23 of the Most Famous Classic Children’s Books

Source: Public Domain / Library of Congress

Baby’s Own Aesop
> By: Walter Crane

This is a retelling of “Aesop’s Fables” illustrated by the highly influential children’s book specialist Walter Crane and published in 1887. Aesop was a slave and storyteller who lived in ancient Greece, and his tales have become an indelible part of world culture.

Source: Public Domain / Library of Congress

Baseball ABC
> By: McLoughlin Bros.

Appearing in 1885, this is a short book of baseball-related illustrations for the letters of the alphabet — “B is for Ball,” “D is for Diamond,” etc. The McLoughlin brothers were both the authors and publishers of this work.

Source: Public Domain / Library of Congress

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
> By: Mark Twain

This classic from 1885 is a sequel to Twain’s “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” Frequently banned for its supposed immorality and condemned as racist by some, It tells the story of Huck, a boy of 13 or 14, and his adventures in the Midwest. All modern American literature comes from Huck, according to Ernest Hemingway.

Source: Public Domain / Library of Congress

Cinderella
> By: George Routledge and Sons

There are many variations of the Cinderella story, including interpretations in Italian, French, and German. It tells of a young girl who rises above adversity to great fortune. Many versions feature a wicked stepmother and a fairy godmother. The basic story goes back to ancient Greece and is a part of popular culture today, not least because of the 1950 Disney animated film of the story. This version was published in London and New York in 1865.

Source: Public Domain / Library of Congress

Denslow’s Humpty Dumpty
> By: W.W. Denslow

Humpty Dumpty is a well-known English nursery rhyme character. Denslow’s illustrated telling of the story was first published in 1903.