The Top 10 Children’s Books You Should Re-Read as an Adult
We all have happy memories of the books we loved as children.
Children’s books are gateways back in time and can remind us of the past, when
we were innocent, much more creative and prepared to believe in wonders. And
classic children’s books are classics for a reason: they have wide-ranging
messages that relate to grownups as well as young children. When was the last
time you re-read your favorite book from childhood? Regardless of whether you
have young ones to read to, you’re going to want to get your vintage copy of
these classics out of the garage and spend an afternoon re-living those
enchanting moments when you were a young, innocent reader. You may be surprised
at just how relevant they are to your adult life too.
10. “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf
story of a bull who refuses to fight has been around since 1936. Adolf Hitler
had it banned in Germany because he saw it as pacifist propaganda.
9. “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very
Bad Day” by Judith Viorst
The message of this classic is that, no matter how bad a day seems, there is
always tomorrow. Things actually DO get
better. What adult doesn’t need to be
reminded of that from time to time?
8. “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” by Judi
This magical tale is peppered with quirky details (like food
raining from the sky) and by somewhat morbid humor (decapitated dolls for
example) that probably went right over your head as a kid, but that will make
this book all the more fun when you read it as a grown-up.
7. “Harriet the Spy” by Louise Fitzhugh
The story of an 11-year-old girl living in New York City who carefully observes and writes about the people around her was ahead of its time when it was published in 1964. Issues like negotiating dysfunctional family relationships, gender non-conformity and feeling like an outsider will resonate with adults.
6. “Pippi Longstocking” by Astrid Lindgren
Pippi Longstocking has been a hero to children around the
world since she first made her debut in 1945, in Sweden. She is fearless but has humility, she isn’t
worried about what other people think of her, and she truly believes that
anything is possible. Many small
children actually believe those same things, but it seems like as we get older,
we tend to forget. Read this book if you need reminding (and who doesn’t?) that
we are all stronger than we think and maybe we really CAN do anything.
This worldwide bestseller has been beloved since it was
first published in 1943. If you read it when you were a child, you may have
loved the illustrations and the fantasy of it, but as an adult you will notice
all of the lessons it can teach us even as we get older: about looking beyond
the surface, about expressing our feelings and about allowing ourselves the
freedom to explore.
4. “In the Night Kitchen” by Maurice Sendak
When you read this as a child, you probably wished you could
be Mickey and stay up making cake all night. As an adult, you will be just as
envious, and just as entranced by Sendak’s illustrations. But now that you’re all grown up, maybe you
really can stay up late doing something completely unexpected, like making a
3. “Eloise” by Kay Thompson
Eloise is the gutsy little girl who lives in a fancy hotel
with her parents and her dog. When you read it again, it’s hard not to be
struck by Eloise’s feistiness, and by what a glamorous life she leads. The
writer, Kay Thompson, based much of the story on her own life and many of the
characters on the real people she met while working as an actress and lounge
singer around New York City.
2. “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll
Children are delighted by the outrageous characters Alice
encounters, and by her adventures in a world that seems upside down. Immerse yourself in this book again and you
will find yourself carried away by the settings and descriptions and after a
while, you may just find yourself believing in the fantastic and unreal. Just
like you did when you were a kid.
1. "Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White
If you remember how this one ends, you know that re-reading it is an excersise in having your heart torn out. But the tale of the friendship that develops between a pig and
the spider who saves his life, only to die herself contains lessons that most adults need to be reminded of. Lessons about friendship, altruism, about the natural cycle of life and about the importance of leaving a
legacy of kindness after we are gone.