I love children's books. I love reading them and collecting them. One of my life goals is to write a children's book. My favorite kind is one that is considered a book for a child, but is so well written that it appeals to adults, too. Not only does it appeal to adults, but it draws them in to the worlds that they haven't visited since "growing up."
There is no way that this is a top 3 list. I couldn't do it, I love too many too much. However, this is a list of 3 books that I can't wait to read to my children. I think everyone should read them, regardless of how old. They are brilliant, regardless of whether a person reads them to himself, or out loud to others. I think every library should contain these three books.
1. You Are Special by Max Lucado.
This has been a favorite of mine for quite a while. It is a great story that shows how great the Creator's love is for us, His creation. Every child needs to know that he or she is special. My favorite line is, "Remember, you are special because I made you. And I don't make mistakes." It's so simple, but so powerful. It is also a great book to read to groups of girls to discuss self-image issues. It can be used as a powerful tool to show the importance of seeing yourself how God sees you, instead of how others see you.
When I was a counselor at Pine Cove, I read this book to my girls every Sunday night before lights out. Sometimes I wouldn't have time to finish, and they would be so anxious to get into bed on Monday night so we could continue reading. They loved both the story and discussing the meaning afterward.
2. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
I could probably talk about this book for hours. Of course, most are familiar with the story. But that doesn't make it any less amazing. We read this book in my "Classics in Children's Literature" class my last semester at Baylor, and the discussions made me love it even more than I already did. The symbolism and literary style is so beautiful, and this is such a great book to read out loud. The themes of growing up and the imagination are portrayed in ways that most people never consider. If you haven't read this book in the past year, I really think you should go do that soon. And then lay it somewhere accessible and read it to anyone who will listen.
3. The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
If you have never read this book, I need you to stop what you are doing right now and go read it. Milne was a genius on so many levels. First, this book is great to read out loud. Since he originally came up with these bedtime stories by telling them to his son, Christopher Robin, they are captivating and creative when heard. Second, these stories are written creatively, utilizing methods that a child would use if he or she were writing a story. Because they are so simple, they can be read by beginners. But they are also intelligent, which enables them to entertain more advanced readers at any age. Third, the pictures are so cute, and add to the stories so well. I want to just frame different pictures from this book and hang them on my walls.
When we read this for our Children's Lit class, my roommates and I spent two nights reading the stories out loud to each other. We each had different characters with different voices, and it got pretty hilarious. It is definitely one of my favorite memories from my senior year.
I hope that you have had the opportunity to read these books. If you haven't, then go find them from the library or Half Price Books and get started! And don't rely on the Disney movies to provide proper entertainment. They definitely do not suffice when compared to the books.
Have a great day!!