meera vinette 2 Book Reviews For Category: Classics

Classic children’s books written prior to 1975, particularly those which appear timeless, and not outdated due to language and culture.

Sita’s Ramayana

Sita's Ramayana for Children

Published: 2011
Theme: Graphic Novel- Ramayana
Best for: 9 and up

“War, in some ways, is merciful to men. It makes them heroes if they are the victors. If they are vanquished, they do not live to see their homes taken, their wives widowed. But if you are a woman, you must live through defeat…” No matter how you categorize this children’s book, it is a wonderful addition to the re-telling of the Ramayana, from Sita’s point of view.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Classics, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Waldorf-Aligned

Ming Lo Moves the Mountain

Illustrated Children's Book

Re-Published: 1993
Theme: Dealing with Obstacles
Best for: 5 to 8

“Ming Lo and his wife lived in a house at the bottom of a large mountain. They loved their house, but they did not love the mountain.” This story reads like a classic Chinese folktale. It’s filled with lovely Asian artwork, and it offers a simple life lesson…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Biography, Classics, Illustrated Books, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Smith of Wootton Major

Children's book- Smith of Wootton Major

Published: 1967
Theme: Faery
Best for: 7 – 10

“There was a village once, not very long ago for those with long memories, not very far away for those with long legs. Wootton Major it was called because it was larger than Wootton Minor…” A truly magical yet profound tale of the skeptic world and those who ‘do believe in fairies’…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Classics, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Roverandom

Children's Book - Roverandom

Published: 1998
Theme: Fantasy
Best for 8 and up

“Not every old man with ragged trousers is a bad old man: … a few, a very few, are wizards prowling round on a holiday looking for something to do. This one was a wizard, the one that now walked into the story.” Early on, Tolkien crafted several short novellas out of stories that he made up for his own children, and Roverandom is one of them.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Classics, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The Master Puppeteer

Children's Book - Master Puppeteer

Published: 1975
Theme: Loyalties
Best for: 6th grade

“Of all the stupid things he had ever done, this was the worst by any measure. He had completely humiliated his kind father in front of Yoshida – the man upon whom all their livelihood depended.” This compelling children’s book has so much going for it that the best advice is to read it. In fact, that’s what the sixth grade class does in our Waldorf school, and I hope parents read along.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Appeals to Boys, Classics, Historical Fiction, Waldorf-Aligned

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Children's Book - Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

Published: 1947
Theme: Childhood Behavior
Best for: 5 to 8

“Pretty soon down the stairs came a terrible old witch with a long black dress, a tall black hat and a big gnarly black cane. Mary Lou was very scared until she saw the sparkly eyes of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle under the black hat.” Everything about this children’s book reminds me of Mary Poppins, and a spoonful of sugar with the medicine…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Classics, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet

Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet- Children's Book

Published: 1954
Theme: Space Travel
Best for: boys 8 and up

“Wanted: A small space ship about eight feet long, built by a boy, or by two boys, between the ages of eight and eleven…An adventure and chance to do a good deed await the boys who build the best space ship.” In this delightful early science fiction children’s book, we are introduced to space travel, impossible in 1954, and of course, becoming quite possible only a decade later…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Appeals to Boys, Classics, Waldorf-Aligned

The Second Mrs. Giaconda

Historical Fiction Children's Book: The Second Mrs. Giaconda

Published: 1975
Theme: Historical Fiction
Best for: 12 to 14

“Why, people ask, why did Leonardo da Vinci choose to paint the portrait of the second wife of an unimportant Florentine merchant when dukes and duchesses all over Italy and the King of France as well, were all begging for a portrait by his hand? Why, they ask, why?” This is quite a lovely way to introduce older children to the world of Leonardo da Vinci, and his painting of the Mona Lisa, and history of the Renaissance.

Posted in Ages 12-14, Classics, Historical Fiction, Waldorf-Aligned

Julie of the Wolves

Children's Book: Julie of the Wolves

Published: 1972
Theme: Cultural Survival
Best for: 9 and up

“Miyax pushed back the hood of her sealskin parka and looked at the Arctic sun. It was a yellow disk in a lime-green sky; the colors of six o’clock in the evening and the time when the wolves awoke.” Part of the fifth grade Waldorf curriculum, this authentic story allows a glimpse into a world where people were one with wild nature.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Classics, Historical Fiction, Waldorf-Aligned

Tatsinda

Children's Book - Tatsinda

Published: 1963
Theme: Diversity is Good
Best for: 5 to 8

“All the other Tatrajanni …had glittering white hair like snow crystals, and the eyes of every one of them, without exception, were the color of light shining through ice: a cool greenish hue.” This book steps out of the mold of Enright’s other books. It is pure fantasy, with an imaginary land, animals, and people…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Classics, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

A String in the Harp

Children's Book: A String in the harp

Published: 1976
Theme: Myths and Magic
Best for: 9 and up

“Something was coming, Peter knew it, and he was pretty sure he was going to be involved in it. Against his skin the Key felt hot. There was no vibration as yet but… Peter was afraid and yet he couldn’t take it off.. he was drawn to it.” This is a challenging book to read, but it is worth putting the effort in, as it takes us into the myths and magic of the Welsh people, traveling back in time, and merging with the present…

