When we grow up, some might think that we’ve outgrown children’s books but we’ve missed some great classics from childhood. It’s never too late! Many librarians think that insights into hidden messages in children’s literature can really only be understood by adults. Here’s a list of the books from childhood which may reopen your eyes on what you might not have noticed before.
10 Awesome Children’s Books You Need to Reread as an Adult
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
This novel is known for its adventurous spirit and the main character – Alice, who is coping with the challenges of growing up by escaping to Wonderland. There were many interpretations of this book from the early ideas of feminism to Alice’s psychological abilities to adapt to the new environment. Many think it was an oblique critique of the political system of the time. Read it again. It may apply today!
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
One of my favorite children’s books comments on views regarding beauty and decent behavior. The book itself is a simple and kind way to test your morals about what is important through the help of wise spider Charlotte.
The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsday
Created by a classic Australian writer, this book describes the adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and his friends who find the magic pudding that refills itself once you eat it. The trio of friends must defend their magic pudding from the Pudding Thieves that can attack anytime. It’s a story about greed and justice that goes awry.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
This is the story of unconditional love. The tree gives the boy everything he likes without realizing the consequences of not setting boundaries. This allegory on the parental love may make you question who is at fault as well as the notion of takers and givers as codependence.
Blinky Bill by Dorothy Wall
This is another Australian children’s classic, describing the life of koala called Blinky Bill. The illustrations are marvelous and convey the comical adventures of the main character. This is one of the most requested books by pupils when they go for “online assignment help Australia” for in their essay assistance. Her stories were ahead of their time with their message of conservation.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
This bedtime classic has a mouse hidden in every color page spread. Check out out the clock as time passes to figure out low long it takes to put baby bunny to bed. Most parents can relate to the trials and tribulations of bedtime!
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
This series was not just a popular fantasy for kids, but a breakout success for adults who enjoyed it as well. J.K. Rowling embedded themes of antifascisms and antiracism into the storyline with a fantastic world of magic and wizards to draw the reader in.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Some may compare this to a middle grade Lord of the Rings but it also has a deeper meaning of children coping with the challenges of war through their deep belief in symbols that many have described as religious. Is Aslan the lion a fantasy version of Jesus Christ?
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Is Madeline at Catholic boarding school or an orphanage? When she returns home to a warm and loving family, is this her actual family or a dream sequence?
Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
The story of the bear and his friends with a message of kindness and friendship can be taken to heart at any age as a doctrine for living simply, happily, and well.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.