The term children's literature casts a wide net, encompassing everything from, say, The Boxcar Children to alphabet board books, a.k.a. infant teething toys. Corduroy helps bridge that gap.
The simple story and straightforward illustrations introduce young minds to the ideas of sequence and plot. Words like escalator and department store make it a little too advanced for beginning readers, but it's perfect for grownups to read aloud at story time.