The holiday season always has me feeling nostalgic, and this year was no exception. Indeed, that feeling of nostalgia is what prompted me to pick up 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up by Julia Eccleshare. That, and my 6 year old niece recently asking me what my favorite children’s books are. No matter what your age, you’re never too old to enjoy a good children’s book, and this volume has many titles that are worth picking up, either again or for the very first time. The full list of titles is also located here.
Some of my favorite children’s books are as follows:
–Judy Blume. Anything Judy Blume- I loved them all! Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, Deenie, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Blubber– I was hooked on Judy Blume and devoured each and every one. One of these titles even made it into 1,001 Childrens’ Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up.
–Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I loved this book as a child, and can remember having it read to me over and over. I loved the story about Max being called “Wild Thing” and then having adventures with the wild things, but I think I particularly loved the pictures in this book as they are so lush and rich.
–Nancy Drew. Okay, why are the Bobbsey Twins listed in 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up, but poor Nancy Drew is ignored? I was hooked on Nancy Drew, and Nancy Drew books got me hooked on reading. In fact, those were the first chapter books I had ever read. I remember thinking that with chapter books you could only read one chapter at a time, and so I would read my one chapter, disappointed that I couldn’t keep going, until a babysitter set me straight. To this day, I’m still quite proud of my almost complete Nancy Drew collection!
–And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street is Dr. Seuss’ first children’s book, and possibly my favorite Seuss. The main character, Marcos, uses his imagination to make Mulberry Street the most fascinating street around, and the pictures and text work beautifully together. Not as well known as other Seuss books, this one is definitely worth giving a read.
–The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch. I told my niece that this is my favorite children’s book, and I mostly love it because I love the message it has for girls. I first read this book as an adult, and loved the idea that princes aren’t the only ones who can do the rescuing. This princess is anything but helpless, and this book is worth reading just for the last sentence in the book!
–Harry Potter books. You’re never too old to enjoy these books. Even as an adult, it was a thrill to get the brand new Harry Potter book from the bookstore, read it before the husband got his hands on it, and steal time to read as much as I could. These books were really memorable, and exciting. Even if you’re not a fan of the fantasy genre, you’ll love this series. Rowling really did her best to create a world that is so perfectly drawn, down to every last detail.
–The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. This book is my all-time favorite Christmas story. Beautifully illustrated, it tells the story of a little boy who rides the Polar Express to visit a magical world complete with snowmen, reindeer, and, of course, Santa Claus. Over six million copies of this book have been sold to date, and its popularity is well deserved. The only question is, are you still able to hear the ringing of Santa’s silver sleigh bell?
–Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is another all-time favorite book, and I also like the film starring Gene Wilder. When an eccentric candy maker (Willy Wonka) puts 5 golden tickets in his chocolate bars, everyone wants to win a ticket. Wonka never allows people inside his factory yet each golden ticket winner will get a tour. Charlie really wants to win a golden ticket, but has little money to spend on purchasing chocolate bars. Will he win, and if so, what will he find in the chocolate factory?
–From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is another book I loved as a child. Claudia runs away from home taking her little brother with her, deciding to run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While remaining undetected in the museum, they also discover a mystery that needs solving, racing to solve it before they are found.
There are many other children’s books I could have listed here, and I will certainly find new favorites as I read some of the selections from 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up. Hope you find some new favorites, too, as there’s no age limit when it comes to reading childrens’ books!