Children and Literature

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Christmas Day is over for another year. So, now is the time when I like to imagine houses, where children of all ages live, filled to the rafters with new, dazzling books sporting velveteen rabbits, talking trains, courageous dogs, precocious boys and girls, and heroic figures.

Who doesn’t love children’s books?

Only those who’ve lost their sense of wonder, their curiosity, their need for a bit of magic. Christmas and children are synonymous in my mind, and, by extension, so are children’s tales. If, as most psychologists say, play is a child’s work, it seems to me that a storybook is a child’s manual. And what a glorious manual it is! What lucky people are those who have the opportunity to read to children, have children read to them, or discuss with children the books they’ve read.

Being a person who thrives on lists, I thought I’d share some of my favorite children’s book titles in that form. Please forgive my omission of such childhood greats as The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I admire these books and the talent of their writers, but this is a list of some of my favorites, and, being a bit of a muggle at times, heroic fantasies are seldom my particular cup of tea. Here they are, some of my favorites, in no particular order.

Picture Books

  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit, as well as all Beatrice Potter books
  • Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne
  • Horton Hatches an Egg, Dr. Seuss
  • Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
  • Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey
  • Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, Dorine Cronin
  • Oxcart Man, Donald Hall
  • The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst
  • The Library, Sarah Stewart (David Small, one of my favorite illustrators)
  • The Money Tree, Sarah Stewart (David Small, illustrator)
  • George Washington’s Cows, David Small (author and illustrator)
  • All the World, Liz Garton Scanlon (Marla Frazee, illustrator)
  • Cajun A B C, Rickey Pittman (Alexis Braud, illustrator) A super fun, beautiful, and informative book, and I know the author.

Chapter Books

  • Sarah, Plain and Tall, Patricia MacLachlan
  • Skylark, Patricia MacLachlan
  • Amelia Bedelia, Peggy Parish
  • Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White
  • The Tale of Edward Tulane, Kate DiCamillo
  • Mercy Watson to the Rescue, Kate DiCamillo (series)
  • Frog and Toad are Friends, Arnold Lobel, entire series of Frog and Toad
  • Mouse Soup, Arnold Lobel
  • A Bear Called Paddington, Michael Bond (series)

Middle Grade/ YA Novels

  • Daddy Long Legs, Jean Webster
  • Hatchet, Gary Paulson
  • Holes, Louis Schar
  • Strawberry Girl, Lois Lenski
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond, George Speare
  • Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Old Yeller, Fred Gipson
  • The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Because of Winn Dixie, Kate DiCamillo
  • Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  • Matilda, Roald Dahl
  • Heidi, Johanna Spyri
  • Nancy Drew, Carolyn Keene (series)
  • The Giver, Lois Lowry
  • The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  • A Lantern in Her Hand, Bess Streeter Aldrich
  • A White Bird Flying, Bess Streeter Aldrich
  • A Room on Lorelei Street, Mary E. Pearson
  • The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
  • My Side of the Mountain, Jean Craighead George

Christmas is over for another year, and we grow a bit older. I wish you love, faith, hope, and a few sprinkles of pixie dust in the new year. So, as a boy who never had to grow up once asked,

"Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?
 J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan 

6 thoughts on “Children and Literature

  1. Definitely ready for some tea and time to engage in some adventure myself. After engaging the season as an adult working to make everything just right for loved ones, children’s books provide the promise of expansion of the mind to visualization that once accompanied the excitement of learning to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In my bible reading this morning, they talked about how children laugh about 150 time a day, whereas adults only laugh about 6 times a day. We are told to be more like children, and this is one area a lot of us muggles could improve.

    I loved reading to my kids when they were little. If, while reading, we shared a laugh at something happening in our book, it was all the better.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have always enjoyed reading 📚, a passion passed on to my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Keep reading, enjoy your cup of tea and have a Happy and Healthy 2023

    Liked by 1 person

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