Vintage Children’s Books for Modern Kids

Books with staying power. Classics that are engaging for real kids in real time. Below you will find a collection of Vintage Children’s Books that have been field tested with modern kids, mine!

vintage reads for modern kids

Each book is one that my parents *could* have read to me as a child (spoiler alert: I’m no spring chicken), with a publication date of 1989 or earlier; all books must still be in print as of my writing. In each post, you’ll learn why I believe the book is timeless, tips for sharing it with your children, modern “read alikes,” related content & activities, and hopefully inspiration to bring these classics to the bookworms in your life!

vintage kids' books printable list

I’ve create for you a chart of 22 of the featured titles, which includes a handy list of themes/strategies/skills, all sorted in alphabetical order by author to make your library trips a breeze!

Keep Reading!


Horton Hatches the Egg: Throwback Thursday Grand Finale (Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss)

The Monster at the End of This Book: Vintage Metafiction (The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone)

I Went Walking… Through a Picture Book Classic (I Went Walking by Sue Williams)

Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse: Among the Lionni Classics (Alexander & the Wind-Up Mouse by Leo Lionni)

The Timeless Snowy Day (The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats)

Good Dog, Good Book (Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day)

 Leo & the Late Blooming Pep Talk (Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus)

Dear Zoo: A Baby Registry Must With Room to Grow (Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell)

The Night Before Christmas: I Knew In a Moment It Must Be This Week’s Feature (The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore)

The Gingerbread Man: Catching a Sweet Treat (The Gingerbread Man– our favorite versions of the folktale)

Taking Mental Snapshots Aboard The Polar Express (The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg)

vintage loving bookworm

Strega Nona: A Spellbinder for All Ages (Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola)

More, More, More: The One Book Baby Bookworm Can Request by Name (“More, More, More” Said the Baby by Vera Williams)

All the Colors of the Freight Train (Freight Train by Donald Crews)

Curious George: A Little History & Some Reading Tips (Curious George series by Margret & H.A. Rey)

The Story of Ferdinand: Preschool Bookworm’s First Banned Book (The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf)

Koala Lou: I DO Love You! (Koala Lou by Mem Fox)

The Preschooler Who Was Not Afraid of Anything (The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams)

Coloring Outside the Lines With Madeline (Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans)

Little Bear, Big Trailblazer: The First “I Can Read” Book Ever (Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik)

A Classic Imaginary Friend: The Horse in Harry’s Room (The Horse in Harry’s Room by Syd Hoff)

A Walk in the Moonlight With Harold (Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson)

Loved and Respected by the Entire Village: Crictor (Crictor by Tomi Ungerer)

Harry the Dirty Dog (Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion)

Corduroy (Corduroy by Don Freeman)

A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys, and Their Monkey Business (Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina)

Throwback Thursday, Circa 1942: The Poky Little Puppy (The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowery)