There’s nothing quite like the way a story touches a child. The story’s grip is tighter, holds on longer to us readers, and stays with us forever. Today, we celebrate National Children’s Book Day by revisiting the stories that shaped our childhood. We asked our resident bookworms what their favorite children’s books are. Check out their picks below.
The Giving Tree
My favorite childhood story would be The Giving Tree. It was one of the first stories that I remember which taught me about love, compassion, and kindness. It’s the timeless story about giving without expecting anything in return.
The Complete Tales of Peter Rabbit
I love the illustration and the whimsical story-telling. I remember collecting stuffed toys similar to the animals in the book and I would spend my nights reading to them and pretending they were the characters in the stories. I even named my stuffed toys after Flopsy, Mopsy & Cotton-tail! I still have the same collection given to me when I was young and I plan to read it to my future children.
Where the Wild Things Are
Agnes’s Second Favorite
I’ve lost count how many times I’ve re-read this book and I never tire of looking at the artwork. This is where I first learned to have a dictionary with me after encountering the word “rumpus” and it became a staple companion whenever I would read. Where the Wild Things Are will always remind me about the power of imagination and at the end of the day, nothing beats being home with family.
Si Pagong at si Matsing
I learned that even the slowest is capable to succeed in life — just stay grounded and have faith in yourself.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
It showed me the power of imagination and made me believe that the most impossible things can happen.
The Twelve Dancing Princesses
I remember picking up my grandmother’s copy of Grimm/Andersen fairy tales, and the first story I read in it was “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” I’m pretty sure I skimmed through all the other stories in the book, but I always went back to these twelve girls because their story was such an adventure. Growing up in a somewhat strict household, I loved the idea of escaping every night and dancing my shoes off (even though I was never much of a dancer). It doesn’t quite have the happy ending I want—what fairy tale does in this day and age?—so I was more than excited when Jessie Burton’s retelling, The Restless Girls, came out last year. Check out the First Look Club reviews here.
I love that at her age, she loves books and has a good sense of morality. She didn’t need the guide of her parents to know what was right or wrong.
Dear Mr. Henshaw
Dear Mr. Henshaw is the book that I really adored growing up because of how real it was and how it hit too close to home.
The Hundred Dresses
Reading this in grade school, I discovered that stories have the power to make you feel seen. When Wanda Petronski heads to school ashamed about the sorry state of her only dress, it echoed acutely my desperate childhood desire to be liked, to be admired by my peers, to be someone whose company is desired. And when the breadth of Wanda’s imagination, creativity, and generosity is finally revealed to the schoolmates who made fun of her, it made me feel both vindicated and, yet, also thoroughly chastened—because I finally saw that I could be both awkward outsider and misguided tormentor, and that those two experiences weren’t binary and mutually exclusive.
Hope for the Flowers
I loved the story as a kid and up until now as an adult because it teaches us about love, faith and finding your place in life by being true to yourself.
I always watched this when I came home from school during my elementary days, because I love how Judy Abbott was very outspoken and had a positive outlook in life.
An enduring story about unlikely friendships and the power of distinguishing yourself that resonated with me until adulthood. Plus—E.B. White totally follows the guidelines of economic writing that he recommends in Elements of Style (by Strunk and White.)