Within the pages of “Peter And Wendy“, the story by J.M Barrie, magic awaits. The classic children’s story of growing up- and why that’s both the most terrible and brilliant thing- has touched my heart. I’m not the only one- it’s an amazing book for a very good reason. Children’s books have the ability to touch and move us.
There’s something incredible about a children’s book that is well written, heartwarming, intelligent and thoughtful. Re-reading particular children’s books as an adult, you notice nuances and dark elements that you may not have noticed before. Suddenly, the ending of Narnia is more heartbreaking, and I swear, Little Women keeps breaking my heart, no matter how old I get. This post is in celebration of children’s literature, and how it can enrich us adults who stopped seeing magic long ago.
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The Hobbit ~ J.R.R Tolkien
“There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
It’s a classic, it’s a cliche. However, it is a masterpiece, crafted of clever thoughts and a perceptive worldview of charity and kindness. The Hobbit is the equivalent of a hot chocolate- it’ll warm you up, but remind you that you were once cold. It’s a book brimming with innocence, yet also wisdom. Unforgettable in the best way possible.
Seven Little Australians ~ Ethel Turner
“But in Australia a model child is – I sasy it not without thankfulness – an unknown quantity. It may be that the miasmas of naughtiness develop best in the sunny brilliancy of our atmosphere. It may be that the land and the people are so young-hearted together, and the children’s spirits are not crushed and saddened by the shadow of long years’ sorrowful history. There is a lurking sparkle of joyousness and rebellion and mischief in nature here, and therefore in children.”
Growing up, there is a pressure to be perfect. It’s demanded of you from what seems to be everyone- but you are only freed from it when you are an adult. For those stuck in the childlike desire to please everyone- there is something liberating about Turner’s masterpiece. A perfect novel for those adults who never lost their childhood vulnerability.
Here’s to the naughty, rebellious children, as well as the quiet ones who cry themselves to sleep. And those who are a bit of both.
Treasure Island ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
“Fifteen men on the Dead Man’s Chest Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! Drink and the devil had done for the rest Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!”
Escapist? Or chilling and terrifying? Treasure Island is the ultimate musing of pirate adventures and quests, but it’s also a terrific book for a variety of ages. Because of that, the older I get the more I identify with the antagonistic pirates.
What can I say? I too, want to talk to a parrot and drink rum. I want my imagination to run wild, and be in a pirate quest. However, for now, I will read Treasure Island.
The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“It is such a mysterious place, the land of tears.”
Do I need to say more? Complete with gorgeous illustrations, fantastic planets, innocence and lessons we could all listen to- The Little Prince has, ever since I read it, captured my heart.
There is a tragic underbelly to children’s books such as The Little Prince– they remind you of your impressionable states and your weaknesses. However, and what is remarkable about alot of children’s books- is that they accept them. Reading The Little Prince was discovering the greatest endorsement for self acceptance.
Don’t mind me, I’m crying my heart out.
A Little Princess ~ Frances Hodgson
“Whatever comes,” she said, “cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.”
The central thesis of A Little Princess is that beneath rags, a little girl’s discovery that she is a princess in heart and spirit. Because of this message, reading this novel as an adult is uplifting.
When you grow up, when you are an adult- you are not going to feel like a princess all the time. There are times when you are going to feel rotten, when you are going to hate yourself, when you will be devalued and treated like nothing. Hearing that all girls are princesses warms my heart, because a person’s worth is greater than any metric we can come up with.
A fantastic message to read as an adult.
Kim ~ Rudyard Kipling
“The meaning of my star is war.”
Kim isn’t usually people’s first pick for great children’s books. However, there is no denying that Kim is epic in scope and ambition, as we read about a spy’s exploits in India. What Rudyard Kipling does really well is write in a thoughtful and intelligent way, that treats the reader with respect. As an adult, you respect those nuances. The writing is lyrical, Kipling’s imagination is legendary and the end result is remarkable. I appreciate the small insights that Kipling offers, this is clearly an author who writes intelligently and gave alot to literature.
Kipling won the Nobel Prize Award in Literature, which was very well deserved.
A Wrinkle In Time ~ Madeleine L’Engle
“We can’t take any credit for our talents. It’s how we use them that counts.”
It’s bloody fantastic, sharp, well-written and L’Engle executes her ambitious ideas with grace that is rare for most authors. Transport yourself on this journey- you’ll notice the vast colours of the universe more. What Madeleine L’Engle should be commended for is her use of imagination- there’s no book like A Wrinkle In Time, and after reading it, it is clear why.
What are your favourite children’s books as an adult? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!