Our Top Ten Short Stories for Children!

Our Top Ten Short Stories for Children!

World Book Day | Ten Favourite Short Stories | Hand Made Places

Reading is one of the most important learning tools for young children. It isn’t simply a tool to aid in literacy development, but it also helps imagination and creative thinking too. This makes reading one of the greatest activities for children of all ages. No matter what a child’s reading ability, they should always be encouraged to take part in reading activities; whether that just be listening to a bedtime story or practising their reading at nursery or school.

Short stories are a great introduction to reading. They are often part of a larger collection too which will help to engage readers. They will be anxiously waiting for the next book to begin!

Therefore we have devised a small list of our:

Top Ten Favourite Short Stories

These are perfect for children of all ages and all abilities. This list is by no means exhausted. So once you’ve finished with these great reads you could go on to look for many more too!

Mr Men and Little Miss Collection – Rodger Hargreaves

These classic short stories are a great introduction to reading for any child. There are a total of over 86 short stories each featuring a brand new and interesting character.

Each book is only 16-18 pages long making them the perfect stories for story time at nursery, in reception classes and even into KS1 at school.

With two individual separate collections, featuring both Little Miss and Mr Men, children are sure to find something that they will enjoy!


Little Miss and Mr Men Collection published by Egmont Publishers.  

World Book Day | Ten Favourite Short Stories | Hand Made Places

Green Eggs and Ham & Other Short Stories – Dr Seuss

Dr Seuss is a well-known and well-loved author who has written many children’s stories including The Cat in the Hat and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

The rhyming in these books is a great way to teach younger children about patterns, phonics, and sounds.

They are also short enough to enjoy during a single story time reading at nursery or at the end of the school day.

World Book Day | Ten Favourite Short Stories | Hand Made Places

Green Eggs and Ham: ISBN 978007355914

The Cat in the Hat: ISBN 9780552574495


The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner – Terry Pratchett

The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner is a funny and interesting short story which children love.

The obscurity of the book, which shows deviation from tradition will interest younger children.

It is also a great starting point for children to write their very own short story which deviates from tradition, allowing them to look at stories from new perspective. This then helps children to gain a greater understanding of literature. And on top of all of that, it is also a rather great fun to read for the adults too!

Terry Pratchet has read many other short stories including: Dragons at Crumbling Castle. Maybe once you have finished reading our suggestion, you could take a look at the other ones too…

World Book Day | Ten Favourite Short Stories | Hand Made Places

The Witches Vacuum Cleaner: ISBN 9780552574495

Dragons at Crumbling Castle: ISBN 9780552572804

Spot Goes to School & Other Short Stories – Eric Hill

Spot the Dog is yet another classic character!

These short stories are great for young children who are experiencing different activities for the first time. One of our favourites is “Spot goes to school“, where we see Spot go to school for the first time and have lots of fun!

This book is therefore a great read for younger children who are nervous about starting their first year at a brand new school.

The ‘Spot’ series of books looks into various other activities that Spot undergoes and can be a great help for children who may be nervous about certain activities.

World Book Day | Ten Favourite Short Stories | Hand Made Places

Spot Goes to School: ISBN 9780723263609

Spot Says Goodnight: ISBN 9780723266334

The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo is fast becoming a classic and is loved by children of all ages.

The repetitive nature of the story allows children to join in during story times. By joining in and getting involved children are improving both their speaking and listening skills. Making The Gruffalo the perfect short story for children of nursery or school age.

The Gruffalo is a great short story in its own right, however there are also sequels and alternatives which are just as great. Once you have finished reading The Gruffalo, why not move on to The Gruffalo’s Child or Room on the Broom?

World Book Day | Ten Favourite Short Stories | Hand Made Places

The Gruffalo: ISBN 9781509804757

The Gruffalo’s Child: ISBN 9781509804757


Mog the Forgetful Cat & Other Short Stories – Judith Kerr

Judith Kerr is a great children’s author who has written a collection of ‘Mog’ stories as well as the classic book The Tiger Who Came to Tea!

Mog is a funny character and children will fall in love with the clumsy and forgetful cat.

As with many of the other short stories mentioned, Mog is part of a collection of short stories. That means you have plenty of choice when it comes to story time…

This series of short stories is great for younger children. The books can target some hard topics, and by using these books it will make the topic more approachable.

World Book Day | Ten Favourite Short Stories | Hand Made Places

Mog the Forgetful Cat: ISBN 9780007171323

Mog and the Baby: ISBN 9780007171323

Peter Rabbit & Other Short Stories – Beatrix Potter

Peter Rabbit is yet another classic character who children have enjoyed reading about for many years!

Much like the other stories mentioned these stories are part of a collection making them a great read for young children.

Children of a young age can get to know each individual character and follow their story through the eyes of their friends and family.

World Book Day | Ten Favourite Short Stories | Hand Made Places

The Tale of :

Peter Rabbit: ISBN 9780723247708

Benjamin Bunny: ISBN 9780723247739

Squirrel Nutkin: ISBN 9780723247715

The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark – Jill Tomlinson

The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark has been used for many years as the perfect bedtime story.

This is because the theme of this story is relatable for many young readers. However, it doesn’t just have to be read at night! This great short story can be enjoyed at school and nursery as a fun read during story time!

Jill Tomlinson has a series of books which are all short stories and targeted at younger readers, they include: The Gorilla Who Wanted to Grow Up, The Otter Who Wanted to Know, The Hen Who Wouldn’t Give Up, The Cat Who Wanted to Go Home, The Penguin Who Wanted to Find Out

The Gorilla Who Wanted to Grow Up The Otter Who Wanted to Know The Hen Who Wouldn't Give Up The Cat Who Wanted to Go Home The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark The Penguin Who Wanted to Find Out

The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark: ISBN 9781405271974

The Gorilla Who Wanted to Grow Up: ISBN 9781405271950


Children’s Fairy Tales Collection – Sarah Gibb, based on originals by The Brothers Grimm

Children have been enjoying fairy tales for many years.

Though the original versions of these great tales can be quite gruesome there are plenty of child friendly versions of traditional tales. Sarah Gibbs writes child friendly versions of the original tales.

These stories are a great way to get children interested in reading. Many of them will be aware of the story already from popular film and television programmes.

Children will enjoy reading about much loved characters including: Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.

World Book Day | Ten Favourite Short Stories | Hand Made Places

Rapunzel: ISBN 9780007364800

Sleeping Beauty: ISBN 9780007526307

Cinderella: 9780008171926

Help younger children to engage with reading.

Why not check out some of these great books this International Children’s Book Day?

You can help to enhance their reading experience with products from Hand Made Places.

At Hand Made Places we sell a range of play sculptures and seating facilities which will help children to get the most out of those fabulous stories. Animal stories such as Peter Rabbit can be re-created by using a forest of animal face totems, including badgers, foxes and even rabbits!  And even Dr. Suess’ Green Eggs and Ham can be experienced first-hand whilst children are sat in a train, or on a plane!

Why not share this blog with your friends/colleagues and get little ones interested in reading with short and simple reads?