It’s top five Wednesday. Today I’m sharing my top five children’s books to read as an adult. I tried to do a combination of books with a range of target ages. These are all books I enjoyed as a kid and would absolutely revisit given the time. Some of them I feel like I would get more out of now that I’m older. Others just make me feel nostalgic. I hope you enjoy my selections. What children’s books do you think would be good to reread now that you’re older?
I had to include a book of poetry on this list. Most kids books involve some kind of poetic style, but Where the Sidewalk Ends and it’s sequels are books of straight poetry. The poems are accompanied by fun illustrations. This was the first real exposure to poetry that I remember having as a kid. As I recall they are well crafted and a lot of them are funny. If you want some bite sized nostalgia this is a perfect book to revisit.
I have a confession to make. I am an absolute geek over Alice in Wonderland. This one’s an absolute classic and I can’t get enough of it. As a child I enjoyed the whimsical world that Alice finds herself in. As an adult I have a much greater appreciation for the play on words and nonsense logic Carroll uses. I wish I could own every edition of this book. If you’re a geek like me and want to learn more about the story behind the story you can treat yourself to a copy of The Annotated Alice as well.
I loved these books as a kid, but I can’t help but feel like I missed some major plot points. I don’t think I ever fully understood what the VFD was all about. Lemony Snicket (pen name of Daniel Handler) has the most unique writing style I have ever read in both the children’s and adult category. As a kid he was great to read because it made me feel like it was ok for things not to be butterflies and roses all the time, which is a hard quality to find in kids books. I would love to give these books a re-read now that I’m older.
This book is aimed at a younger group than any of the others on this list. It was hard to pick just one Dr. Seuss book, but I like The Sneetches. Despite its brevity, I feel like has the most important lesson. It shows us how ridiculous and arbitrary discrimination really is. It also digs at capitalism a bit. This book is a great bedtime story for parents to read to their kids. It teaches a great lesson to kids and is a perfect reminder for adults. You can watch a 12 minute animated video of the full Sneetches story here.
Ok, this one is cheating a little bit because I was trying to avoid being too obvious and saying Harry Potter. These children’s stories from the wizarding world are enjoyable for adults too. It’s a quick read, only five short stories. Each has a moral that is great for kids and adults alike. I never read this expansion of the Harry Potter world until I saw a live performance of “The Fountain of Fair Fortune” at Universal Studios. That story and, of course, “The Tale of the Three Brothers” are my two favorites out of the collection.