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20 best short stories for kids

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Best short stories for children

In this list, you’ll find not only single short stories for kids, but also short story collections.

Digital natives sufferring from the shortening attention span much more than their parents. The first activity to be set aside is reading books.

Reading requires focus, and it’s harder and harder to concentrate on one thing when you are attacked by text messages, Facebook notifications, or to-do reminders.

What’s more, some books, like novels, may seem too time-consuming to finish.

Short stories are perfect for digital times because they offer something digital addicts need most of all – the pleasure of reading a whole story without sacrificing time.

In the list below, we handpicked short stories for kids that you can get as collections. Some of them, like The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh, are available only in print.

However, where possible we picked ebook editions. You’ll be excited to discover many books by Dr. Seuss can be read on the Kindle (and other e-readers, as well), including The Cat in the Hat.

We’ve also found fantastic short story collections for kids, that are completely free to download. The Other Side of the Sun by Evelyn Sharp, or Legends That Every Child Should Know include the classics of children’s literature.

Actually, one-third of all listed books are a free download, either from Amazon, or Project Gutenberg, or The Internet Archive.

At the end of the post you’ll find Best short stories for kids infographic.

Are there any short stories for children that you’d like to add to the list? Please leave a suggestion in the comments below. Thanks!

20 short stories for kids

1. Tales from Moominvalley – Tove Jansson

Short stories for kids - Tales from Moominvalley

Unlike all the other Moomin books, which were novels, this is a collection of nine short stories.

Delightful and funny, the stories follow citizens of Moominvalley. “Some of the characters in these tales will be brand-new to Moomin fans, but there are lots of old friends to meet as well.”

⇢ Kindle

2. Grimm’s Fairy Tales – The Brothers Grimm

Short stories for children - Grimm's Fairy Tales

A collection of German fairy tales first published in 1812 by the Grimm brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm.

From “Rapunzel” to “Hansel and Gretel” to “Briar Rose” to “Little Red Riding Hood,” the fairy tales have been captivating readers young and old for over two centuries.

⇢ Kindle

3. Famous Stories Every Child Should Know

Short stories for children - Famous Stories Every Child Should Know

A classic short story collection, edited by Hamilton Wright Mable, and published in 1907.

This free collection brings together eleven short stories, including A Child’s Dream of a Star by Charles Dickens, and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Great Stone Face.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

4. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi – Rudyard Kipling

Short stories for children - Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

A classic story by Rudyard Kipling, written in the 1890s as a part of the Jungle Book.

The story follows the adventures of a valiant young mongoose, after he was adopted into a British family residing in India.

⇢ Kindle

5. The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh – A. A. Milne

Short stories for kids - The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh

A complete collection of an adorable teddy bear created in 1924 by A.A. Milne.

Classic children stories, Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, are brought together in this beautiful edition, with recolored illustrations by Milne’s creative counterpart, Ernest H. Shepard.

⇢ Amazon

6. Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak

Short stories for children - Where the Wild Things Are

An iconic children’s picture book that has inspired a movie, an opera, and the imagination of generations.

Written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, the book focuses on a young boy Max who goes to bed without supper. His bedroom undergoes a transformation into a jungle inhabited by beasts – Wild Things.

⇢ Barnes & Noble

7. Little Bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood – Timothy Tocher

Short stories for kids - Little Bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood

Written by Timothy Tocher, this free short story is a sample from Newfangled Fairy Tales. Each fairy tale in the series puts a delightful new spin on classic stories and themes.

The Big Bad Wolf is running a successful scam on Little Red’s Grandma until Little Red catches him in the act.

⇢ Kindle

8. Once Upon an Alphabet – Oliver Jeffers

Short stories for kids - Once Upon an Alphabet

A highly inventive and irresistible book by Oliver Jeffers.

Every alphabet letter has its own story, “slyly funny in a way kids can’t resist, and gorgeously illustrated in a way readers of all ages will pour over.”

⇢ Amazon

9. M Is for Magic – Neil Gaiman

Short stories for children - M Is for Magic

Bestselling author and master storyteller Neil Gaiman presents a breathtaking collection of tales that may chill or amuse readers – but always embrace the unexpected.

Eleven stories illuminate the real and the fantastic, and will be welcomed with great joy by Neil Gaiman’s many fans as well as by readers coming to his work for the first time.

⇢ Kindle

10. Little Wizard Stories of Oz – L. Frank Baum

Short stories for kids - Little Wizard Stories of Oz

From the creator of the Oz books, L. Frank Baum, comes a collection of six charming and simple short stories.

Among the tales, you’ll find The Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger, and Jack Pumpkinhead and the Sawhorse.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

11. Bedtime Stories – Richard Scarry

Short stories for kids - Richard Scarry's Bedtime Stories

Five funny tales by Richard Scarry, featuring Lowly Worm, Huckle Cat, Bananas Gorilla, and the rest of memorable menagerie are collected in a bedtime anthology.

