35 Vintage Children’s Books Your Modern Kids Will Love

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35 Vintage Children's Books Your Modern Children Will Love

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. 

Related: Our Favorite Children’s Books from Toddlers to Teens


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

1970s35 Vintage Children's Books Your Modern Children Will Love - 1970s

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

1960s35 Vintage Children's Books Your Modern Children Will Love - 1960s

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

1950s35 Vintage Children's Books Your Modern Children Will Love - 1950s

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

Pre-195035 Vintage Children's Books Your Modern Children Will Love - Pre-1950

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!

35 Vintage Children's Books to Share with Your Children

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  1. We have lots of these on our shelves, but are still working on our collection! Problem is, our books get abused. I’ve had to re-buy many titles that were “loved” a little too much. But I guess that’s a good thing, right?

    1. We have the same problem. My oldest was always really good with books so there were a lot to pass down, even a few from my childhood collection. My youngest is hard on books so many of those same ones are pretty beat up now, some held together with tape. Some have had to be thrown away and replaced as well.

  2. This is a great list! 🙂 Mercer Mayer, Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle are all big hits in our house, and of course The Little Engine That Could! 🙂 I’m lucky that my mom kept a lot of my childhood books and now I read them to my kids 🙂

    1. I’m sad that only a couple from my childhood survived multiple moves, but I’ve replaced them and plan on keeping them for my kids to hand down.

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