10 Classic Children's Story Books for English Learners

Learning Jul 08, 2021


We all started out either having books read to us or having a book put in our hands and reading it ourselves. Reading has been around forever and it has never stopped being enjoyable and educational.

Children seem to love to do everything and reading is no exception.

Children’s books are fun but also memorable, usually due to their colorful images and interesting stories.

We’ve made a list of the 10 Best Story Books for Children to Learn English and have also included links so you can listen to these books as well as read them!

1: The Cat In the Hat - Dr Seuss (1953) 

Ages: 3-7 years

We all remember reading The Cat in the Hat when we were young and we’ve never forgotten anything about it. The story is about a tall cat with somewhat human features that wears a really tall hat, who visits two children, Sally and Sam, while their mother is at work. He plays tricks with the kids and they have a lot of fun. The English in this book is very simple and easy to understand and the pictures are adorable due to the tall cat in his tall hat.

“I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.”


Listen to The Cat in the Hat here:

2: Goodnight Moon - Margaret Wise Brown (1947)

Ages: 2-5 years

This book is a classic bedtime story for children. It has some wonderful pictures and a cute story about a rabbit’s routine before he goes to bed. Every night before bedtime, the rabbit goes around his room and says goodnight to every item in his sight. Goodnight Moon also teaches colors and rhymes, as well as reading comprehension.

“Goodnight room, Goodnight moon.”


Listen to Goodnight Moon here:


3: The Tale of Peter Rabbit - Beatrix Potter (1983)

Ages: 2-6 years

The Tale of Peter Rabbit is about a young rabbit named Peter who is quite mischievous. He gets into the garden of Mr McGregor and is chased. After being warned by his mother not to go into the garden, Peter goes anyway and ends up being terrified and losing his shoes. He ends the day being tucked into bed by his mother and she gives him chamomile tea. This book has wonderfully drawn pictures and new vocabulary.

“Believe there is a great power silently working all things for good, behave yourself and never mind the rest.”


Listen to The Tale of Peter Rabbit here:


4: The Day it Rained Hearts - Felicia Bond (1983)

Ages: 4 -8 years


One day it rains hearts and Cornelia Augusta decides to catch them. She knows that there is so much love in each of the hearts so she knows she needs to give them to her animal friends. It’s a very sweet story that encourages thoughtfulness and creativity. Simple English learning for kids.

“I know just the right person for this one”, she thought.”


Listen to The Day it Rained Hearts here:


5: Charlotte’s Web - E.B White (1952)

Ages: 8 years and older

Charlotte’s Web is a cute story about a pig, a little girl and a spider. A little girl, Fern, sells her pig, Wilbur, to her uncle and unfortunately, he plans to kill the pig. Charlotte, the spider, decides that this cannot happen and vows to save him. The English in this book is much different to the previous books mentioned above and therefore, needs an older audience.

“People believe almost anything they see in print.”


Listen to Charlotte’s Web here:


6: Number the Stars - Lois Lowry (1989)

Ages: 9 years and older

This story is a bit more serious than the others on the list. Number the Stars is a work of historical fiction by the American author Lois Lowry about the escape of a Jewish family, the Rosens, from Copenhagen, Denmark, during World War II. It’s still an excellent story with new words and grammar structures.

“She fell asleep, and it was a sleep as thin as the night clouds, dotted with dreams that came and went like the stars.”


Listen to Number the Stars here:


7: The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank (1947)

Ages: 12 -15 years

This book is about a young girl named Anne Frank. Her and her family had to go into hiding during World War II. Anne kept a diary during this time and wrote about what was happening in her life. The diary ended suddenly on 1 August 1944. People interested in history will definitely enjoy this book. The English is set for older learners.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”


Listen to The Diary of a Young Girl here:


8: To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (1960)

Ages: 13 years and older

This book is an absolute classic. Most of us had to read it in school and thoroughly enjoyed it. This story is about innocence destroyed by evil. It may not seem like a children’s book but it has morals and teaches you to stand up for what you believe in. As the age states, to read this book you should be 13 years or older. The English in this book is suitable for those ages.

“The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.”


Listen to To Kill a Mockingbird here:


9: The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway (1952)

Ages: 15 years and older

There have been many different things said about this book. Ernest Hemingway is a legend and his books are fantastic. Why not learn English from one of his books? The Old Man and the Sea is the story of an epic struggle between an old, seasoned fisherman and the greatest catch of his life. For eighty-four days, Santiago, an aged Cuban fisherman, has set out to sea and returned empty-handed. English level is more difficult in this book.

“But man is not made for defeat," he said.


Listen to The Old Man and the Sea here:


10: The Giver - Lois Lowry (1993)

Ages: 16 years and older

Another book that is insightful and meaningful. The Giver is an interesting story about a young boy named Jonas who lives in a society free of crime and sadness. At the age of 12, children are assigned their jobs, which they will train for and do for the rest of their lives.This book is excellent for learning English at an older age as it has new vocabulary and will keep learners interested.

“I feel sorry for anyone who is in a place where he feels strange and stupid.”


Listen to The Giver here:


Happy reading!

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