Timeless Children’s Books

Have you thought about the books you read as a child that helped shape the person you are today?

One of my most fond memories is of being in first grade, sitting cross-legged on the floor, listening intently to my teacher read The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeMy imagination soared as I followed the quest of the Pevensie children to defeat the White Witch and deliver Narnia from eternal winter.  I was right there as Edmund was tempted by Turkish delight (which, in reality, tastes nothing like I’d imagined), ultimately betraying his siblings by helping the White Witch.  I cried when Aslan died.

This story is what made me become a reader;  I couldn’t get enough.  As the years went on I read the series several times and tried to get my own kids to read it.  I suppose they have different tastes but I do highly recommend you read this to your own children.  I think it would be a great bonding experience and will certainly keep their attention.

At age ten I was obsessed with horses, like many young girls are.  I’m not sure how I found it but I imagine I discovered Black Beauty on a trip to the book store with my mom and anything with a horse on the cover caught my attention.  It was a thick book but that only meant longer for me to stay transfixed in a story.  Thankfully, my mom never discouraged me from any book-either for being too long or for troubling content.  I had free reign over books.

The story of Black Beauty and her many owners-from cruel to kind and gentle, stayed with me.  I feel that it helped nurture my love of animals and perhaps gave me a better understanding of how to treat them.  I find teaching children how to be caring towards animals incredibly important as it spills over into all aspects of life.  Black Beauty is certainly a character building story.

My love for horses found me yet another treasure in Can I Get There By Candlelight? My mom was a teacher at the elementary school I attended from Kindergarten through fourth grade and so I went to her classroom each day after school.  She had a fairly good-sized library of books and I found this story one afternoon.  I was hooked-time travel, horses, English gardens…everything I loved all wrapped up in one book!  I’m sure I devoured it in a few days.  If I can still recall elements of this story after 32 years, that should tell you something.  I suppose it hit me at just the right time and place I needed it, I just wish I could have gotten my daughter interested to read it.  We didn’t have tablets and Snapchat back then to interfere…

Here are a few more books I’d recommend to any parent to help grow their child’s love of reading:

  • Bunniculano child can resist the tale of a vampire bunny!
  • The Mouse and the Motorcyclean amusing story about a mouse who, well, rides a motorcycle.  My teacher read the first book to me and I read the rest of the series myself.  That’s how you build a reader.
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing-I could certainly relate to having a pesky younger brother and so this was another book I loved.  It’s the first in Beverley Cleary’s ‘Fudge’ series and very enjoyable.
  • How to Eat Fried Worms-there are so many ways to make worms into a meal if you’re trying to win a challenge.
  • Where the Red Fern Growsa story of perseverance and a child’s bond with his dogs.  Boy did I cry reading this one.

I suppose some of these books may be on a list of banned books but all I can say is that they’re treasures and I will always suggest them as an important childhood read.  Speaking from my experience, I believe they helped mold me into a kinder hearted person.

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2 thoughts on “Timeless Children’s Books

  1. Heidi! That may have been the most influential book of my childhood. For quite some time, I insisted on drinking my milk out of a bowl, the way Heidi did when she was up on the mountain with her grandfather. I read Treasure Island and Black Beauty, too, but they didn’t produce quite the same effect. My folks got me a collection called The Children’s Classics. There were about a dozen or more books, all bound like encyclopedias, and I loved them. I remember that Tom Sawyer was included, too.

    And of course I read the Bobbsey Twins series, and Nancy Drew, and Cherry Ames. I never was restricted by my folks, though, so I also remember reading Steinbeck’s Cannery Row when I still was in grade school. I pulled it off their bookshelf, and had a few questions after I finished reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Glass Elevator, The Red Badge of Courage, Spies on the Devils Belt, Tom Sawyer, and anything based on or about real history. I also really liked Shakespeare, and strange but true stories like Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Heck, I made sure my Mom bought an almanac every year so I could read it. Great memories!

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