10 Classic Tales to Put Under the Tree

Intellectual Takeout | December 9, 2015

Looking for some last minute gift ideas for the children in your life? Check out some of our staff recommendations and favorites below!



The Little Farm, by Lois Lenski


Beautifully illustrated with Lois Lenski’s classic artwork, The Little Farm introduces little folks to the wonders of barnyard life. Lenski’s The Little Fire Engine, Policeman Small, and Cowboy Small are perfect follow-ups!



All-of-a-Kind Family, by Sydney Taylor


Set in the early 20th century, the All-of-a-Kind Family series by Sydney Taylor traces the growth and development of an American Jewish family. The books subtly present the value of responsibility and hard work, as well as providing a fascinating introduction to Jewish customs and holidays.



How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, by Marjorie Priceman


“An apple pie is easy to make...if the market is open. But if the market is closed, the world becomes your grocery store. This deliciously silly recipe for apple pie takes readers around the globe to gather ingredients. First hop a steamboat to Italy for the finest semolina wheat. Then hitch a ride to England and hijack a cow for the freshest possible milk. And, oh yes! Don't forget to go apple picking in Vermont! A simple recipe for apple pie is included.” - Amazon



Christmas in My Heart #17, compiled by Joe Wheeler


A lovely anthology of short stories perfect for reading aloud at Christmas! Volume 17 republishes a number of late 19th and early 20th century tales from the classic St. Nicholas Magazine.



Ben and Me, by Robert Lawson


Unbeknownst to many, the genius of Benjamin Franklin was inspired by a tiny creature… at least according to Ben Franklin’s pet mouse, Amos! Charming humor makes historical events digestible and memorable in this classic tale. After reading this book, check out Mr. Revere and I, another of Robert Lawson’s imaginative works.



From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg


Tired of the “injustices” she experiences at home (such as a minimal allowance and having to empty the trash cans every week), 11-year-old Claudia decides to temporarily run away – to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The mystery that unfolds during her stay is sure to please!  



26 Fairmont Avenue, by Tomie dePaola


“Tomie's family starts building their new house at 26 Fairmount Avenue in 1938, just as a hurricane hits town, starting off a busy, crazy year. Tomie has many adventures all his own, including eating chocolate with his Nana Upstairs, only to find out--the hard way--that they have eaten chocolate laxative. He tries to skip kindergarten when he finds out he won't learn to read until first grade. ‘I'll be back next year,’ he says. When Tomie goes to see Snow White, he creates another sensation. Tomie dePaola's childhood memories are hilarious, and his charming illustrations are sure to please.” - Amazon



The Story of the Treasure-Seekers, by E. Nesbit


Written at the turn of the 20th century, E. Nesbit’s classic tale tells the story of six motherless children. Sprinkled with humor, the adventures and scrapes the children encounter are sure to delight any age!



The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald


"One of the most successful and beloved of Victorian fairy tales, George Macdonald’s The Princess and the Goblin tells the story of young Princess Irene and her friend Curdie, who must outwit the threatening goblins who live in caves beneath her mountain home. Macdonald’s pioneering use of fantasy as a literary medium had a great influence on Lewis Carroll, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L’Engle, all great admirers of his work, which has remained popular to this day." - Amazon



Great Stories Remembered, compiled by Joe Wheeler


Divided into seasonal sections, this anthology of classic, but largely unknown, short stories will be loved by all ages. The stories offer a glimpse into the past and often demonstrate a valuable character lesson in the process.


Image Credit: Down This Little Road

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