23 of the Most Famous Classic Children’s Books

Source: Public Domain / Library of Congress

A Apple Pie
> By: Kate Greenaway

In this book dating from about 1886, English Victorian writer and artist Greenaway tells the story of a pie and the lengths people will go to for a taste of it. It has illustrations for every letter of the alphabet.

Source: Public Domain / Library of Congress

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
> By: L. Frank Baum

Better known today as simply “The Wizard of Oz,” this is the story of farm girl Dorothy and her dog Toto, who are carried from their home in Kansas to the Land of Oz by a cyclone (the word author Frank Baum used to describe a tornado). First published in 1900, iIt has had a huge cultural impact, and is best remembered for the movie version, in which Judy Garland played Dorothy.

Source: Public Domain / Library of Congress

Denslow’s Three Bears
> By: W.W. Denslow

There are several variations on the popular English fairy tale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” of which the best-known is an 1837 retelling by poet Robert Southey. This version, first published in 1901, is a unique retelling of the story, with a heroine named Golden Hair, by William Wallace Denslow — who was also the illustrator of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” (see above).

Source: Public Domain / Library of Congress

Peter and Wendy
> By: J.M. Barrie

“Peter and Wendy” was the original title of the classic work better known as “Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up” (or simply “Peter Pan”). The famous character first appeared in a 1902 adult novel called “The Little White Bird,” which was adapted into a play before becoming this well-loved story involving pirates, fairies, Lost Boys, and more.

Source: Public Domain / Library of Congress

The Tale of Peter Rabbit
> By: Beatrix Potter

Peter Rabbit is an anthropomorphic character in several books by Beatrix Potter, beginning with this one in 1902. He lives with his sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail. Peter Rabbit featured in successful films in 2018 and 2021, as well as being the basis for several TV series.