A classic children’s book is a thing of wonder. Everyone has that beloved first book, or that author that first captured their imagination. The books we first read stay with us.

How many people have joyful memories of joining the Famous Five’s adventures? Who fell in love with the unlikely hero that was the BFG? Who wished of being swept away to the island in Where the Wild Things Are?

They say a picture can speak a thousand words, but perhaps a children’s book holds a thousand memories. Each page of these marvellous books is a reminder of someone’s youth and their once vivid imagination.

Visionary authors such as JK Rowling, Lewis Carol and Dr Seuss, all had an assured ability to create fantastical places and eccentric characters. Their imagery surpassed any of our youthful dreams. Stories of anthropomorphised animals, curious landscapes, and wacky wizards lived on in many children’s imaginations through to adulthood.

However, it was not just the iconic imagery of these books that labelled them “classics”. It was also the life lessons behind each of one of their extraordinary tales. They confronted a myriad of human issues in an ingenious yet creative way.

Authors such as Roald Dahl could invoke humour in the darkest corners of his grotesque stories. Kenneth Grahame was able to incite silliness in a tale that was full of morality. Michael Morpurgo can capture happiness in a story full of woe. These authors have a way of transcending generations, as they gave us the lessons we would need throughout our lives.

Perhaps this is why so many of us hold onto our favourite childhood books. Why our bookshelves are an array of our first beloved authors standing beside the bigger literary giants. What is remarkable is that our childhood books never seem dwarfed by those more grandiose novels, instead they stand proudly, loved and full of wise words for people to tackle the issues and problems of life.

We have chosen some timeless, beautiful children’s classics along with their own inspiring quotes for a life well-lived:

The Railway Children

By E. Nesbit (1906)

Everything has an end, and you get to it if you only keep all on.”

The BFG

By Roald Dahl (1961)

The matter with human beans… is that they is absolutely refusing to believe in anything unless they is actually seeing it right in front of their own schnozzles.”

The Wind in the Willows 

By Kenneth Grahame (1908)

 “Here today, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that’s always changing!” 

The Cat in the Hat

By Dr Seuss (1960)

“Today you are You, that is truer than true, There is no one alive who is Youer than You”

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

By Judith Kerr (1968)

“You can’t get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me”

Where the Wild Things Are By Maurice Sendak (1963) 

“Inside all of us is hope. Inside all of us fear. Inside all of us is adventure. Inside all of us is a wild thing”

 

 

The Little Prince

By Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1943)

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.” 

Alice’s adventures in Wonderland

By Lewis Carrol (1865)

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”

 

 

War Horse

By Michael Morpurgo (1982)

‘Any problem can be solved between people if only they can trust each other’

 

 

 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

By J.K. Rowling (2007)

‘Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving’