12 Vintage Children’s Books You Need On Your Bookshelf

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Hipsters have babies, and those little hipster babies need things to read too. But we know you’re not interested in having only the latest and most popular books ready for reading, so we did our research and found some of the best (and most retro-looking) children’s books around. Think watercolor illustrations, classic fairytales and cherub-like babies…

Most of these vintage books are favorites that you might even recognize from your own childhood. Some of them are so ancient that even your parents might not remember them. Whichever it is, kids today will still love them! And if they don’t, they’re certainly pretty to look at.

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winnie the pooh

winnie-the-pooh book

Little Miss Christmas And Santa Coloring Book

little miss christmas

12 Beloved Disney Classic Little Golden Books

disney classic golden books

Winnie-the-Pooh 

winnie the pooh

winnie-the-pooh

A gorgeous new collectible edition of the beloved classic, Winnie-the-Pooh, crafted as a replica of the first American edition from 1926. This elegant book features a textured case, gold foil stamping, and illustrated endpapers.

For over ninety years the utterly adorable Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends — Piglet, Owl, Tigger, and (very relatable) Eeyore — have graced the pages and screens of all our lives. This book, however, is the fancier version of one of those pages. Crafted as a replica of the first American edition from 1926, this hardcover features a textured case, gold foil stamping, and illustrated endpapers.

This is the kind of gift you give to your niece or nephew on their first birthday to be wrapped away nicely. Either that or you’re a Winnie fan, and you want to treat yo’ self with a vintage classic.

Little Miss Christmas and Santa Coloring Book 

Little Miss Christmas And Santa Coloring Book

little miss christmas and santa coloring book

Take a nostalgic trip to Christmases past with the Little Miss Christmas and Santa Coloring Book from Artimorean Art & Media. Featuring over 50 high-quality, remastered retro pages from the 1950s, the Little Miss Christmas and Santa Coloring Book is sure to be a hit with the entire family.

Featuring over 50 remastered pages from the 1950s, the Little Miss Christmas and Santa Coloring Book is the most hipster way to celebrate Christmas. Use to entertain over the holiday season, as a retro coffee table feature or take a page out of the book (literally) and use it as decoration. The illustrations are as vintage as it gets as the creators actually used stockpiles of old coloring books to find the images.

The artists out there will be please to know that every second page is blank so you won’t have to worry about any colors bleeding through.

12 Beloved Disney Classic Little Golden Books

12 Beloved Disney Classic Little Golden Books

disney classic little golden books

This collector's edition boxed set contains 12 classic Walt Disney Little Golden Books originally published in the 1950s and 1960s. 

Do you believe that classic Disney movies like Fantasia and Bambi are the best? Then this set is for you. It’s a collectors edition box set that contains 12 classic Walt Disney Little Golden Books that were originally published in the 1950s and 1960s, and its a must-have in any hipster household.

Get your kids started on Disney with the best of the classics like Cinderella, Dumbo, Peter Pan and Pinocchio.

Wonders of Nature

Wonders Of Nature

wonders of nature

It’s a rare nonfiction book that’s also a simple, beautiful poem. In this gorgeous Little Golden Book from 1957, Eloise Wilkin’s stunning and realistic artwork is accompanied by gentle text that brings an awe of nature to the youngest readers.

Wonder of Nature is actually the only non-fiction book on our list, but it’s still one of the most beautiful. You forget that you’re reading actual facts about nature thanks to the magical and whimsical illustrations.

It is from 1957 so you have to keep an open mind when it comes to the accuracy and depictions, but that’s part of the reason why we love it. It’s like a poem, artwork, children’s book and history lesson all rolled into one.

Stone Soup 

Stone Soup

stone soup

First published in 1947, this picture book classic has remained one of Marcia Brown's most popular and enduring books. This story, about three hungry soldiers who outwit the greedy inhabitants of a village into providing them with a feast, is based on an old French tale.

You’ll be forgiven if you’ve never read Stone Soup because we hadn’t either. It was published just after World War II, after all. But it’s a literary classic that holds the Caldecott Honor title, so how could we leave it off a list of vintage books?

First published in 1947, this picture book about three hungry soldiers who outwit the greedy inhabitants of a village into providing them with a feast is based on an old French tale. Ah, human nature – nothing changes!

