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The most beautiful books for children and young people

Children have a right to good books, but which books are good and who decides? In the end, of course, the children themselves - but the children of previous generations can help with the pre-selection, because they were the first to make the classics of children's literature classics.

- 23 reads.

The most beautiful books for children and young people

Children have a right to good books, but which books are good and who decides? In the end, of course, the children themselves - but the children of previous generations can help with the pre-selection, because they were the first to make the classics of children's literature classics.

We have compiled some of these classics here, sorted them into the categories of children's books and youth books and provided them with approximate age information for orientation. Roughly because, firstly, parents know best when which book is right for their child, and secondly, in the end it is the children who decide for themselves.

Pooh Bear by Alexander Alan Milne (6+)

One of the greatest children's books of all time. A.A. Milne's story of Christopher Robin and his (stuffed animal) friends in the Hundred Acre Wood couldn't spoil Disney either. Incidentally, the two volumes are a basic course in psychology. And because classics attract each other, both E.L. Shepard's illustrations and Harry Rowohlt's German translation are classics in their own right.

"Der Kater Mikesch" by Otfried Preussler and Josef Lada (from the age of six)

You can read everything by Otfried Preußler, starting with his "Der-die-das" trilogy "The Little Aquarius", "The Little Witch" and "The Little Ghost" (in that order). Everyone knows “Räuber Hotzenplotz” anyway, and we’ll come to “Krabat” later. At this point we recommend the "Kater Mikesch", which began as a translation of the Czech classic by Josef Lada and became something entirely of its own.

"The Moomins" by Tove Jansson (ages 6+)

The Finnish Swede Tove Jansson has created one of the most original, comforting and also strangest children's book worlds ever. With the third book about the Moomin trolls from Moomin Valley - "A funny company" - she became world famous. The series has nine books in total, in which one encounters such incomparable characters as the compulsive Hemul or the sizzling Hatifnatten.

"Little King Kalle Wirsch" by Tilde Michels (from six years)

One of the most beautiful stories from the Unterland, where Wirsche, Wolde, Gilche, Murke and Trumpe live - and as a game from the Augsburger Puppenkiste is now perhaps better known than the book from 1969. It's no less fun.

"Jim Button and Luke the Locomotive Driver" by Michael Ende (from the age of six)

The first ending ever, a book full of now-proverbial characters, from pseudogiants to half-dragons. And although the model railway is no longer a favorite toy (and Mrs. Malzahn, the evil kite teacher, is also not a scandal), the volume (the first of two) has not lost its appeal to this day.

"Matilda" by Roald Dahl (ages 8+)

Roald Dahl has written more than one classic children's book. "BFG" or "James and the Giant Peach" could also be on this list, and most might expect "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" at this point. We chose "Matilda" because Dahl tells the drama of the gifted child in an inimitable way.

"Emil and the Detectives" by Erich Kästner (from eight years)

One of the first and perhaps still the best detective stories for children out there. Also a classic of New Objectivity – and that doesn't just mean Walter Trier's cover illustration, one of the most famous in the world. Then you can continue reading Kästner, "Pünktchen und Anton" of course, but also "May 35th", or you can stay with the detectives and read Astrid Lindgren's "Kalle Blomqvist", the book she wrote after "Pippi Longstocking".

"Michel in the Soup Bowl" by Astrid Lindgren (from eight years)

Of course: the great Astrid Lindgren deserved a list all to herself. She was never more impetuous than in "Pippi Longstocking", never more homely than "Wir Kinder aus Bullerbü", never more tricky than in "Karlsson vom Dach". But she wrote the most beautifully in “Michel aus Lönneberga”. And actually you have to read the two following volumes: "Michel has to make more little men" and "Michel puts the world in order".

"We don't give a damn about the cucumber king" by Christine Nöstlinger (from eight years)

Perhaps the funniest attack on patriarchy ever. In the basement of the very Austrian Hogelmanns, the Cucumber King Kumi-Ori, who has already been driven out by his subjects, is nesting. Father Hogelmann is particularly susceptible to the Gurkinger's false promises. It's hard to believe, but the fabulous Christine Nöstlinger wrote this story back in the early 1970s.

