As a lover of literature the importance of reading to your children is one I hold in high regard. Children’s books are a bittersweet reminder of what life was like before you are thrown into adulthood. This is also why I feel it is important, as adults, that we go back and read children’s books again to ourselves or listen a little closer when we are tucking our little ones in at night.
Children’s books are an outlet, an escape from the harsh realities of the world we live in. They are entertainment for most but for some people like me, they are a reminder that a book – no matter where it comes from – has something to teach. Children’s books, even when they are not set in a fantastical world, have given me some of the most valuable lessons.
Here are the 15 books I feel every adult needs to read or re-read, in no particular order of importance, enjoy.
1. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
The originals are so complex. A group of friends coming together and overcoming obstacles. Not one character is perfect and as an adult you can appreciate them a little more. There shouldn’t be one person that can’t fall back in love with Hundred Acre Woods.
2. Oh, The Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss
One of my all time favourite books. It is so inspiring and will take 10 minutes out of your day to read. It is one that you can remember a long time after you put it down.
3. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
The humour that fills this series is one that you won’t see in any other book. It is witty and the winding plot line is intricate. Definitely something you can appreciate more as an adult.
4. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
This book will teach you how to face your fears. It will help you remember how important family is. Life is a blessing, even when we think it is a curse.
5. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
This book helps prep children for adulthood. It is 80 pages of solid gold and packed with lessons. Reading it as an adult it all still rings true because it can teach adults how to be better grown-ups.
6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
The first book in an experience that reignited youth and believing fantastic beasts, in magic. There is so much that, if you haven’t re-read this book as an adult, that as a child we overlooked
7. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Go, grab your copy. Re-explore Narnia as an adult. The allegory that fills the book might have gone over your head as a child but now you will understand it, now you will be able to see the breathtaking world as C.S. Lewis did.
8. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
As a child this book teaches you so much: how to overcome things that seem impossible, how to cope with death, friendship. The bond that is formed between the two characters is astounding. The imaginary world that they share together brings out one of the most touching stories you could ever read. As an adult, you can appreciate this book a little more for what it is, for what it can still teach you about death.
9. Matilda by Roald Dahl
I never read “Matilda” as a child, but I did pick it up as an adult. I would have been delighted to lived in her world. She was everything I was as a child, the most obvious story-lover with her nose stuck in a book.
10. The BFG by Roald Dahl
This book is classic. It brings you back to your own childhood, standing in front of your parents and trying to explain things to them that seem outrageous. This book never feels like you are reading a children’s book because it captures being a child so well. Go back and be whisked away to the magical Giant Country, it will make you cherish the movie a little more too.
11. I’ll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
As a child, for a child, this book is reaffirming the everlasting love from a parent. No matter what, your parents will love you. As an adult, this book is a reminder of how we our to love our own parents as they age.
12. The Giver by Lois Lowry
This was my first introduction into the dystopian genre and kick-started my continual love for the genre. The purpose of this book is to show that we need to experience bad things in order to appreciate what makes good things good. As adults, we have experienced many tragedies in our lives and sometimes we need the subtle reminder that pain is necessary.
13. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
“I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” I don’t know how many times I still recite this to myself in my head to this day. Annoying? Yes. Effective? Absolutely.
14. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Seriously? Yes, seriously and this is why: this short little picture book is a reminder to slow down, take stock in what we should be thankful for. Everyone is looking up at the same moon, after all.
15. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Max, all he wanted was a little independence. At the end of the day, though, the ones that give us tough love are the ones worth fighting for. They will stick around when you are being a pain and causing a wild rumpus, they must be spectacular.