The best Children's Books of all time: timeless lessons on love, life and magic.
I wrote this for Rebelle Society a month or so ago and wanted to share it here :)
“There is no such thing as fantasy unrelated to reality.” ~ Maurice Sendak
Looking back upon my girlhood self, what I can recall most was my hunger for imagination — so, naturally, books became my food.
Books were made from the same substance of dreams, I was sure. They were clouds of creation and color, with moods and creatures and characters to adore. They were companions and friends with worn out pages that mimicked hands, reaching out for mine. Whether I was happy or sad, courageous or afraid, I’d take comfort in knowing I could step back in, anywhere, in any place, at any time.
One may think that reading children’s books as an adult is rubbish, yet it’s quite the opposite. Leaving such wise books to childhood is actually a mistake, because when you don’t revisit your children’s book, you forget some of the deep existential truths residing in the words.
Picking up a children’s book is also like seeing an old friend — both hold up a mirror so you can see yourself as you are: the same. Yes, you’re the same as you’ve always been, dear child: a being shaped of wonder and dreams, wandering about, bright-eyed and in love with this world.
“Your head is a living forest filled with songbirds.” ~ e.e. cummings
Here are a few classics, forever untouched by the hands of time.
“If you are kind to helpless things,
you don’t need a Wishing Tree to make things come true.”
“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely.”
“‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily or heave sharp edges or have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.
So maybe the next time we go browsing though a bookstore in search of some sweet soul comfort we should bypass the endless self-help sections and make a beeline to the corner, where the children’s books reside.
Hi, I'm Victoria. :) I'm a grounded dreamer, optimist, and lover of the world we live in... an INFP. This blog is a love letter to words, music, design, inspiration, and anything I might find to be lovely. :)