The Wouldbegoods (updated)

The Wouldbegoods by E. Nesbit (of The Railway Children fame).

After getting into their elders' bad books and being sent to stay in the country 'to learn to be good', the Bastable children and their two friends Daisy and Denny formed themselves into the Society of the Wouldbegoods.

With the best of intentions they set out each day to be helpful to others, but always became involved in further trouble, as, for instance, when their pet goat did acrobatics on the kitchen dresser.

The Wouldbegoods is not available online yet, but here is a free ebook of The Railway Children . Highly recommended in any form.

Update: Thanks to Sharilyn from lovelydesign for these two great suggestions:

— You can find a copy of The Wouldbegoods from, here. It is part of the Treasure Seekers series.

— There is an annotated and illustrated version of The Railway Children from Usborne books that you can find here.

And an update from us, too:

— Watch The Railway Children (1970) right on youtube.

The Red Balloon

"What does it take to entertain a child? It doesn't take 3D or CGI or talking animals or pop songs or celebrity voiceovers. Children's pleasures are much simpler. The Red Balloon, a 34-minute film by Albert Lamorisse, is a masterpiece of simplicity." —AO Scott., New York Time Critics Picks.

You can find a copy for yourself online SFMoMA or watch it on YouTube.

For more information, see Janus Films (and find out more about the lesser known White Mane, as well).