Thursday, August 24, 2006

Best of Children's Books

You know that tender spot in your heart that makes you laugh and cry at the same time? That spot that makes you feel the loving protection of your parents even though you are a grown-up? That place that makes you feel silly and giggle nonstop? That place that makes you think deep thoughts of what if? Well, that is the place that good childrens' literature takes me.

I was married. I was approaching the age of 40. I had not read a "children's book" since I was a pre-teen, but all of a sudden I craved these books. I think it all started when I saw two children's lit advocates reading from a newly published book on C-Span..........I was hooked. I found lots of new and wonderful authors. People who really had something to say and a fun way to say it in.

Just take a look at some of the quotes from the above pictured book.......

"Just to know you could. That was enough." The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks, 1980

"And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumps start!" Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, 1963

"Going to Aunt Mirandy's is like going down the cellar in the dark. There might be ogres and giants under the stairs, - but, as I tell Hanna, there might be elves and fairies and enchanted frogs!" Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kte Douglas Wiggin, 1903

"Nothing cures homesickness quicker than an unexplored tower." Beauty and the Beast by Nancy Willard, 1992


1. Holes by Louis Sachar
2. The Giver by Lois Lowry
3. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
4. Harry Potter (all!) by J.K. Rowling
5. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (thanks Mom!)
6. Mandy by Julie Edwards (thanks Mom!)
7. Are You There God? It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume (thanks Mike for giving me a hardcover copy of this for Christmas one year)
8. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (thanks Jill!)
9. Beezus and Ramona by Beverely Cleary
10. Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park
11. Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio by Peg Kehret
12. Squids Will be Squids by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
13. No David by David Shannon
14. Santa Calls by William Joyce
15. Tuesday by David Weisner
16. The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle
17. If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff
18. Olivia by Ian Falconer
19. Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
20. Lisa's Airplane Trip by Anne Gutman
21. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
22. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell (given to me by my Dad when I was 13. Dad gave me the totally cool hardcover slipcased edition! Thanks Dad!)
23. Journey Through Heartsongs by Matty J. Stepanek


One Crabapple said...

oh I am going to love going thru this as soon as I get time tonight !

ooooooo !!!!!

xo- S

dogfaeriex5 said...

well, some of your favs are on my fav list too..i love any fantasy book but how bout "a wrinkle in time", love that book!! and of course "the lion, the witch and the wardrobe" series, LOVE...and my all time fav when my daughter was growing up and i cannot even read it without getting a HUGE lump in my throat and tearing up is "love you forever" by robert munsch...

Laura said...

Kim, you are right! Wrinkle in Time was really, really good! I have the Lion, Witch, Wardrobe series, but I have not read it yet (or seen the movie)...... I don't know the Love you Forever book, is that the one with the little bunny? Guess I will have to go the bookstore, find it, and cry too.


Michelle (MilwMommy) said...

You are so very welcome for the card Laura!!! Love your childrens book list --we have many on the list!! I think we own every single Laura Numeroff book --love them all!!! And Judy Blume --there's a blast from the past!! Loved her books when I was growing up! Having 2 boys, I don't forsee those book being in our house anytime soon :(

Shari said...

hello---I love your blog, your art and your style!! Read through your archives and felt some syncronicity (sp?)---met a gal at a stamp store in Lockport earlier this summer who was working on an Alphabetica Book and taught me and my girlfriends the meaning of "TOOT"! Is it you or one of your girlfriends??? If it is you, I was sorry that I didn't get your email address that day so I could keep in touch and add you to my "inner circle" of friends---if it wasn't you, I still need to add you!! I live in the Carol Stream. Please email me back.

sassybead said...

What a great list!

I would add my all-time favorite book since I was a girl: A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Then there's The Velveteen Rabbit, and the "Swallows and Amazons" books by Arthur Ransome, and the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books by Betty McDonald, and of course Winnie-the-Pooh with the illustrations by E.H. Shepard (not that Disney stuff!). Can you tell I have always loved children's books the best?

One Crabapple said...

Oh I did enjoy this post Miss Maude ! you were right !

Horrors tho you left off Little Women.

One of my all time favorite books when I was little was "No Flying In the House " OH my gosh. I cried everytime.

I too went thru a phase in my old age here where i wanted to go back thru the books I loved as a kid. I reread this and chuckled at first knowign that the part that killed me over and over again when I was nine was coming up...and I cried again anyway !

