Popular Childhood Reading from the 1930s – 1970s

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

A discussion arose on Facebook about books that sparked our childhood reading. What fun, and I found I’d read most of them too. The nostalgia of favorite books that not only kept me turning pages but also encouraged me to write caused me to research favorite childhood books beginning with my mother’s era in the 1930s.

I realized the books that were popular to me were the ones I read to my sons and grandchildren. Many were made into movies and animation—and I love those too.

The following are seven favorite childhood books from each decade.

The 1930s

The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Story of Babar the Little Elephant by Jean de Brunhoff

Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers

National Velvet by Enid Bagnold

The Story of Ferdinand by Munroe Leaf

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The 1940s

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

Curious George by H. A. Rey

The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey

Prayer for a Child by Rachel Field

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The 1950s

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond

The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

The 1960s

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

The Giving Tree by Phil Silverstein

Corduroy by Don Freeman

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

The 1970s

The Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers

Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

This website provides so much more information: https://www.biblio.com

What do you remember as a popular childhood story?