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Timeless Reads

Janelle Cox


In addition to reading as part of a students' daily schoolwork, students should be encouraged to read for pleasure. Here are a few timeless reads that will help students grow, understand and appreciate classic literature.

Goodnight Moon

By Margaret Wise Brown

Grade K-2

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"Goodnight room, goodnight moon, goodnight cow jumping over the moon, goodnight light, and the red balloon." This classic bedtime story has been a staple in children's homes for more than 50 years. Illustrator Clement Hurd creates a vivid picture full of details by having each page gradually get dimmer as the room darkens, and the light of the moon shines in. The soft rhymes and simple pictures help children settle in for the night. Teachers and parents can use this story as a springboard to discuss nighttime rituals.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

By Ellen Appleby

Grade K-2

This beloved read-aloud has been among the top favorites in classrooms around the world. It all begins when the three billy goats dare to try and cross the troll's bridge to get to the grass on the other side. This very dramatic but inspiring story is great way for children to draw connections between story events. 

Curious George

By H.A. Rey

Grade K-2

Curious George, a monkey, is set loose in a big city and utter chaos ensues until he finds himself at the zoo. George's curiosity will have children laughing with excitement, which makes this story such a fun read. Illustrator H.A. Rey creates one outstanding picture after another. This charming adventure is a fun read for all!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

By Bill Martin Jr.

Grade K-2

"A told b, and b told c, 'I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree.'" Then the rest of the letters follow, and “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom,” they all came tumbling down! This rhythmic story about the 26 letters of the alphabet is a simple story that helps introduce the alphabet to children.

Green Eggs and Ham

By Dr. Seuss

Grade K-2

This all-time classic story by Dr. Seuss shows silly characters doing dangerous things like driving a car on top of tree or a train. Sam I am tries to convince a friend that green eggs and ham is a delicious meal that he should eat. Seuss' signature rhymes and imaginative pictures will have children intrigued.

The Polar Express

By Chris Van Allsburg

Grade K-2

This treasured holiday classic begins when a young boy follows the toot of a train and embarks on an adventure he won't forget. Unlike other Christmas tales, “The Polar Express” explores how people may outgrow their belief in Santa. Chris Van Allsburg brings the story to life with his vivid and magical illustrations that will be loved by all.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Chronicles of Narnia

By C.S. Lewis

Grade 3-5

This beloved story has cemented its place as a children's classic. This fantasy begins when young siblings enter a wardrobe and discover a magical, frozen land called Narnia, run by a witch until the return of Aslan, the great lion. After years in Narnia, the children return through the wardrobe to discover that time has stood still. This imaginative fairytale has strong characters and sends a great message about good and evil.

The Wind in the Willows

By Kenneth Grahame

Grade 3-5

Petulant toad and his friends the rat, mole and badger get into a lot of misadventures in this beautifully written story that touches upon friendship and patience.


The Call of the Wild

By Jack London

Grades 3-5

“The Call of the Wild” is a timeless classic that is a story about survival and leadership. This dramatic-yet-uplifting story deals with the brutality of dogs when Buck, the main character, learns to survive and deal with the succession of new owners and brutal beatings. Today's children may have a hard time understanding the way things were back in the 1800s, but this story will give these young readers a chance to discuss the way Buck was treated and how times have changed.

The Adventures of Captain Underpants, Book #1

By Dav Pilkey

Grade 3-5

Book one of this entertaining adventure series is an over-the-top story filled with funny jokes, disrespectful behavior and bad puns, but kids love it! Two humorous fourth graders love to prank people and get into trouble until their principal videotapes to expose their hyjinx. But then the boys hypnotize him and turn him into the superhero Captain Underpants! This cartoon-style story will have even the lost reluctant readers laughing for hours.

The Magic School Bus, Book #1

By Eva Moore

Grade 3-5

The first in a long series of books that feature the fabulous Ms. Fizzle, this story brings science facts and humor to life! All the books in this series are a fun and interesting way to teach science topics to kids.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

By E. L. Konigsburg

Grades 3 and Up

This entertaining novel is about a 12-year-old girl who runs away to a museum because she feels underappreciated at home. Once there, she decides to try and solve a mystery about an angel statue, who is also searching for herself. Mrs. Frankweiler is the narrator of the story, and provides the reader with a witty view of the tale. Teachers and parents can use this story as a platform to discuss issues such as running away, or talking about escaping from something they don't like.

What stories do consider Timeless Reads? Please share your choices in the comment section below.