23 of the Most Famous Classic Children’s Books

Source: Public Domain / Library of Congress

The Rocket Book
> By: Peter Newell

This unusual book, first published in 1912, tells the story — with watercolor illustrations by the author — of the progress of a rocket, lit in the basement by the janitor’s son, as it passes through each floor of an apartment building.

Source: Public Domain / Library of Congress

The Story of Three Little Pigs
> By: L. Leslie Brooke

This well-known cautionary tale first appeared in print in the 1840s but probably dates back further. Leslie Brooke illustrated this 1904 adaptation of the fable about three pigs who build their houses out of different materials. A Big Bad Wolf blows down the first two houses but is unable to destroy the third house, which is made of bricks.

Source: Public Domain / Library of Congress

Snow White or the House in the Wood
> By: Laura E. Richards

The German fairy tale “Snow White” appeared in the first edition of “Grimms’ Fairy Tales” in 1812. This version is by Laura Richards, a prolific New England author who wrote biographies and poetry as well as children’s books. Her “Snow White,” about a little girl who runs away from her nanny and finds a strange house in the woods, was published in 1900.

Source: Public Domain / Library of Congress

The Secret Garden
> By: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Mary Lennox, a neglected and unloved English girl, is sent to live at Misselthwaite Manor, where she discovers a secret garden and new friends. This classic story from 1911 has been adapted several times for stage and screen.

Source: Public Domain / Library of Congress

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
> By: Lewis Carroll

Better known as “Alice in Wonderland,” this is the story of a young girl who falls through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by bizarre creatures, where very strange things happen. First published in 1865, it has since been translated into about 100 languages and adapted countless times for the theatre, movies, ballet, video games, and more.