Can You Guess These Classic Childhood Books From A Single Sentence?

By: Isadora Teich
Image: Harper & Row

About This Quiz

Many of us grew up reading and listening to stories of magical characters, talking animals and enchanted objects in both mythical and real worlds. They took many of us to wonderful places and fueled our imagination. Stories played no small role in shaping us into the adults we would eventually become.

When you think about children's books, there are certain authors who come to mind: E.B. White, Lewis Carroll, Dr. Seuss, Beatrix Potter, A. A. Milne and J. K. Rowling.  Their books graced our shelves when we were children, and now we look forward to sharing their stories with the next generation. It's impossible to forget the illustrations from "Goodnight Moon," "Where the Wild Things Are," "Green Eggs and Ham" and "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." Stories like "A Wrinkle in Time" and "Charlotte's Web" got under our skin. 

Close your eyes, and try to remember your favorite bedtime stories. This quiz is sure to bring up feelings of nostalgia, and might just trigger a trip to your local library to visit some familiar literary friends!

 

A rowdy little boy travels to a land of monsters.

This 1963 children's picture book by Maurice Sendak is one of the best-loved children's classics of all time and has sold nearly 20 million copies worldwide. It has been adapted various times over the years, including as a live-action film and an opera.

A spider tries to save a pig's life by weaving compliments into her web.

This 1952 children's novel by E.B. White is his most famous book. In it, Charlotte, the barn spider, tries to convince the farmer not to slaughter her friend, Wilbur, the pig, by writing messages praising the pig in her web.

A boy has a day so bad that it makes him want to move to Australia.

This award-winning 1972 children's book by Judith Viorst tells the tale of Alexander, a young boy who is having the worst day ever. It's so bad he wants to move to Australia, even though his mother assures him that even people in Australia have bad days sometimes.

A bunny's bedtime ritual involves saying goodnight to objects in the bedroom.

Published in 1947, this book is one of the most acclaimed bedtime stories of all time. It was written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd.

A young orphan boy enters a giant, magical peach and goes on an adventure to escape his mean aunts.

Written by Roald Dahl, this children's novel was originally published in 1961. It has been adapted both for film and into a musical.

A wealthy and miserable orphan tries to find a hidden garden and discovers the love and family she always wanted.

This children's novel was written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was published in 1911 and is considered a classic of English children's literature.

A small, home-loving creature ends up going on a quest for treasure with dwarfs and a wizard.

This 1937 fantasy classic by J.R.R. Tolkien is the prequel to the "Lord of the Rings." In it, hobbit Bilbo Baggins is reluctantly taken from his comfortable home and led on a dangerous adventure.

A poor boy explores a magical candy factory owned by an eccentric candy maker.

This 1974 novel by Roald Dahl explores the adventures of the young Charlie Bucket inside Willy Wonka's fantastic chocolate factory. It has been adapted for the stage and screen multiple times.

Sam-I-Am tries to get his picky friend to try an unusual breakfast dish.

This 1960 children's book by Dr. Seuss is one of the best-selling children's books of all time. It was banned in China for decades because the government believed it represented Marxism.

An old man sets off to find one cat and ends up with way more cats than he planned on having.

This picture book was written by Wanda Gag in 1928. It is one of the only picture books to win the Newbery Honor Award and the oldest American picture book still being printed.

A honey-loving teddy bear has adventures with his animal friends and a young boy.

This character originally comes from a series of stories written by A.A. Milne in the 1920s. They eventually became a part of one of Disney's most successful franchises. Christopher Robin was the name of A.A. Milne's son, and Winnie-the-Pooh bear was hist stuffed animal.

A grandma witch's helper accidentally cooks way too much pasta in a magic pot.

This 1975 award-winning children's book was written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. It is considered one of the top children's picture books of all time. It might also make you crave spaghetti.

Soldiers trick villagers into cooking them a feast with a stone.

This old folk tale has been adapted for different types of media numerous times over the years. Marcia Brown's 1947 children's book was the first adaptation of the folk tale in this genre.

Twelve little girls live in a Catholic boarding school in Paris, but the smallest one is the bravest.

This 1939 classic was written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans. It spawned a series of books, and later, an entire media franchise, included animated Madeline stories.

A young boy tries to rescue a baby dragon.

