Please recommend me classic children's literature to read aloud to five-year-olds.
I am a primary school teacher, teaching five year olds. As well as reading them short picture books that they can either read themselves or likely have already read at home with parents, I would like to find a much longer classic children's book that I can read with them over a month or two.
I'm looking for something with chapters and of a decent length. I want it to be a classic children's story - no Harry Potter or the like. While more modern books like these may well be becoming classic children's literature, I want something that they are unlikely to come across otherwise.
Some of the children are only just five, so it must be suitable for that age group. I don't want to upset any children (or parents!) so stories with potentially scary or age-inappropriate scenes are out. Obviously it also needs to be something that will appeal to boys and girls, and be gripping enough to capture the attention of these television-watching, video game-playing kids!
I considered The Hobbit, but I'm not sure whether it's a bit old for the children. I know many parents would read it to their five-year-olds, but as a parent you have more time to talk through the story and you know how your child will react to different scenes. I have similar reservations about Alice in Wonderland.
I did read this question
but its not quite as geared towards classic books.
Thanks in advance!