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Timeless Picture Books for Young Children

by EricaL (follow)
Writer, blogger, Mum-of-two. Editor of melbourne.kidtown.com.au
There's nothing like reaching for a classic children's picture book to read to your kids, only to find, they love the tale as much as you did when you were a child.



Modern technology has a tendency to take away the age old tradition of picking up a picture book to read to your kids. There's nothing to feel guilty about; after all, we live in a tech-driven world. Sometimes, it's nice to switch off Netflix, put away your iPad, and reach for the bookshelf.

Timeless picture books for children are enjoyable for both parents and children. Have you noticed that some children's picture books never seem to date?

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Many of the following books touch on nostalgic times when your own parents would read to you at bedtime. There's no reason why you can't reminisce on such times with your own kids.

We give you, 5 timeless picture books for young children, which you can enjoy reading today, as much as you enjoyed hearing them read to you, decades ago:

The Cat In The Hat by Dr. Seuss
Originally published: March 12, 1957



The Cat in the Hat is a children's book written and illustrated by Theodor Geisel, under his pen name Dr. Seuss. (This short list will never be complete without a Dr. Seuss book).

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The story follows a brother and sister, left at home alone on a cold wet day. While their mother is out, a visitor arrives; The Cat in the Hat.

The anthropomorphic Cat ignores the objections of the children's pet fish, and instead performs ridiculous tricks to entertain the bored siblings.

Things get out of hand, right up until the point where the children's mother arrives home. Will she find out, what went on that day?

The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr
Originally published: 1968



This tale follows a girl called Sophie, at home with her mother, when she answers the door to a tiger. The tiger interrupts their afternoon tea, with serious appetite for absolutely everything.

The tiger drinks all the tea, eats all the food in the house and drinks everything, even draining the water from the taps, so that Sophie can't have her bath.

The following day Sophie and her mother go out to buy some more food, including a big tin of tiger food. Will the tiger return?

Possum Magic by Mem Fox
Originally published: 1983



The 'baby' in this selection of timeless picture books for young children, Possum Magic by Mem Fox is a mere 33 years young.

If you are a parent in your twenties, you will probably remember Possum Magic as an iconic Australian kid's book back in the day.

The Aussie classic is still very much loved today as it was in the 80s. The story of a possum called Hush whose grandmother has turned invisible. The possums must travel all over Australia, to find out what that magic ingredient is that will turn High visible again.

The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Originally published: June 3, 1969



Whether it's Eric Carle's delightful illustrations, those little holes in each page that allow little fingers to poke through, or something more, The Hungry Caterpillar has been a firm family favourite for decades.

This is a book of few words, but less is more in this instance, as Carle introduces children to nature's metamorphosis of the caterpillar turning into a butterfly in a colourful and fun way.

Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Originally published: 1963



The popular tale of a young boy Max who discovers a strange world, has been adapted to animated short, an opera; and a live-action feature-film.

The book follows Max, dressed in a wolf costume, who has been sent to his room after being disrespectful in his house.

Max mysteriously finds himself in a strange world where he meets the Wild Things. Max is hailed the king of the Wild Things until he starts to miss home. When he returns home, he finds his dinner still waiting for him, still warm.

Did Max dream of the jungle? Where the Wild Things real? What can Max, and indeed your own kids, learn from the story?


Which books would you add to the list?

This is by no means a definitive list of timeless picture books for young children. There are literally hundreds of great books to choose from. Which children's picture books would you add to the list?
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