Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Test of Time: The Books We Loved (and Love)

The book that touched you, the book you remember, the book you look forward to sharing with the kids in your life—that’s all I was asking. I asked my friends to name their favorite children’s book. I didn’t specify picture books, early reader books, or tweenie lit. I just wondered which books—for any age group—left an impression. Some people told me why the book struck a chord, others gave me a title.

What are the chances: lots of folks cherish Dr. Seuss. Other favorites are recognizable classics for a reason: they continue to enthrall kids year in, year out. My favorite? Stuart Little by E. B. White. And on a more contemporary note, one friend mentioned that her one-year-old just loves the classic Pat the Bunny in its new incarnation as iPhone app. Won’t be long before we’ll think in terms of “beloved, classic apps,” but for now, the favorites:

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace

The Boxcar Children, a franchise created by Gertrude Chandler Warren. “I so wanted to have a fun place that I could decorate and hang out in. Loved that book!”

Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina.

The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Horton Hears a Who, and The Sneetches by Theodor Seuss Geisel, under the name Dr. Seuss

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

“Anything by Beverly Cleary or Judy Blume!”

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

The Hundred Dresses by Louis Slobodkin

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averill

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. “This is an absolute given as favorite series (except Farmer Boy—hardly felt like it belonged in the series).”

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Little Mommy by Sharon Kane

The Littlest Witch by Jeanne Massey

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. “The word play is unbeatable (a car that ‘goes without saying,’ a ‘whether’ man. Loved it as a kid. Appreciated it even more re-reading it as an adult.”

Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. “Such a celebration of nonconformity and the power of love!”

What’s your favorite children’s book? We’d love to know. Please feel free to leave a comment and tell us here.


  1. I loved reading Room on the Broom to my daughter. Wonderful lesson on helping others.

  2. Snowy Day! The art, the rhythm, the simplicity of it all!

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