Classic Literature Suggestions for 5 and 6 Year Old Kids
If you are ready to introduce a young child to classic literature, you will easily find lists of good classics for kids. What you usually won't find is a list of classic books broken down by age. A classic book that's great for a 6 or 7 year old may not interest a 5 year. So, choosing books based on these lists can be a bit hit and miss. I introduced my daughter to books that were of no interest to her, so I had to give them up and try a different book.
The following is a list of books that were great for my daughter at age 5 and 6. She recently turned 7, so my list will only cover ages 5 and 6. Hopefully these books will also be perfect for your 5 or 6 year old.
Classic Books for 5 Year Olds
Wind in the Willows (Abridged Version) - You can try reading the original but it may be too difficult for most 5 year olds. There are a few different abridged versions of this book. I read the one by G.C. Barrett and it kept my child's attention. The Wind in the Willows follows the adventures of Mole, Water Rat, Badger, and Toad of Toad Hall. Toad and Rat sail the river and get lost in the Wild Wood, where they meet Badger. Toad gets arrested and has to escape from prison. While he is in jail weasels take over Toad Hall. The friends have to drive out the weasels.
Charlotte's Web - Kids love talking animals, so this is another fun classic. This is the story of a spider who comes up with a plan to save a pig from being slaughtered.
The Adventures of Pinocchio (Original) - Kids will love the adventures of this mischievous puppet who tries so hard to be good but always ends up doing the wrong thing and suffering the consequences. If you have an ereader or a tablet like the iPad, this is available at gutenberg.org.
Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner - These are two of the original Winnie the Pooh books. The various stories are beautifully told and very funny. They should be a hit with most kids.
The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter - Children will enjoy the colorful and fun tales about Benjamin Bunny, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Tom Kitten and Miss Moppet. These books are also available at gutenberg.org.
Class Books for Kids
Classic Books for 6 year Olds
The Secret Garden (Original or Abridged) - Many people might think of this as a girl's book but two of the 3 main characters are boys. Both boys and girls should be intrigued by the three children as they sneak into the forbidden garden to bring it to life. If you decide to read the original you may have to cut out some parts that would be boring to a lot of children but these are just a small part of the book.
Little House on the Prairie (Original) - The story of Laura Ingalls and her family travelling to Kansas in a covered wagon should be fascinating to most children in this age group. My 6 year old loved this book so much, she read it by herself in a few days.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - Some parts of this book will be difficult for this age group but kids will be fascinated by the story. Mrs. Frisby is a mouse with a seriously sick son who will die if he is moved from their winter to summer home. She must get the help of a group of highly intelligent rats who escaped from a science lab. They must move her home before the plough destroys it and kills her son. This is a thrilling story that both boys and girls will love.
Anne of Green Gables (Abridged) - The original may be too difficult for many children, so try to find an abridged version. I bought the version by . The original is available for free at gutenberg.org, so you can try to see if your child likes it. This story follows the comical adventures of orphan Anne Shirley when she goes to live with an elderly brother and sister. Dalmation Press