 1997, Hunt to 1990, Silvey to something like 1993. A conservative criterion would therefore be up to 1990. Of course, that would mean dropping Harry Potter, a choice that has already been controversial on these pages. RockMagnetist (talk) 00:24, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
1990 is ok for me. What do you think of merging these three articles under the title "List of children's classic books" and redirecting the others?--Narayan (talk) 18:25, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I think that's the best idea. I have added a merger proposal to children's literature canon. Let's give editors a few more days to respond. Have you done a merger before? RockMagnetist (talk) 19:24, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Never on the English Wikipedia, but i think i made a solid proposal which can be used as the new basic list (without HP). What do you think? A few days waiting sounds ok to me. --Narayan (talk) 20:00, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Aside from a few minor formatting issues, your combined list looks fine. The entries from Children's literature timeline have some intriguing comments that need citations (I'm not sure if they are all true). RockMagnetist (talk) 22:11, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
You're absolutely right, I just made a rough merge of these lists, without having a close look at the content. My knowledge of the subject is merely that of an interested amateur, and i don't own any specialized literature. As the content of this list may be subject of heavy discussion, proper references should be added to improve the quality of this article.--Narayan (talk) 18:57, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
What do you think, will we execute this merge? Or do you want to give it some more time?--Narayan (talk) 20:25, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Might as well - no one else seems to care. I suggest following the instructions in Wikipedia:Merging#Performing_the_merger as closely as you can. RockMagnetist (talk) 23:12, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I performed the merge. Any corrections?--Narayan (talk) 11:13, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Looks good. I just made a couple of minor tweaks. RockMagnetist (talk) 17:53, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Table format[edit]

What do you think of the table format? I created the tables because this page was already informally organized in tables, but it might be better to follow the guidelines in WikiProject Bibliographies and provide a proper bibliography entry for each article. This would have two main advantages: it will be easier to add to the list, and the entries themselves will serve as citations proving that they are still available in the English literature. RockMagnetist (talk) 22:11, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm a great supporter of standardization and efforts to improve quality and readability, so i think the sortable table used in the manual is a good idea!--Narayan (talk) 18:49, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Actually, to the extent that a standardized format exists, it would be that described in WikiProject Bibliographies. See Bibliography of biology for an example of how the page would look. RockMagnetist (talk) 00:55, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Citations for each book[edit]

The most urgent task for this page is to provide a citation for each book giving a recently published version of it (thus demonstrating that it fulfills the list criterion that it is still available in print). I have added a TODO box at the top of this page. RockMagnetist (talk) 00:55, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Random list of books[edit]

This is basically a random list of books as chosen by the editors of Wikipedia. There is no established criteria for what is included other than being "classic", which just means "notable", which for Wikipedia purposes means any book that has a Wikipedia article, which is a low bar indeed. There is no rule(s) for inclusion that defines the list, such as at least 2 sources (from accepted sources) that consider a work "classic", for example. The entire thing is random and fairly useless in determining what the classic children's books are. Green Cardamom (talk) 17:28, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

We are trying to work towards a clear criterion. Most of the books on this list are mentioned in at least one of the three books by Nesbit, Hunt and Silvey. It would be nice to have at least two sources for each book, but someone has to put the effort in. We'd appreciate any help you could give us. RockMagnetist (talk) 17:48, 3 January 2012 (UTC)