“Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away…” is least likely to be the opening line for young adult fiction nowadays.

We’ve seen the worldwide phenomenon that this line has caused:

“I’d never given much thought to how I would die – though I’d had reason enough in the last few months – but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.” (insert Debussy’s Claire de Lune here)

And also, this creepy little story’s first line (which has been adapted by Hollywood as well):

“Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house.”

Children’s literature is represented by a variety of genres – from vampire romances to coming-of-age gems to futuristic science tales and utopian societies, to dreamy picture books with pop-out pages. There’s so much to choose from (not to mention the classics you grew up liking too!), how do you get the kids started on their lifetime love for reading? How much of a bookworm do you want them to be?

An Aussie literacy blogger named Trevor Cairney, an Adjunct Professor of Education and Master of New College at UNSW shares his own list of 250 Great Children’s Books.

We’ve taken the liberty to re-post it here for your (and your kids’) reading pleasure. 🙂

 

Books for Preschoolers (to be read to and with children aged 0-4 years)

All the World, illustrated by Marla Frazee, written by Liz Garton
Battles in the Bath by Peter Pavey
Bears in the Night by Stan and Jan Berenstein
Belinda by Pamela Allen
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin, Jr.
Corduroy by Don Freeman
Do You Know What Grandad Did? By Brian Smith
Dog In, Cat Out by Gillian Rubenstein  The Story of Chicken Licken by Jan Ormerod
Don’t Forget the Bacon by Pat Hutchins
Duckat by Gaelyn Gordon
Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allen Ahlberg
Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles
Edwina the Emu by Sheena Knowles
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Grandpa and Thomas by Pamela Allen
Grandpa and Thomas and the Green Umbrella by Pamella Allen
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
Hattie and the Fox by Mem Fox
Looking for Crabs by Bruce Whately
Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake
Mother, Mother, I Want Another by Maria Polushkin Robbins
My Dad by Anthony Browne
One Hungry Spider by Jeannie Baker
One Dragon’s Dream by Peter Pavey
Peepo by Janet and Allen Ahlberg
The Lion & Mouse by Jerry Pinkey
The Mitten by Alvin Tresselt
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise
The Singing Hat by Tohby Riddle
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
The Story of Chicken Licken by Jan Ormerod
The Trouble with Dad by Babette Cole
The Trouble with Mum by Babette Cole
The Waterhole by Graeme Base
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Time for Bed by Mem Fox
‘When I’m Feeling’ range of books by Trace Moroney

 

Books for Children Ages 4-7 (the following titles are suitable to be read to younger readers or can be read by beginning readers)

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

‘A.B. Paterson’s Mulga Bill’s Bicycle’ by Kilmeny & Deborah Niland
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
Animalia by Graeme Base
Aranea: A Story About a Spider by Jenny Wagner
Are You My Mother? by Philip D. Eastman
‘Arthur’ series by Marc Tolon Brown
Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by John Archambault
Clifford, the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
Complete Adventures of Blinky Bill by Dorothy Wall
Counting on Frank by Rod Clement
Cowardly Clyde by Bill Peet
Curious George by Hans Augusto Rey
Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Conner
Fantastic Mr Fox, by Roald Dahl
Fox in Socks by Dr Seuss
Granpa by John Burningham
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss
Hubert’s Hair-raising Adventure by Bill Peet
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
In My Back Yard by Nette Hilton & Anne Spudvilas
Irving the Magician by Tohby Riddle
John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat by Jenny Wagner
Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
Lester and Clyde by James Reece
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
‘My Hiroshima’ by Junko Morimoto
No Kiss for Mother by Tomi Ungerer
‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go’ by Dr. Seuss
Petunia by Roger Duvoisin
Red Sings from Treetops: A Year of Colors, by Joyce Sidman
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
Strega Nona by Tomie De Paola
Sunshine by Jan Ormerod
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
The Art Lesson by Tomie De Paola
The Banana Bird and the Snake Men by Percy Trezise and Dick Roughsey
The Bears’ ABC Book by Robin & Jocelyn Wild
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
‘The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh’ by A. A. Milne
The Digging-est Dog by Al Perkins
The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base
The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
The Fisherman and the Theefyspray by Jane Tanner
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters by Janet & Allen Ahlberg
The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch by Ronda & David Armitage
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay
The Napping House by Audrey Wood
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
The Rainbow Serpent by Dick Roughsey
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
‘The True Story of the Three Little Pigs’ by Jon Scieszka
‘The Story of Shy the Platypus’ by Leslie Rees
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Tough Boris by Mem Fox
What Made Tiddalik Laugh by Joanna Troughton
Wheel on the Chimney by Margaret Wise Brown
Where’s Julius by John Burningham
Where the Forest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker
‘Where the Sidewalk Ends: the Poems and Drawing of Shel Silverstein’ by Shel Silverstein
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Whistle Up the Chimney by Nan Hunt
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox

 

 

Books for Children Ages 8-10 (many of these books can be read to children aged 6-8 or can be read by most children aged 9-10 years)

A Dream of Stars by Brian Caswell
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
A Little Fear by Patricia WrightsonGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Callie’s Castle by Ruth Park
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver
Dirty Beasts by Roald Dahl
Grandma Cadbury’s Trucking Tales by Dianne Bates
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
‘Harry Potter’ series by J.K Rowling
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
James and the Giant Peach: A Children’s Story by Roald Dahl
Jodie’s Journey by Colin Thiele
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Mike by Brian Caswell
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
Paw Thing by Paul Jennings
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
‘Rowan of Rin’ series by Emily Rodda
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
Stuart Little by E. B. White
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
The 27th Annual African Hippopotamus Race by Morris Lurie
The Arrival by Shaun Tan
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
The BFG by Roald Dahl
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
The Eighteenth Emergency by Betsy Byars
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
The Pinballs by Betsy Byars
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Shrinking of Treehorn by Florence Parry Heide
The Super-Roo of Mungalongaloo by Osmar White
The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White
The Village Dinosaur by Phyllis Arkle
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon written by Grace Lin
Where the Sidewalk Ends: the Poems and Drawing of Shel Silverstein by Shel Silverstein

Watch Roald DAHL – Revolting Rhymes – Three Little Pigs

 

Books for children aged 10-13+

Boy by Roald Dahl
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, by Mark Haddon  The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
‘Deltora Quest’ series by Emily Rodda
Dragonkeeper Trilogy (Carole Wilkinson)
Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
Lord of the Rings, JR Tolkien
Merryl of the Stones by Brian Caswell
Nargun and the Stars by Patricia Wrightson
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Old Kingdom series, by Garth Nix
Playing Beattie Bow by Ruth Park
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
‘Slave Girl: The Diary of Clotee, Virginia, USA 1859’ by Patricia McKissack
‘Strange Objects’ by Gary Crew
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
The Hobbit by JR Tolkein
The Fire in the Stone by Colin Thiele
The Ice is Coming by Patricia Wrightson
The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman)
The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall
The Princess Bride (William Goldman)
The Stone Quartet by Alan Garner
The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong
Thunderwith by Libby Hathorn
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
‘Wizard of Earthsea’ trilogy by Ursula Le Guin