"Little Nick" by René Goscinny (from eight years)

René Goscinny, who died early, was a universal writing genius. He gave comics Asterix, Lucky Luke and Isnogud, and children's literature little Nick. The editions of the rascal story (it used to be a genre in itself) are numerous, illustrated incomparably by Jean-Jacques Sempé.

"The Wizard of the Emerald City" by Alexander Volkov (from eight years)

In 1900 the American Lyman Frank Baum wrote The Wizard of Oz. A good 30 years later, the Russian Alexander Volkov took on the task of translating the classic. But it didn't stop with translation: Volkov made up stories, and so an East Oz called Zauberland was created in six parts. And somehow this magic land has always been the richer Oz.

"Wolves around the Castle" by Joan Aiken (ages 10 and up)

On lists like this, the great Joan Aiken is often forgotten, which is a terrible injustice. "Wolves around the Castle" made her famous in 1962, and the book has lost none of its tremendous atmosphere. England in a fantastic 19th century, a castle, a conspiracy, very wild wolves and a bitterly cold winter that you feel in your bones when you read it: what more could you want?

"Pinocchio" by Carlo Collodi (from ten years)

Alongside "Tom Sawyer" or Dickens' "Christmas Carol in Prose", one of the few children's books from the 19th century that is actually still read today. Worthwhile not only for its canonical main character, but also for its far lesser-known ensemble cast. Where else are figures called candle wicks?

"Robin Hood" by Rosemary Sutcliff (ages 11 and up)

Rosemary Sutcliff has been somewhat forgotten - wrongly so, because hardly anyone has written such beautiful historical young adult novels. Her 1950 Robin Hood is a perfect adventure novel written by a woman who has been confined to a wheelchair since a young age. Her “Witch Child” is also well worth reading.

"The Letter for the King" by Tonke Dragt (from eleven years)

The story of young Tiuri who, before being knighted, must carry a secret message to the distant kingdom of Unauwen. Tonke Dragt, born in Batavaia in 1930, wrote this fantastic adventure novel in 1962. To this day it is a book to get lost in. (PS: The sequel is called "The Wild Forest".)

"Krabat" by Otfried Preussler (from twelve years)

Otfried Preußler's most powerful and darkest book based on a Sorbian legend. The story of the miller's boy Krabat, who falls for a master from Germany, is at the same time Preußler's life story, which he wrested from "ten years of work". Thanks to her fabulous power, she is unforgettable.

"Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson (ages 12+)

Perhaps the adventure novel par excellence, in any case the ideal-typical pirate story. With lots of nautical terms that all sound like poetry, but above all, of course, with an unforgettably eerie atmosphere and full of characters (and names) that will accompany you for a lifetime: from the “Admiral Benbow” inn to Billy Bones, with whom it all begins , to the one-legged John Silver, one of the greatest villains of all time.

"The Brothers Lionheart" by Astrid Lindgren (from twelve years)

Stories for children can also be sad. However, not everyone can write good sad stories. Astrid Lindgren could. With "The Brothers Lionheart" she has probably even written the best sad book for children ever. Both brothers, Karl and Jonathan, die. But: This book gives existential comfort.

The King of Camelot by T.H. White (13+)

Terence Hanbury White left the wildest, most desolate, and in many ways most wondrous tale of the Arthurian saga. Two of many highlights: the uncatchable adventurer animal and a Merlin who goes through time the wrong way round. Big fabric. big book. Great suggestion.

"Down by the River" by Richard Adams (13+)

The best children's and young adult books are incomparable. You just can't think of any other book that is quite like it. Richard Adams' Tale of the Exodus of the Rabbits is a book like no other. Hero Fiver has second sight, the rabbits even have a religion whose prophet is the first rabbit El-ahrairah. On the other hand: Nothing comes from nowhere. If you liked this book, you can also try Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows.

"When Hitler Stole the Pink Rabbit" by Judith Kerr (13+)

Judith Kerr, daughter of the famous critic Alfred Kerr, was forced into exile as a child. When Hitler Stole the Pink Rabbit is the novel-like autobiography of her childhood on the run, which actually consists of three volumes. A central document of the exile experience. A book that, once read, will always be close to your heart.

"Earth Sea" by Ursula K. Le Guin (14+)

The "Earthsea" saga began as a young adult book and ended with the reinvention of high fantasy. She is magical and feminist, with her fantasy stopped being white and male. Of course you can still read Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings". It's best to read both.

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