Introducing Children
to Classic Literature

by Cam, Nightfall Mysteries Company

Cam lives in Spain with her three children, all of whom love to read books! Alongside teaching English literature and writing a Dickensian-themed thesis, Cam runs a booklovers blog, Nightfall Mysteries Company.

As an advocate of Sweet Cherry’s Easy Classics series, we invited Cam to our blog to discuss why more children should read the classics.

Sweet Cherry has launched a series of Easy Classics for children that will keep little readers entertained!

I have been wondering whether to approach the issue of whether the classics are suitable for young children from my role of a parent or educator first. It is quite difficult to fully respond as one or the other exclusively, but here we go!

As a teacher, the classics are always a great idea for kids, and even infants, for many reasons. The main one being that they familiarise kids with literary tropes and recurring elements that they will revisit across multiple genres. For example, any adventure classic will display a lone protagonist, who might have a close friend that joins them. The idea of a faraway trip can also be expected!

Reading the classics also helps to increase children’s comprehension skills. The more they read, the better their knowledge acquisition skills develop. A recent study explains that 10-year-olds who read more than once a week later had higher test results and academic achievements.

Classics are a fabulous choice to learn history, culture and expand vocabulary. All while having fun and escaping in a good story! Another excellent example is Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. How many adaptations of this story are there?! Even the Grinch was inspired by Scrooge, while trope of the three ghosts is used in many cautionary tales, designed to teach children the value of their actions. Sweet Cherry’s easy-to-read edition of A Christmas Carol is adapted by Philip Gooden and illustrated by Pipi Sposito.

So, can we agree that classics are great for kids? We certainly can!

I’m a mom of three young readers with very different ages and tastes, and a bookworm myself. Book are a part of our daily routines. My youngest two love having bedtime stories read to them at least three times a week, and one or two short stories during the day. While one enjoys long and descriptive stories, the other wants to see plenty of illustrations and funny voices. Both of them enjoy nursery rhymes and one has been listening to the free audiobook, via the QR code inside Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey – she adores it! She could even cross-reference Austen’s balls to modern Disney movies (“like Beauty and the Beast mummy”.

The abridged short stories in The Sherlock Holmes Children’s Collection, originally written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and adapted by Stephanie Baudet, still capture the magic of the world’s most famous amateur detective. When Sherlock Holmes investigates a missing racehorse in Silver Blaze, it is amazing how the story retains his witty awkwardness and logical deductive powers. As a bonus, the free audiobook (narrated by Richard Usher) is also such a delight to listen to!

My top tips for introducing children to the classics are:

  1. Read with your children as much as possible. If you’re short of time, play audiobooks so they can follow along while listening.
  2. Encourage children to browse and choose books themselves.
  3. Start conversations to develop their reasoning and critical thinking.
Discover Sweet Cherry Easy Classics