This 1948 children's novel by Ruth Stiles Garnet was made into an anime film. It tells the tale of a young boy named Elmer Elevator, who goes on a quest to rescue a baby dragon.

Despite being very different, a frog and toad always have each other's backs.

This 1970 children's picture book was written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel. It was the beginning of the "Frog and Toad" series, of which there are five books total.

A young boy deals with his troublesome younger brother.

This 1962 novel by Judy Blume is the first in the "Fudge" series. In it, 9-year-old Peter Hatcher is annoyed when his misbehaving younger brother is never punished for any of the things he does.

A young girl spies on her neighbors and friends and takes notes to help with her future dream career of becoming a writer.

This 1964 children's novel was both written and illustrated by Louise Fitzhugh. Set in New York City, it is considered one of the most important children's novels of all time, and has been turned into a movie, among other adaptations.

A tree gives every last part of herself to a boy as he grows into an old man.

This 1964 book by Shel Silverstein is one of the most controversial children's books of all time. It's debated whether the book depicts the tree showing selfless love or a tree in an abusive relationship with a selfish and cruel man.

A ravenous caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly.

This 1969 picture book was written and illustrated by Eric Carle. It uses collage-style illustrations, which was a new style at the time the book was published.

A cat in a tall hat shows up and changes a rainy day into an adventure for two kids.

This 1957 children's book was written and illustrated by Dr. Suess, whose real name was Theodor Geisel. This critically acclaimed book was an immediate success and is considered to be the work that put Dr. Seuss on the map.

A small, furry creature stands up for nature against a greedy villain.

This 1971 story by Dr. Suess is considered a fable which warns children about the threat corporate greed poses to the natural world. The Lorax is a creature who "speaks for the trees."

A precocious monkey gets in a whole lot of trouble.

Curious George first appeared in the 1939 story "Cecily G and the Nine Monkeys." He's an orphaned monkey who was found by The Man with the Yellow Hat and brought to live in New York City.

A boy gives a demanding mouse a sweet treat.

This circular tale was published in 1985. It was the first in a whole series of books which include "If You Give a Moose a Muffin" and "If You Give a Pig a Pancake."

A brilliant little girl with superpowers overcomes the adults in her life who mistreat her.

This 1988 children's novel by Roald Dahl is one of the best-loved children's classics of all time. It has been adapted for radio, film and Broadway.

A pilot stranded in the Saharan desert meets a young boy.

This 1943 novella was written by a French aristocrat and aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It is one of the best-selling books ever published and has been translated into over 300 languages. Its illustrations are also iconic.

A young girl chases a rabbit into an absurd fantasy world.

Lewis Carroll wrote the 1865 novel for his boss's children. While the novel is famous for its nonsensical aspects, many of these things would have made perfect sense to the real-life Alice and her sisters.

Inmates in a Texas juvenile detention center are forced to dig a hole a day.

This 1998 young adult novel was written by Louis Sachar. In 2003, Disney adapted it for film. In 1999, the book won the Newbery Medal.

Two lonely children imagine a magical forest kingdom.

This novel by Katherine Paterson was published in 1977. Despite being taught in classrooms around the world, it is controversial in that it's said to promote occultism.

A girl with super strength lives on her own with animal friends and has adventures.

This character appeared for the first time in 1945. Swedish author Astrid Lindgren created her when asked by her daughter for a story she could tell her on sick days.

Four siblings save a fantasy world from an evil witch.

This novel is the first in the "Chronicles of Narnia," a seven-book series. Published in 1950, it is author C.S. Lewis's best-known work, and has been adapted for film.

Two siblings get in too deep when playing a magical jungle-themed board game.

This 1981 children's fantasy picture book was written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg. In the 90s it was adapted for TV and made into a film starring Robin Williams.

A brave little fish uses his smarts to survive in the ocean.

This 1963 book by Leo Lionni features a smart little fish who shows other fish how to navigate the ocean's many dangers. It's known for it's beautiful artwork.

A bored boy drives through a magic tollbooth in his toy car and goes on an epic quest.

This 1961 children's fantasy novel was written by Jules Feiffer. It's full of puns and wordplay and explores the literal meanings of different English language idioms.

A girl in a small Florida town adopts an ugly stray dog.

This award-winning children's novel written by Kate DiCamillo was published in 2000. In 2005 it was adapted into a film, and the lead was played by AnnaSophia Robb.

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