15 Classic Tales and Fun Storybooks

Passing down stories has been an important act in cultures around the world for thousands of years. And we still do it today! Have you ever felt the joy of telling your little one a story that you heard as a child? We’ve created this book list so you can introduce your young readers to storybooks like Little Red Riding Hood, Peter Pan, and more. Just imagine: some day, they might be telling these stories to their own children!

Winnie the Pooh A. A. Milne

This new book has been crafted to look like the 1926 release of Winnie the Pooh. You’ll get all 10 of the original stories inspired by A. A. Milne’s son, Christopher. Kids will meet Pooh, Piglet, Owl, Tigger, and Eeyore in the Hundred Acre Wood. Adults are sure to gain a little wisdom from the book, too! This makes a wonderfully comforting read-aloud for elementary kids.

Nibbles the Book Monster Emma Yarlett

Nibbles is a monster who likes to nibble on things. He nibbles on soap, socks, and—most of all—books! Kids will laugh their way through this book as Nibbles eats his way through classic fairy tales like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack and the Beanstalk. Bright illustrations fill every page and Nibbles is actually quite a cute monster! Several pages also feature flaps to lift or die-cut sections. It’s a great book for silly preschoolers or early elementary kids.

After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back up Again Dan Santat

This book adds new imagination to a well-known nursery rhyme. Humpty Dumpty was a very happy egg as he sat on the wall watching the birds fly. But, then he fell. This heartfelt children’s story follows Humpty after the fall. He experiences a range of emotions: terror, sadness, and finally joy when he overcomes his fears and is sitting back up with the birds once again. This award-winning book subtly teaches children emotional resilience and persistence. Read it with preschoolers and early elementary kids.

Peter Pan J.M. Barrie

This full-color illustrated version of Peter Pan brings the 100-year-old tale to life in the eyes of new readers! They’ll love seeing all of the characters like Peter, Wendy, the Lost Boys, and Captain Hook. The story is packed with action and whimsy, while the pages feature a few interactive elements like a map of Neverland and a “croc o’clock” with hands that really move. Because this original story is more intense than the movies, we recommend this book for kids in upper elementary and middle school.

The Paper Bag Princess Robert Munsch

Most fairy tales tell the story of a brave boy rescuing a frightened girl, but this classic book from 1980 turns the tables! The main character in this story is Princess Elizabeth and she’s not afraid of anyone, not even a fire-breathing dragon! The dragon kidnaps her prince and Elizabeth goes on a rescue mission. She outsmarts the dragon, but soon realizes her prince isn’t such a catch after all. It’s an imaginative story that challenges young kids to think about traditional gender roles in a fun and silly way. Read it with preschoolers and early elementary kids.

Tales from the Thousand and One Nights Penguin Classics

This book includes several classic tales from the East like “Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp,” “Sinbad the Sailor,” and others. This translation is fairly easy to read and every story is full of adventure. Kids will hear about kingdoms, genies, extravagance, good versus evil, and other classic storytelling elements. There are a few mature themes in this book, so we recommend it for kids ages 10+.

F Is for Fairy Tale Greg Paprocki

This adorable board book was created by BabyLit. The pages of the book take toddlers and preschoolers through the alphabet one letter at a time. Each letter is accompanied by a colorful illustration inspired by a classic fairy tale. There’s a beanstalk for Jack, a lamp with a magic genie, and a candy castle for Hansel and Gretel. It’s a beautiful book that focuses on the whimsy of fairy tales.

What Makes a Magnet? Franklyn M. Branley

Check out the science project in the Storybooks Art Box and read this book for a detailed explanation of what’s happening in the project. The authors take a no-nonsense approach to explaining magnetism, but it comes across as clear and easy-to-understand for kids. Plus, the illustrations do a very good job of supporting each concept. You’ll even find instructions for a magnetic scavenger hunt in the last pages of the book. 

Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll

This book offers a reprinting of the original 1865 novel and its black-and-white illustrations. Children will enjoy hearing about Alice and all of the characters she meets in her adventure. Kids and adults will both laugh out loud at the absurdity of the plot twists in this book. It’s a great read-aloud that will inspire curiosity and imagination in elementary kids.

Endlessly Ever After: Pick Your Path to Countless Fairy-Tale Endings Laurel Snyder

Everytime kids open this book, they’ll choose their own fairy-tale adventure! They’ll take their pick from Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk, and other tales. There are 34 possible stories in all! Kids will love the adventure, surprises, and energy of this book. The illustrations keep the book feeling light-hearted even when things get a bit scary. Kids ages 4-9 will love this one!

Reading Beauty Deborah Underwood

Princess Lex loves to read, but all her books disappear on her 15th birthday. That’s because the books could potentially trap Lex in an evil curse via a paper cut! When she learns about this curse, Lex works alongside her dog, Prince, to find a way to break it. Young kids will enjoy following along with the rhyming text and mixed-media illustrations. This one definitely supports “girl power” but has enough action to interest both boys and girls. Read it with preschoolers.

Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion Alex T. Smith

In this updated retelling of the classic fairy tale, Little Red makes her way through an African jungle scene to get to her auntie’s house. She sidesteps giraffes, crocodiles, monkeys, and gazelles. But when she arrives, she sees a lion pretending to be her auntie and decides to teach him a lesson. She does his hair, brushes his teeth, and puts him in a beautiful dress. Pretty soon, the lion can’t take any more! The story moves along at a quick pace and offers humor on every page. Preschoolers will want to read it again and again!

Humpty Dumpty Lived Near a Wall Derek Hugnes

In this retelling of the classic nursery rhyme, children hear a backstory that explains exactly why Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall. He lives in an old-school empire run by an evil king, and there’s a wall that traps the people in. Humpty Dumpty comes up with a plan to look over the wall—a ladder! Children will want to read this book simply to marvel at the illustrations. They’re black and white with immaculate details. The story isn’t exactly uplifting, but it is guaranteed to make children think a little deeper about life and purpose. Read it with elementary kids.

Fairy Tale Adventure Lilly Murray

With this book, children get to make up their own fairy tales! Each page presents a question and several possible story features. For example, children are told to pick a character and they can choose from a mermaid, a puppet, a black cat, and several other options. They go on to choose a costume, a destination, and much more. The possibilities are endless! This book is great for inspiring creativity in kids of all ages.

Alice in Wonderland: Baby’s Classics Lewis Carroll

Even babies and toddlers can enjoy Alice in Wonderland! This board book presents a simplified story alongside bold, bright illustrations. It provides a great way to introduce little ones to classic stories.

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