We love vintage toys in our home; we collect vintage Little People, board games, and other toys from our childhood for our kids to play with and they love them just as much as we do. We don’t stop at toys, though. We also love vintage children’s books.
Like so many others, the books from my childhood are like a time capsule. I’m not sure if it’s simple nostalgia or if books really were more memorable back then, but the books I loved as a child always bring me right back to a moment in time and still make me smile. Now that I am a parent I have shared my childhood favorites with my kids and many of them are their favorites as well.
While most of my favorite books are older than me, the vintage children’s books from the 1970s and earlier are truly special. All of the books on this list are geared toward the 3-6 crowd, but they are great for kids of all ages.
Not that I think of the 80s as vintage, but it was over 30 years ago (!!). Yikes!
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch – 1980
Moo, Baa, La La La! – Sandra Boynton – 1982
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff – 1985
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak – 1970
The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone – 1971
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst – 1972
Big Dog, Little Dog by P.D. Eastman – 1973
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein – 1974
Just for You by Mercer Mayer – 1975
The Missing Piece – Shel Silverstein – 1976
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss – 1960
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman – 1960
Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman – 1961
Ten Apples Up on Top by Theo LeSieg (Dr. Seuss) – 1961
The Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss – 1962
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats – 1962
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak – 1963
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein – 1964
What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry – 1967
There’s a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer – 1968
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle – 1969
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White – 1952
The Little Red Hen (multiple versions) – 1954
Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss – 1954
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson – 1955
The Red Balloon by Albert Lamorisse – 1956
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion – 1956
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams – 1922
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper – 1930
The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff – 1931
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina – 1938
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans – 1939
Curious George by H.A. Rey – 1941
The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey – 1942
Corduroy by Don Freeman – 1948
If you have a favorite vintage children’s book that I missed, I would love to hear about it so we can check it out!