The genre of childrens fantasy is a long and fabulous one. We have been treated to many many wonderful childrens books that run the absolute gamut of fantasy with magic, wizards, strange lands, dragons and everything the imagination can possibly create. . And although many of these books are for children to read they are often wonderful stories for adults to read too. A good example of this would be The Hobbit.
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien - This is a wonderful introductory work to the genre of childrens fantasy books. And it is also an engrossing novel for adults to read - with the added bonus of being able to move on to the Lord of the Rings books when done.
A Little About the History of the Genre of Childrens Fantasy books
Five Children and It (Puffin Classics - the Essential Collection) The genre of Child Fantasy is generally credited with being created by Edith Nesbit who wrote about forty books for children in the late 19th early 20th Century. She also collaborated on twenty more. Some of hier works have been adapted into movies and Television shows and some of her more popular works include Five Children and It where five children meet a sand fairy who is compelled to grant them one wish every day.
Some of her other Childrens Fantasy books include:
- The Story of the Treasure Seekers (1898)
- The Wouldbegoods (1899)
- The Phoenix and the Carpet (1904)
- The New Treasure Seekers (1904)
- The Story of the Amulet (1905)
- Edith Nesbit Books at Amazon.com
Many of her books are now in the public domain which means they can be had free. I have Five Children and It as a free download or as a free read in your web browser novel
- Download zip file of the novel in .txt format
- Read the novel right now in your web browser (Nothing to download)
A Boy Wizard in Children's Fantasy
Ursula K. LeGuin Write a series of books entitled "The Earthsea Trilogy" about a boy with special powers who goes off to wizard school. This sounds very much like the theme of Harry Potter but these books are very different. They take place in another time and land called Earthsea and they are a spectaculary beautiful series of award winning books. If your child likes Harry Potter he or she will surely like these books. They were written in the 60's but are still fresh and wonderful. The First book in the series: A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1)
A Wrinkle in Time - A wonderful book that is a mix of fantasy, science fiction, about three children who must rescue their father. This is an award winning childrens book. I have read it over and over during the course of my lifetime.
Where the Wild Things Are is one of those truly rare books that can be enjoyed equally by a child and a grown-up. If you disagree, then it's been too long since you've attended a wild rumpus. Max dons his wolf suit in pursuit of some mischief and gets sent to bed without supper. Fortuitously, a forest grows in his room, allowing his wild rampage to continue unimpaired. Sendak's color illustrations (perhaps his finest) are beautiful, and each turn of the page brings the discovery of a new wonder.
The wild things--with their mismatched parts and giant eyes--manage somehow to be scary-looking without ever really being scary; at times they're downright hilarious. Sendak's defiantly run-on sentences--one of his trademarks--lend the perfect touch of stream of consciousness to the tale, which floats between the land of dreams and a child's imagination.
Dragon Books for Children
Dragonsong By Anne McCaffrey The First book in the Harper Hall Trilogy of books. McCaffrey is also the author of the very famous DragonRiders of Pern Series which is aimed at an older audience.
Another Very Popular series of Childrens Fantasy Books is the Redwall Series by Brian Jacques
Redwall (Redwall, Book 1) This is the first book in the series and there are many books! Anthropomorphism is the key here. All of the various characters are animals that inhabit Redwall Abbey or its environs. The first book shown here has a mouse for a hero. Simply wonderful and charming.
If you are looking for something quite different and unique you might want to consider this masterpiece of fantasy. It is one of the best works ever written and it stands alone. There is no series or further books. The Last Unicorn: (40th Anniversary Edition)
Crisp and New - More Contemporary
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-3) - Humans and half-bloods alike agree--Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a series fit for heroes! Re-live the adventure from the beginning with this boxed set of the first three books.
The Dark Is Rising (The Dark Is Rising Sequence) - With these mysterious words, Will Stanton discovers on his 11th birthday that he is no mere boy. He is the Sign-Seeker, last of the immortal Old Ones, destined to battle the powers of evil that trouble the land. His task is monumental: he must find and guard the six great Signs of the Light, which, when joined, will create a force strong enough to match and perhaps overcome that of the Dark. Embarking on this endeavor is dangerous as well as deeply rewarding; Will must work within a continuum of time and space much broader than he ever imagined.
Of Course there is the Harry Potter phenomenon. You are no doubt familiar with Harry and there is too much material for me to list but there is a whole store devoted to Harry Potter at Amazon.com
The Harry Potter Store
There are two prestigious medals award to children's books each year. They are the Newbery Medal and the Caldecott Medal.
The Newbery Medal: The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children
Newbery Award Winners on Amazon.com
Newbery Award Winning Fantasy Books:
The Caldecott Medal: . The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. Caldecott Medal Winners on Amazon.com
Caldecott Award Winners:
More Books by Contemporary authors and small press works