Children's LiteratureChildren's literature is a very important part of a child's development, both being read to by their parents or guardians, and eventually taking up reading themselves. It is also important to choose the appropriate children's book for a particular age. Small children will benefit from reading material penned by authors like Theodor Seuss Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) and Hans Christian Andersen, as well as from classic fairy tales like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Rapunsel, Hansel and Grettel, Thumbelina, Little Mermaid, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Jack and the Beanstalk, and other similar ones as collected by the Brothers Grimm.
However, as children grow, so must their literary tastes. There are several books that have been traditionally considered children's literature but which also have a subtle nuance that appeals to adults as well; these may serve as a nice transition to more mature reads. Some of those books are Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, and, What Alice Found There; Heidi by Johanna Spyri; Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson; The Wonderful Wizard of OZ by L. Frank Baum; Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder; and more recently the Harry Potter series.
Adolescents on the other hand, may find themselves more attracted to adventure novels and science fiction. Even though these genres may be somewhat scorned by serious critics, it is not too far fetched to view them as gateways to more adult material. For instance, from Alexandre Dumas, père is easy to move on to his good friend Victor Hugo, and then to Balzac, Camus, Proust, Baudelaire and others. The same can be said for their English counterparts, as Sir Walter Scott can easily lead to Oscar Wilde and Joseph Conrad. As for science fiction, Asimov for example, is a great way of learning about science while being entertained.