High quality children’s fiction can be used in the young learner classroom to advance the broader social intent of language education and humanize it, while enriching language learning. Children are naturally drawn to picturebooks, which can provide a highly motivating and engaging instructional medium in pre-primary and lower primary classes. Short, illustrated chapter books can be used with intermediate level learners. Children’s literature not only enhances language learning, as proven by extensive research, but it can also nurture moral reasoning skills, emotional intelligence and empathy, as well as help children work through difficult issues. Language teaching tasks around literature can further these goals. This paper argues that quality children’s literature, therefore, has a rightful place in teaching English to young learners, and no less so in the very young learner classes that are becoming increasingly common in many parts of the world.