The Three Little Pigs

The Three Little Pigs

three little pigs

The three little pigs have never looked so cute and the big bad wolf never looked so bad in this retelling of the classic fairy tale! Vintage Disney artwork from the 1940s makes this book an important addition to every Little Golden Book collector’s library.

The Three Little Pigs will always be a classic, and we know you love collecting the classics just as much as we do. Whether you want a taste of retro nostalgia or a lesson in the best house-building materials to avoid a wolf attack, this book is a must-have.

It has that quintessential old-timey Disney design from the 1940s, so it is guaranteed to fit right into your vintage shelf.

Nurse Nancy

Nurse Nancy

nurse nancy

Nancy loves to play Nurse, but her older brothers are always too busy with their big boy games to play with her. One day, when brother Billy falls and hurts himself, Nurse Nancy is at the ready! This lively, charming book from the 1950s is still fresh today.

If you didn’t play ‘doctor doctor’ as a kid, what were you doing?

Nurse Nancy is an absolute classic. Nancy loves to play nurse and one day, when her brother Billy falls and hurts himself, it’s her time to shine. It definitely plays into some stereotypes and wouldn’t be considered politically correct, but that’s often the case with genuinely vintage books.

The Golden Book of Fairy Tales

The Golden Book Of Fairy Tales

golden book of fairy tales

Originally published in 1958, this book contains a selection of 28 traditional stories from the French, German, Danish, Russian and Japanese traditions. Includes The Sleeping Beauty, The Frog Prince, Puss in Boots, Thumbelina, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Beauty and the Beast.

Parents be warned – these fairytales are not your typical Disney happily-ever-afters. Originally published in 1958, this beautifully illustrated reprint of a vintage book contains 28 traditional stories from around the world (including well-known classics like The Sleeping Beauty, The Frog Prince and Thumbelina).

The illustrations really are magical. You could get away without even reading the stories and just admire the pictures.

Arch Books Treasury: Vintage Collection

Arch Books Treasury

arch books treasury

Arch Books Treasury: Vintage Collection, 1964-1965 includes: The Good Samaritan; The Boy Who Ran Away; The Great Surprise; Eight Bags of Gold; The Rich Fool; Little Benjamin and the First Christmas; Jon and the Little Lost Lamb; The Story of Noah's Ark; The World God Made; The Little Boat That Almost Sank; The Boy with a Sling; and The Baby Born in a Stable.

Each book in this Arch Books collection presents a complete Bible story in a fun and memorable way. If you’re looking for a way to incorporate Christianity into your kid’s storytime without sacrificing your curated vintage aesthetic – this is a perfect choice.

What’s great about this collection is that even if you’re not religious, the beautiful illustrations and timeless stories still make it a worthwhile addition to your shelf.

Clifford the Big Red Dog

Clifford The Big Red Dog

clifford the big red dog

This is how it all began - in 1963, Norman Bridwell published his very first Clifford book, and kids have loved Clifford ever since. He's an adorable dog whose well-meaning bumbling have great kid appeal. Clifford is Emily Elizabeth's, and everyone's, favorite big red dog!

If you haven’t read Clifford the Big Red Dog, have you been living under a rock for almost 60 years? It all began in 1963 when Norman Bridwell published the very first Clifford book, and everyone’s been reading about the lovable and large dog ever since.

The colors are bright (largely due to beaming old Clifford himself) and retro looking, which means it will seamlessly fit into a vintage collection of books.

Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls 

Betty Crocker's Cook Book For Boys And Girls

betty crocker's cook book

Betty Crocker's classic cookbook for children is back-in an authentic reproduction of the original 1957 edition.

A Betty Crocker cookbook? Okay, Boomer! Just kidding – this is a classic and we could never leave it off a list of vintage books. Back by popular demand, publishers have reproduced this timeless favorite for a new generation of budding cooks.

The easy recipes, charming illustrations and photographs, and even the cover are all the same as they were in 1957. This is some authentic stuff! Gift it to a kid or keep it in your kitchen to add retro appeal.

Baby Listens

Baby Listens

baby listens

This timeless classic, featuring some of Eloise Wilkin's best artwork, will delight little ones and their families as much as it did when it was originally published in 1960.

Another perfectly retro addition to any book collection, Baby Listens is about as white-picket-fence as it gets. Whether you’ve got a baby or not, you’ll fall in love with Eloise Wilkin's chubby-cheeked babies discovering sounds.

It’s just too cute not to like, and too vintage not to add to your collection.

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