7 Vintage Children's Books You Need In Your Library

These classic kid's books may be out-of-print, but it doesn't mean you can't find them! Children's book authors explain why they think they're worth the search and a read even if the pages are worn.

The Flight of Dragons Book Cover and The Brothers Lionheart Book Cover
Photo: Illustration by Francesca Spatola; Amazon (2)
01 of 07

The Flight of Dragons

The Flight of Dragons
Harry N. Abrams

"I pored over the oversize, full-color The Flight of Dragons, by Peter Dickinson (ages 6+), which posited, from an academic but still lighthearted perspective, that dragons were real. There were passages and even diagrams that proved how they flew and why they escaped the fossil record."

—Dave Eggers, author of Most of the Better Natural Things in the World

02 of 07

The Big Book of Cats

The Big Book of Cats
Grosset & Dunlap

"I checked out The Big Book of Cats, by Gladys Emerson Cook (ages 4 to 8), every week in kindergarten. The lushly painted cat portraits with brightly colored eyes and fluffy fur were so engaging, the words were just frosting on a cat cake."

—Matt Lamothe, author of This Is How We Do It

03 of 07

The Ruby Knight

The Ruby Knight
Del Rey

"My grandfather bought The Ruby Knight, by David Eddings (ages 8 to 12), for me when I was 10, introducing me to the world of fantasy. It had adventure, magic, monsters, swords, and a cool invented world."

—Christopher Paolini, author of the Inheritance Cycle series

04 of 07

The Man With the Purple Eyes

The Man With the Purple Eyes

"In The Man With the Purple Eyes, by Charlotte Zolotow (ages 6 to 8), the illustrator depicted the main character, Anna, with black hair, which meant that Anna looked a little like me. When my daughter was born, I named her Anna after that character!"

—Linda Sue Park, author of A Long Walk to Water

05 of 07

The Brothers Lionheart

The Brothers Lionheart
FBA Powersetup

"I never met Astrid Lindgren, but she was my best friend through childhood. Still is. Her book The Brothers Lionheart (ages 8+) is the greatest of adventures about tyranny and dragons, life and death, friendship and bravery."

—Fredrik Backman, author of A Man Called Ove

06 of 07

Very Worried Walrus

Very Worried Walrus
Holt Rinehart and Winston (WRB)

"I had the entire Sweet Pickles collection on my bookshelf, and Very Worried Walrus, by Richard Hefter (ages 8 to 12), is the one I read again and again. I was very, very worried all the time. When I read that book, it felt as if someone understood me. Even if it was a walrus who was afraid to ride a bicycle." (Available as an e-book.)

—Erin Entrada Kelly, author of Hello, Universe

07 of 07

City Boy

City Boy
Back Bay Books

"When I was in fourth grade, I found City Boy, by Herman Wouk (ages 8 to 12), on my parents' bookshelf. I thought it would be a book for children because of the title, but it was a 'grownup' story, no pictures, with rich, complex characters. I had never known reading could offer such a rewarding experience!" (Available as an e-book.)

—W. Bruce Cameron, author of A Dog's Purpose

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