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12, Classics, Waldorf-Aligned

Thimble Summer

Children's Book - Thimble Summer

Published: 1938
Theme: Growing Up
Best for: 8 to 11

“When she had reached the highway, her anger began to turn into a feeling of excitement. Eric’s stories of hitchhiking were still fresh in her mind. I’ll try it anyway, she thought, and stopped at the roadside.” This book is a great antidote to today’s cries of “I’m bored, there’s nothing to do.” We experience the olden days on a farm…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Classics, Waldorf-Aligned

The House of Sixty Fathers

Children's book - house of sixty fathers

Published: 1956
Theme: Survival, War
Best for: ages 9 and up

“The family pig, the three ducklings, and the little stone mill to grind the rice for the baby sister– these they have saved from the mud house of the family of Tien…Besides these they had saved absolutely nothing, except Beauty-of-the-Republic, Tien Pao’s baby sister.” It’s never easy to read a story about war, even if it’s packaged in a children’s book. Yet there’s no denying that it is important to help children understand just how difficult war can be.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Appeals to Boys, Classics, Historical Fiction

Twig

Twig - Children's book

Published: 1942
Theme: Imagination
Best for: 5 to 8

“Why not use what you already have: your own i-ma-gi-na-tion? It can do any kind of magic – anywhere-at any time. All you have to do is use it.” From the very opening, where the author kindly addresses the reader, I knew I was in the hands of a master writer…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Classics, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Magic or Not?

Children's Book - Magic or Not

Published: 1959
Theme: Magic of Goodness
Best for: ages 9 and up

“Just ’cause magic never happened to you, it doesn’t meant it isn’t lurking around still, waiting to turn up when you least expect it!” With an unusual turn from Eager’s other magic books, like Half Magic, this children’s book puts magic squarely in the realm of human activity…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Classics, Waldorf-Aligned

The Wheel on the School

Children's Book - Wheel on the School

Published: 1954
Theme: Wonder and Hope
Best for: 8 to 12

“We can’t think much when we don’t know much. But we can wonder!..For sometimes, when we wonder, we can make things begin to happen.” With a wise teacher at their helm, five young children in the Netherlands begin to wonder, and act. And through that, the town changes, all for the better.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Classics, Historical Fiction, Waldorf-Aligned

My Father’s Dragon – Three Tales

My Father's Dragon - Children's Book

Published: 1948, republished 1998
Theme: Imagination, Kindness
Best for: 5 to 8

“He’s got a long tail and yellow and blue stripes. His horn and eyes and the bottoms of his feet are bright red, and he has gold-colored wings.” This children’s book is all about imagination, with a capital I. Just trying to picture the vividly-colored dragon takes all of my imaginative skills! There’s nothing scary about this book…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Classics, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Farmer Giles of Ham

Farmer Giles - Children's book

Published: 1949
Theme: Dragons
Best for: ages 9 and up

“The next day the dragon moved to the neighboring village of Quercetum… He ate not only sheep and cows and one or two persons of tender age, but he ate the parson too. Rather rashly the parson had sought to dissuade him from his evil ways.” I was delighted to come across a 50th anniversary edition of this short and funny children’s book by Tolkien. It’s a terrific and funny dragon tale…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Classics, Waldorf-Aligned

No Fighting, No Biting

Children's Book - No Fighting No Biting

Published: 1958
Theme: Early Reader
Best for: 5 to 8

“If you can count,” said the big, hungry alligator, “maybe you will count my teeth. I have always wanted someone to count my teeth. I will open my mouth wide. Then you two can get in and count all my teeth. All the way to the back of my mouth.” In this easy reader, a young girl has the ideal way to deal with her two young cousins who are pinching, and fighting, and biting. Tell a tale about crocodiles…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Classics, First Chapter Book, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Little Bear’s Visit

Little Bear's Visit - Children's book

Published: 1961
Theme: Early Reader Book
Best for: 5 to 8

“One spring day, when Mother Bear was little, she found a baby robin in the garden. A baby robin, too little to fly. “Oh how sweet you are,” she said, “Where did you come from?” “From my nest,” said the robin…” When a child can pick up a children’s book and read it on their own, it’s as big as learning to ride a bike. The “I Can Read” series is perfect for new readers…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Classics, First Chapter Book, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Mother West Wind’s Children

Mother West Wind Children's Book

Published: 1911
Theme: Animal Myths
Best for: 3 to 5

“Danny Meadow Mouse sat in his doorway and looked down the Lone Little Path across the Green Meadows. Way, way over near the Smiling Pool he could see Old Mother West Wind’s Children, the Merry Little Breezes, at play.” Here’s a must-have children’s book for Waldorf parents of young children (3 to 5). Perfect short bed-time stories, this classic collection unfolds little stories about why the mouse has a short tale, or why the chipmunk has pockets in his cheeks…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Classics, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The Pushcart War

