These 10 classic books will make a valuable addition to your child's library.

  1. The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter (Little Simon). This classic, first issued in 1902, helps kids deal with their desire for independence while still wanting to stay close to home.
  2. Curious George, by H.A. Rey (Houghton Mifflin). George's talent is getting himself in and out of trouble, a trait young children can easily identify with.
  3. The Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown (HarperCollins). The theme of independence and need is beautifully explored in this classic by the author of Goodnight Moon.
  4. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, by Virginia Lee Burton (Houghton Mifflin). Like the steam shovel, young readers will see themselves as small but powerful.
  5. Corduroy, by Don Freeman (Viking). The importance of friendship and acceptance will reassure children who are just learning about making friends.
  6. The Carrot Seed, by Ruth Krauss (HarperCollins). Big plans and determination create an inspiring story of a boy and his garden.
  7. Swimmy, by Leo Lionni (Knopf). A problem-solving little fish makes the underwater world a safer place for small creatures like himself.
  8. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle (Putnam). Kids love watching and listening as a caterpillar eats its way through this book.
  9. Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson (HarperCollins). When his imagination joins a purple crayon, Harold builds a world of wonder.
  10. Tomie de Paola's Mother Goose Favorites, (Grosset & Dunlap). Paola's art may be familiar to young readers and the rhymes are a treasure to share.

Parents Magazine