C.S. Lewis once remarked, “I am almost inclined to set it up as a canon that a children’s story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children’s story. The good ones last. A waltz which you can like only when you are waltzing is a bad waltz.”
Reading the great fairy tales and classic stories to our children remains a great responsibility for all parents.
But, beyond those indispensible tales we all know of – the works of Hans Christian Andersen, the collections of Andrew Lang, the fables of Aesop, and the like – what should we read to our little ones? More specifically, what are the great bedtime stories – that is, stories which can be read in one sitting (often again and again) – we should share with our children?
Here is my undefended list of 11 “must read” bedtime stories.
- St. George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges
- The Kitchen Knight by Margaret Hodges
- King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood
- Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
- The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame
- The Dark by Lemony Snicket
- Wise Words by Peter Leithart
- The Complete Adventures of Curious George by H.A. Rey
- The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
- Ox Cart Man by Donald Hall and Barbara Cooney
- Mike Mulligan & His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
Which stories are on your list?