Pushcart War - Children's book

Published: 1964
Theme: Overcoming Bullies
Best for: 8 and up

The Pushcart War started on the afternoon of March 15, 1998, when a truck ran down a pushcart belonging to a flower peddler. Daffodils were scattered all over the street. The pushcart was flattened, and the owner of the pushcart was pitched headfirst into a pickle barrel. The theme of standing up to bullies comes in a NYC setting of pushcarts versus trucks, with humor all the way through.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Classics, Waldorf-Aligned

Time Cat

Time Cat - Children's book

Published: 1963
Theme: Historical Fantasy
Best for: 8 and up

“The only thing a cat worries about is what’s happening right now. As we tell the kittens, you can only wash one paw at a time.” This time-travel, historical fantasy stands out through the heart-felt and accurate portrayal of cats and their behavior, sharing traits that are often missed by non-cat lovers.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Classics, Historical Fiction

Old Ramon

Children's Book: Old Ramon

Published: 1960
Theme: Coming of Age
Best for: ages 8-11

” One sheep does not think. He does this and he does that and there is no sense to it. But the flock thinks. And what the flock thinks each and every one sheep in the flock knows at once and altogether. It is strange but it is so…” I was surprised and enchanted by this children’s book from start to finish. It is a quick read, compelling, informative, and even moving at the end…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Classics, Historical Fiction, Waldorf-Aligned

And Now Miguel

Children's book: And Now Miguel

Published: 1953
Theme: Coming of Age
Best for: Boys 11-12

“San Ysidro is the patron saint of our village of Los Cordovas…He keeps an eye out special for Los Cordovas…For as long as I can remember, there have been no complaints about how San Ysidro has handled things for our village.” Miguel is twelve years old, a middle child in a large family of shepherds who have lived on the New Mexico lands for hundreds of years. Somehow he has a way of muddling everything he tries to communicate…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Appeals to Boys, Classics, Historical Fiction, Waldorf-Aligned

The House In The Fairy Wood

Children's Book Little House

Published: 1918
Theme: Nature Spirits
Best for: 5 – 8

“Ivra was different. Because she was only half-fairy, any human could see her whether his eyes were shadowed or not, if he would only look hard enough…When a human did see her, he was likely not to believe in her. He would just think he was day-dreaming.” Here’s a children’s book that understands and loves the unseen folk: the fairies, the tree sprites, the good witches, and more. Ethel Cook Eliot was a master storyteller…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Classics, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

Children's Book Carry On Mr Bowditch

Published: 1955
Theme: Historical Fiction
Best for: ages 10 and up

“The troops from Andover appeared in there dashing red uniforms, every button shining, leather gleaming…The church bells chimed. Then a great shout went up. For there was President Washington – a tall, commanding man, riding horseback to enter the town.” Here’s a children’s book that is so informative, it’s a little hard not to compare it to a dull textbook that might teach the same subject. The subject matter is navigation, discoveries, and life at the time of the American Revolution.

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12, Appeals to Boys, Classics, Historical Fiction, Waldorf-Aligned

The Picts and The Martyrs

Children's Book Picts and Martyrs

Published: 1943
Theme: Self-Reliance
Best for: 9 to 12

“Dick was there, of course, but, with his mind on the new boat, or on birds, or on cutting up wood in a scientific way, he did not seem to realize that they were going to sleep in a hut in the wood with nobody in it but themselves, a hut with holes in its roof and no glass in its window.” Each of Ransome’s books carry the excitement of: children out on their own, creating wild adventures in nature, having close calls that are always resolved, and learning absolute self-sufficiency and resilience…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Classics, Waldorf-Aligned

The Twilight of Magic

Children's Book Twilight of Magic

Published: 1930
Theme: Magic of the Ordinary
Best for: 9 and up

“Night putting her arms around the sea. No helping wizard. Just the earth going to bed the same as it had done for a million years.. .Were no more wonders worked since sprites and fairies left the haunts of Man? Yet it was magic too, this…the sun sinking in the sea at dusk and rising on the land at dawn.” This children’s book is about belief in the unseen worlds, and learning to see the magic that is also possible in daily life. The characters in the book are fascinating, and unlike those we might meet in other books…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Classics, Historical Fiction, Waldorf-Aligned

Heidi

Heidi - children's book

Published: 1880
Theme: Healing Power of Nature
Best for: all ages

“Soon all the lively goats came leaping up the mountain, the nimble Distelfinck bounding ahead of the others. Heide was at once in the midst of the flock, which pushed her hither and thither with loud, stormy greetings.” It has been far too long since I re-read the classic children’s book, Heidi, and once I picked it up, it was impossible to put it down…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Classics, Inspiring for Girls, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned
Share this
Free Subscription to Book Reviews
Your email address will not be shared with anyone else. New book reviews are sent once a month.
Click Here to Subscribe

Click to view our newsletter archives.
Support Your Local Bookstores
Support your Local Bookstores
Advertisement
Social Media Sites
Follow Me on Pinterest
Literature for Kids