⇢ Kindle

12. The 20th Century Children’s Book Treasury

Short stories for kids - The 20th Century Childrens Book Treasury

44 classic picture books and short stories of the 20th century were compiled by Janet Schulman in one collection.

The selections range from concept books and wordless books to picture books and short read-aloud stories, and represent the complete array of childhood themes and reading needs.

⇢ Amazon

13. Legends That Every Child Should Know

Short stories for children - Legends That Every Child Should Know

This is a collection of folk tales and legends from around the world, complied by Hamilton Wright Mabie.

Among nineteen legends, you’ll enjoy HiawathaThe LoreleiBeowulf, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

⇢ Internet Archive

14. The Classic Treasury of Aesop’s Fables

Short stories for kids - The Classic Treasury of Aesop's Fables

Twenty best-loved fables by Aesop, beautifully illustrated by Don Daily.

In the collection, you’ll find The Tortoise and the Hare, The Goose Who Laid the Golden Eggs, and The City Mouse and the Country Mouse.

⇢ Amazon

15. Shakespeare’s Stories for Young Readers – E. Nesbit

Short stories fo kids: Shakespeare's Stories for Young Readers

Twelve of Shakespeare’s greatest tales come to life in these entertaining lively stories specially adapted by E. Nesbit for young readers.

Capturing the vital events and using some of the original wording, the stories serve as a perfect introduction to Shakespeare for preteens.

⇢ Kindle

16. Mary Poppins: 80th Anniversary Collection – P. L. Travers

Short stories for kids - Mary Poppins - 80th Anniversary Collection

A magical English nanny, Mary Poppins, created by P. L. Travers, have delighted children and adults the world over since 1934.

80th anniversary collection includes the first four tales, illustrated by Mary Shepard: Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Comes Back, Mary Poppins Opens the Door, and Mary Poppins in the Park.

⇢ Amazon

17. The Other Side  of the Sun: Fairy Stories – Evelyn Sharp

Short stories for kids - The Other Side  of the Sun

Written by a British author Evelyn Sharp, this popular children’s book includes eight short stories.

The Tears of Princess Prunella is most famous one, but you’ll find here also The Magician’s Tea-Party, and The Kite That Went to the Moon.

⇢ Internet Archive

18. Dickens’ Stories About Children Every Child Can Read

Short stories for kids - Dickens Stories About Children Every Child Can Read

Edited by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut, this is a wonderful collection from one of the biggest story writers of all time.

In the book, child stories have been taken out from Dickens’ novels and are told by themselves.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

19. Disney Bedtime Favorites – Annie Auerbach

Short stories for kids - Disney Bedtime Favorites

Perfect for bedtime, the collection has nineteen Disney stories to choose from, told by Annie Auerbach.

You’ll fine here stories about characters from Finding Nemo, Cars 2, Toy Story 3, The Lion King, and many more.

⇢ Amazon

20. The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss

Short stories for kids - The Cat in the Hat

A classic children’s short story written and illustrated by Theodor Geisel better known as Dr. Seuss. The Cat shows up at the house of Sally and her brother and shows the kids funny tricks in an attempt to entertain them.

The book encourages children to read by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.

⇢ Kindle

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Short stories for kids – recommended sites

If you want to have a larger selection of kid stories, check out these destinations. They are online stores that offer children’s literature in digital format.

Amazon – the giant online store offers more that 8,000 items under “Short Stories” in the Children’s Ebooks Department. You’ll find here stories for kids in different age groups, from 2 to 12.

Barnes & Noble – Nook Kids Read to Me section offers over 5,000 short children’s books that can be read on Nook devices and applications. Sort the results by “Price – Low to High” to see free ebooks on top.

Kobo – a very well-curated section of the popular ebookstore will let you explore kids books in an easy way. You can browse here by popular series, popular characters, or age.

Puffin Books – it’s a children’s imprint of Penguin Books. In the online store, you’ll find kids books grouped not only by categories but by “worlds,” such as The Worst Witch, Danger is Everywhere, or Doctor Who.

Amazon Rapids – a special subscription-based service run by Amazon, offering short stories for kids in a unique chat-style format.

Best short stories for kids – infographic

Feel free to share this infographic on your site (Creative Commons license).

Best short stories for kids infographic

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Recommendation box

Gifts for modern bookworms in 2023

Based on recommendations from top tech sites and customer reviews.

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Vintage composition notebook iPhone case

Vintage composition notebook iPhone case

This unique, intensive, pseudo-marbling composition notebook pattern with a preworn label is available on the latest iPhone cases in several colors, including green, brown, and purple.


• • •

Innovative reading light

Compact and innovative reading light

From a German brand Nachteule comes a clever book light that you attach not to a book but your reading glasses. It’s so light that you can also clip it to your earphones or hair accessories! The built-in battery will let you read 200 pages.


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Hands-free pillow stand

Hands-free pillow stand – great for e-readers and print books

An improved version of a popular Lamicall tablet pillow comes now with a side pocket for a pen or small accessories. The grooves are deep enough to hold a print book. It’s made of durable materials and is available in five fashionable colors.


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