World Book Day: Revisit your childhood with these children's classics

  • Harvinder Kaur, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Apr 23, 2015 16:03 IST

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” - Groucho Marx

In this era of technology, mobile phones and social networking has taken over our personal lives. Reading books has becomes passé. But, books have always been man's best friend. Not only do they provide an escape route from the real world, they also help in getting acquainted with the society we live in.

Whether its school or bed time stories, no childhood has ever been complete without 'fictional' stories. At times our parents would read us books while at others they would conjure up a tale to put us to sleep.

On World Book Day, we bring you 12 children's novels that are bound to make you nostalgic:

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Despite there being a movie made on it now, Narnia always seems more magical in the book. This fantastic novel by CS Lewis takes you on a journey filled with mythical creatures, magical wardrobes and talking animals.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum is one of the highest selling books around the globe. The book not only takes the reader on a wonderful journey filled with interesting twists, it also delivers moral lessons along the way. It emphasises on the popular saying 'home is where the heart is'.

Harry Potter series

Classifying J K Rowling's Harry Potter series under the 'children' section would be unfair, as it is enjoyed equally by all age groups. Hogwarts, the school of witchcraft and wizardry is something that all us muggles would have wished for at least once in our lifetime. Rowling made us all want to fly on brooms and play quidditch, cast spells and brew potions. The novels were later adapted into eight fantasy films.

Swami and Friends

Written by R K Narayan, Swami And Friends was published in 1935. It talks of the adventures of Swami and his gang of friends in and out of school. The book vividly portrays the mind of a 10-year-old waiting to be an adult in a grown up world, yet lost in a myriad of emotions.

The Jungle Book

Written by Rudyard Kipling, the Jungle book is the collection of short stories whose chief protagonist is Mowgli. Mowgli is raised by wolves and his friends are bear Baloo and panther Bagheera. He learns the tricks and trades of the jungle. The book was first published as a short story in a magazine and another book was published in 1985.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

It's been 150 years since Lewis Caroll wrote this masterpiece. It is still as popular as it was then. The story revolves around Alice, falling into a rabbit hole and landing in a wonderland. It then takes us on an episode with various absurd plots and characters. If this piece has in any way tickled your reading-bone, do go to your trunk or attic and take out the book you enjoyed most as a child. You will definitely enjoy it as much as you did then.

Gulliver Travels

This book is a story about Gulliver arriving in a land of small people called 'Lilliputians' and how he helps them overcome their arch rivals 'Blefuscudians'. Written by Jonathan Swift and first published in 1976, this classic takes you on a fantastical journey. Literally!

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was published in the year 1948. Not only does it imbibe the spirit of Christmas among kids, it also teaches them values like loving your close ones.

Stories of Vikram Betal

Originally published in Sanskrit as Baital Pachisi, this is a collection of 24 folk tales and legends. Vikram Betal stories have also been adapted into a TV series.

The Adventures of Tin Tin

The Adventure of Tin Tin is a series of comics by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi. It is one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century. Tin Tin has been published in over 70 languages and has sold more than 200 million copies till date.


These collections of short stories are one of the most translated work in Indian literature. The term Panchatantra roughly translates to "The wise conduct to life". These are believed to have been written by Vishnu Sharma, an Indian scholar.

Chacha Chaudhary

Chacha Chaudhary is a popular Indian comic book character created by cartoonist Pran. The series first appeared in a Hindi magazine called Lot Pot in 1971 and gained popularity both among kids and elders. Chacha Chaudhary uses his wits to solve crimes. He is accompanied by the strong and heavily built Sabu.


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