I loved Jmes and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...

Some Nancy Drew for a spell

But one of my complete all time faves of childhood were the Narnia books. Again crying at parts.
(lucky me getting to see them put that movie together here last year bit by bit...before all the graphics were complete and added in)
The part where Lucy slips back and back and back thru the Wardrobe...was done perfect I thought!

Are You There God...perfect when it came out for our age ! Oh yes...that was such a good tiem to relate to this girl and wonder no more about those mysterious things that you thought made you the odd girl - MArgarte had those thoughts feelings and fears just like you.

Little House books were not mentioned either...but I am not complaining. Just teasing.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond was another one that sticks in my head

Oh hey about doing a best kids movies post...?

I also loved Black Beauty and an old book my mom gave me titled Beautiful Joe...oh my that was a real tear jerker. About a dog and when I looked back thru it later in ! what a horrible series of events took place for one too sensitive girl to read about ! How did I bear it ?

Did you read any of these too ?
Gosh I always had my nose in a book growing up. And soemtiems three going at once !

One Crabapple said...

oops ! that was a rather LONGGG entry! sorry. Good thing the space is FREE !

Trixie said...

Hey one crabapple, thanks for mentioning Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! That was my first ever hard cover book! I also loved Sounder by William H. Armstrong and I read the Kevin Henkes stories to the kids at school...the titles are the best: Julius, the Baby of the World, Weekend with Wendell, Lilly and Her Purple Plastic Purse, and my fave Owen. I also like Bootsy Barker Bites and Laura, I have Love You Forever. The Kissing Hand is another great mother's love story. What fun!

Anonymous said...

I know somebody else already mentioned it but 'The Velveteen Rabbit' is my absolute favorite. I will be checking out your list more.

Laura said...

Can you believe I never read Little Women!!! That is such a scandal! I think I better read it soon!

Kimberly Kwan said...

I am also a HUGE kid lit fan...took countless courses on the subject in college and still love them!

Madeline L'Engle & CS Lewis all time faves of mine...but also love some of this simple, beautifully illustrated works, such as the "Carl" series by Alexandra Day and the EVER-darling Numeroff books!

Beaux Cheris Creations said...

This is delightful what a wonderful list!

One Crabapple said...


The LIttle Princess ! Thank you Sharon Sassy Bead...I read that over and over.Loved the movies too.

One Crabapple said...

oh my I am back again...

YES on WRinkle in Time...

and will LOVE Little Women...take a hankie My Dear.It is old fashioned, it is wonderful....
With all of your love for vintage photos AND the written word, I know you will fall in love with this book. Good winter / Christmas book.

Let's do a book club and make this our first read !

One Crabapple said...

OLd Yeller ! and Sounder ! YES

The MOuse and the Motorcycle

and Hello !

Charlotte's Web !
(Laura am I driving you crazy writing all over this blog! ? Get a fly swatter !)

Laura said... are definitely not driving me crazy,,,keep up the comments!

That Little Women book club idea is a good one! Carlene Federer and I were discussing starting an online book club...I will see how that book sounds to her!

I LOVE the movie, The Little Princess!

Also, love The Mouse and the Motorcycle....

Charlotte's Web is too sad for me. I cannot take any stories with animals as the gets me upset.....

Have you read my email to you lately?

Babsarella said...

You have picked some of my absolute FAVS!!! Because of Winn-Dixie is just the BEST. Also laughed out loud at The Giggler Treatment. I've also read ALL the Harry Potter books. If you ever get a chance to read any by Robert Munsch, they are fantastic too. They are geared for about 5-8 year olds. I think Thomas'Snowsuit and Andrew's Loose Tooth are LOL funny. Oh, and I Love You Forever makes me cry.

Babsarella said...

Oops, forgot to mention my DD and I LOVE Olivia. We even have a little version of her that Madame Alexandra put out a while back with little clothes you can put on her. TOO TOO cute! And (as if I haven't said enought), Where the Wild Things Are was my favorite as a kid. The Maurice Sendak drawings are incredible! And I love Eloise and Madeline too. Great books!!!

sassybead said...

Ok - I think One Crabapple and I are playing book tag here...I forgot about the Mouse and the Motorcycle! And that reminded me of the Borrowers books and Bed, Knob, and Broomsticks by Mary Norton. I also have a book by Jane Louise Curry called The Sleepers, about the legend of King Arthur. It's no longer in print, but I just love it!