Children's Books

I started listening to the audiobook of Oliver Twist (by Charles Dickens) today and it got me thinking about children's books. Naturally, I've decided to make a post about and share 10 of my favorite works in children's literature.

You probably have already heard me say this but I love me a good children's book. And I always have. My mother used to read out loud to us a lot when I was still very small and once I learnt how to read I started reading out lout to my siblings (I'm the oldest). Obviously, what remains is a strong love and super vague memory for/of a lot of children's books.

However, before I start I want to make clear that these are only a fracture of all of the children's books I love/have loved – they're not even my 10 favorite works – but they are a decent insight into all of the books which greatly influenced me as a child.

Without further ado: Great children's books for everyone (and their young friends/relatives) to enjoy, in no particular order.

  • Astrid Lindgren

Lindgren was such an amazing author with a gift for writing a mind-boggling variety of stories with awesome characters and interesting settings, great storylines and generally satisfying plots. Her books made me go through pretty much every emotion: Ronia the Robber's Daughter scared me (very much so, actually), Pippi Longstocking made me laugh, and Lotta's Easter Surprise cheered me up to no end – just to name a few.  
Sidenote: An additional exciting thing about stories by Astrid Lindgren are the corresponding movies. I don't know about you but I watched sooo many Astrid Lindgren movie adaptations when I was a kid (and I still do sometimes, especially Pippi Longstocking because we own two of those movies) and loving all of them. They're all so wonderful and great to watch with friends.

This might not totally qualify as children's literature but I couldn't not add this to the list. I don't think it needs any kind of introduction but if you haven't read it yet, you should totally do that, like, right now.

Again, I don't really think this needs any kind of introduction but I'll write a quick one anyway considering the recent movies might have screwed with the people's perception of this tale. The Hobbit is a wonderful story of a scared Hobbit who embarks on an adventure he doesn't really – but kinda does he isn't really sure – want to be a part of. During this adventure he meets many a scary creature, has epic riddle-battles, and is introduced to a great variety of awesome characters while slowly learning how to be brave and not-as-clumsy. It's great. (But it's also definitely a children's books. Don't expect the movie. Seriously.)

Quite obviously, this is a German book/series and, less obviously, it hasn't been translated into any other language (to my knowledge) but I can't help but including it. I vividly remembering a scene in the third book, where everyone flies into space, that made me/us laugh so hard my mother had to stop reading and wait for a couple of minutes for us to calm down. Needless to say, I would totally recommend reading it (or watching the Augsburger Puppenkiste version of it but I don't know how well that holds up to the scrutiny of time) if you understand German.

Who doesn't know this friendly, silly bear and his friends? These stories have a very particular magic which can't quite be matched by anything else. If you haven't read them yet I would definitely recommend doing so. No matter how old you are you will be able to enjoy at least certain aspects of Pooh's tales.

Felix, if you didn't know, is a stuffed rabbit who, someday, gets lost at the airport. As he tries to get back to his family and especially Sophie, his owner who has known Felix since she was born and always does everything with him, he starts sending letters from all the countries he's visiting during his epic detour.
These books were awesome. We had those editions with little envelopes, whenever a letter from Felix arrives in the story, with actual letters in them and some pictures/other additional material which made reading these sooo much more fun. I loved everything about this and I only hope that Felix's adventures will live on in the hearts of children for a long, long time.

(I wasn't able to find our version of it so, instead, I have a picture of my personal Felix, which I also had for all my life just like Sophie. Yes, I did indeed feel very special because of that when I was a kid. And, yes, my parents actually almost called me Sophie, which made me feel even more special. No, that's not the only reason I loved these books.)

This book was an epiphany. It's about this pair of wizards who have two children – a boy who's good at magic and a girl who isn't. Just as the parents get turned into pigs their fortress gets besieged. It's time for Igraine to embark on a mission to fulfill her life-long dream of becoming a real knight and saving her family and home! I can't even tell you how much Igraine inspired me. She is so great and this book is so awesome and full of magic and adventures and interesting characters and badass knight action and – well, you get it.

The Little Nicholas books are so funny. They totally nail silly child-logic and adult-irrationality in a way that doesn't really make fun of it but does expose it to an extent that they can make an entire family laugh-cry while reading (yes, that did happen to us multiple times).

This isn't just one of my all-time favorite children's books but also one of my all-time favorite books in general. If you haven't read this yet, I would definitely give it a shot. Asap. It is so beautiful and heartbreaking and interesting and full of love and joy and longing – how could I not love it?

Alice, I think, doesn't need an introduction, either. Everyone has heard of it and everyone knows why it's great. My opinion doesn't really differ from the overall consensus. I haven't, however, read it in English, yet, which I really want to change.

And that's it! I hope you enjoyed this short insight into the life of child-me.
I wish you a great day and way we read again, or something. Bye!


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