The best children’s books that adults will love as well as children

Coralie Bickford-Smith Author Of The Fox and the Star
By Coralie Bickford-Smith

Who am I?

I am an author, illustrator, and book designer. I never lost my childhood wonder at the printed page. When I write my own books, I create stories for both adults and children with deep meaning weaved into seemingly naive text and images. I enjoy creating worlds in which stories are told for children's and adults' imaginations to coexist. I think being dyslexic led me to enjoy aspects of visual storytelling so much. I have worked in publishing for many years and I am well known for my work on the Penguin clothbound classics where I use my visual illustration style to entice readers new and old to read classic stories and escape into new worlds.


I wrote...

The Fox and the Star

By Coralie Bickford-Smith,

Book cover of The Fox and the Star

What is my book about?

The Fox and the Star is the story of a friendship between a lonely Fox and the Star who guides him through the frightfully dark forest. Illuminated by Star’s rays, Fox forages for food, runs with the rabbits, and dances in the rain—until Star suddenly goes out and life changes, leaving Fox huddling for warmth in the unfamiliar dark. To find his missing Star, Fox must embark on a wondrous journey beyond the world he knows—a journey lit by courage, newfound friends, and just maybe, a star-filled new sky.

Inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement and the art of William Blake, 
The Fox and the Star is a heartwarming, hopeful tale that comes alive through Bickford-Smith’s beloved illustrations, guiding readers both young and grown to “look up beyond your ears.”

The books I picked & why

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The Little Prince

By Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Richard Howard (translator),

Book cover of The Little Prince

Why this book?

The Little Prince has many beautiful pieces of wisdom to tell. It was given to me when I was at a crossroads in life, and it pushed me forward to follow my dreams. As a young adult it reminded me to draw as I saw the world not as I thought others did, which lead me to become an illustrator who draws things my own way. Then as I grew older it inspired me to create my own book. And even more recently, when I got to design a cover for a new edition, it made me realize the importance of my connections to the people around me. I know that I will find new wisdom in its pages as I grow.

The Little Prince

By Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Richard Howard (translator),

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Little Prince as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Few stories are as widely read and as universally cherished by children and adults alike as 'The Little Prince'. Richard Howard's new translation of the beloved classic-published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's birth-beautifully reflects Saint-Exupery's unique and gifted style. Howard, an acclaimed poet and one of the preeminent translators of our time, has excelled in bringing the English text as close as possible to the French, in language, style, and most important, spirit. The artwork in this new edition has been restored to match in detail and in colour Saint-Exupery's original artwork. By combining the new…


Moominland Midwinter

By Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton (translator),

Book cover of Moominland Midwinter

Why this book?

I loved Moominland Midwinter as a child – admittedly back then I focused on the illustrations more than the text, I loved the friendly appearance of Moomin with his big round eyes and the intricate line drawings of the forest. I revisited the story a few years ago and found solace in its words and finally appreciated the combined beauty of the text and images. I love how the squirrel who freezes in the winter, initially a sad thing, is reframed as a not-so-sad event. Tove Jansson was a master at speaking to children and adults. She poured so much love into her stories. It makes me happy to be able to inhabit her imagination and go on adventures with her characters.

Moominland Midwinter

By Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moominland Midwinter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Special collectors' hardback editions lovingly restored to original designs

'I love these editions-so beautifully produced, so solid and permanent, just as Tove Jansson deserved.' Philip Pullman

A beautiful collectors' edition of this classic Moomin story, using original 50s and 60s cover artwork, a fold out map and gorgeous endpapers.

Moomins always sleep through the winter while the snow settles all around them, waking up in time for spring and the arrival of Snufkin and other friends. Or they did until one year when Moomintroll happened to wake up and find himself all alone in a sleepy, dusty house in a…


The Wanderer

By Peter Van den Ende,

Book cover of The Wanderer

Why this book?

This book has recently been published, so I have only known it as an adult. When I opened its pages, I got lost in the complexity of the illustrations, there was much minute detail in the images. I was mesmerized. I just know I would have adored this book as a child. There are no words, just pictures to take you on an adventure. I find this an absolute treasure of a book that inspires me to make my own story to fill in the narrative. I imagine looking at this book with a child and the fun of piecing the story together using our combined imaginations. 

The Wanderer

By Peter Van den Ende,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Wanderer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Wonderfully strange and strangely wonderful, Peter Van Den Ende's Wanderer is an epic dream captured in superbly meticulous detail."-Shaun Tan

As with Shaun Tan's The Arrival, it gives us collective goosebumps to introduce the singular talent and imagination of Peter Van Den Ende to North America. Without a word, and with Escher-like precision, van den Ende presents one little paper boat's journey across the ocean, past reefs and between icebergs, through schools of fish, swaying water plants, and terrifying sea monsters. The little boat is all alone, and while its aloneness gives it the chance to wonder at the fairy-tale…


The Velveteen Rabbit

By Margery Williams, Charles Santore (illustrator),

Book cover of The Velveteen Rabbit

Why this book?

Everything in my world has an inner life, especially soft toys; I project my imaginings of their own experience of the world around onto them. When I found this book, I realized I was not alone in this. Not only does this story appeal to my childlike imagination, which never left me, but also as an adult it makes me realize my aging, my battle scars, my wrinkles are what make me who I am and that I can be loved for being me. This is a book with a story that I will never forget. Heartbreakingly beautiful.

The Velveteen Rabbit

By Margery Williams, Charles Santore (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Velveteen Rabbit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The beloved story of the Velveteen Rabbit, the toy rabbit made real by the love of a boy, is now available in a beautiful Little Apple Classic book.

Originally published in 1922, the classic story of a toy rabbit who loves a boy so much he eventually becomes real, has charmed children-and adults-for nearly a century. Author Margery Williams wrote this treasured classic that has warmed many hearts for decades. This story is among the top 100 books for children recommended by the National Education Association, chosen in a 2007 online poll, and also won the IRA/CBC Children's Choice award.…


The Wolf’s Secret

By Myriam Dahman, Nicolas Digard, Julia Sardà (illustrator)

Book cover of The Wolf’s Secret

Why this book?

As soon as I opened this book, I could see the inspiration from all the things that I personally love had been weaved into this beautiful visual story. I enjoy how illuminated manuscripts and ancient books inspire the pages with tiny detail. This book adds to its rich storytelling by playing with these elements. So beautifully designed and such wonderful integration of text and image. A stunning tale for young and old, with a message that makes my heart happy.

The Wolf’s Secret

By Myriam Dahman, Nicolas Digard, Julia Sardà (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Wolf’s Secret as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Wolf is a hunter, feared by every creature. But he has a secret: in the middle of the forest lives a girl whose beautiful voice has entranced him . . .

The Wolf longs for friendship. But is he prepared to sacrifice his own true nature in order for his wish to come true?

A beautiful and lyrical contemporary fairy tale about difference, trust and the power of friendship to overcome any obstacle.

This sumptuous hardback gift book, with gold foil detail, is perfect for lovers of fairy tales and fables, new and old. It is gloriously illustrated by acclaimed…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in fairy tales, winter, and perseverance?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about fairy tales, winter, and perseverance.

Fairy Tales Explore 221 books about fairy tales
Winter Explore 18 books about winter
Perseverance Explore 10 books about perseverance

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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