“A childhood without books – that would be no childhood. That would be like being shut out from the enchanted place where you can go and find the rarest kind of joy.”
― Astrid Lindgren
Children literature is not like other forms of literature that only express and delight. Children literature comes with a responsibility, that is, to teach. And the two myths that are often associated with this genre are utterly incorrect. The one myth is that it is innocent, and the other is that it is only related to the bed time stories like that of Cinderella and Snow White.
The nature of the books who have children as their target audience is never singular. More than often they have very deep, dark, and political meanings veiled inside the cloak of fascinating allegory. This fact makes the books of children literature a good and informative read for adults as well.
Keeping the advantages and interests of adults aside for a while, below are enlisted ten books that don’t just entertain, but gives children some lessons and stories to cherish for lifetime.
1. James and the Giant Peach
“There are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven't started wondering about yet.” - Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach
Master of fantasy and adventure in the world of children books, Roald Dahl offers young readers the magic they are looking for through this book. It is the story of a young boy, fed up of living with her aunts after his parents got eaten up by an angry rhinoceros. The books takes you on an adventure on peach and is dripping with magical instances.
2. Ramona Quimby, Age 8
“Ramona, I hear the mission bells above, Ramona, they’re ringing out our song of love.” Ramona stared at her book as she thought mean, dark thoughts about Uncle Hobart.” - Beveryly Cleary, Ramona Quimby, Age 8
This book by Beveryly Cleary is a part of Ramona series consisting of seven other books, with their protagonist as Ramona. If the book by Roald Dahl delights by the fantasy and adventures, this book by Cleary teaches to be good to our family by some real life situations weaved into a story. Ramona dislikes her school and forms a bad opinion of her mother and teacher because of the difficulties she faces as a young girl. But at the end, it is the love of her family and teacher that teaches her to respect her elders and love the people back.
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
“The best person I know is Myself.” - Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid
A kid who loves to stay inside and play video games is on summer vacations! Video games and summer vacations – what else can a child of the same age as Greg would like to read about? Jeff Kinney writes the series of Diary of a Wimpy Kid books as an 11-13 year old boy filling a journal with all the misadventures he has had in his life. It’s hilarious, it’s adventurous, and it will teach children many new words, developing their vocabulary.
4. Animal Farm
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” - George Orwell, Animal Farm
It is a fantastic story about animals and their world living in a farm. Kids will love how they chase the humans out of their own farm and start living there on their own terms until the pig clan takes over ruling and exploiting other animals. Kids have to know just this much and enjoy the story on their level. Adults however, would read it on a very different level finding a lot of political criticism by George Orwell in the book.
5. Canterville Ghost
“You can have your secret as long as I have your heart[.]” - Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost
Ghost stories have always fascinated children and they will love this one because it is as funny as it is scary. To put it in a genre, it’s a gothic parody, but children can enjoy it for thekind of funny things a family experiences as it comes to live in a house which is haunted. The ghost which haunts the house is a joke in the name of typical ghosts and is easily scared himself. Written by the famous English author Oscar Wilde, it’s a beautiful blend of fantasy and laughter.
6. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
“Always winter but never Christmas.” - C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Narnia, after Hogwarts, is the most coveted fantasy world by children. It has the most beloved lion of the world of literature, Aslan. It has the wicked witch, and four young children who fight their way to become kings and queens. C. S. Lewis has written it as if his sole was to gratify the imagination of children. It is entertaining and imparts great wisdom.
7. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
“I am the maker of music, the dreamer of dreams!” - Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Here’s another favorite of children, chocolate! And not just chocolate, a whole factory full of chocolates!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the story of a poor boy who gets a chance to visit the biggest chocolate factory, and the story ahead are some interesting events that are surely weaved by Dahl to excite children in all possible ways. Roald Dahl is one of the beast children books writer and it is evident from this book of his.
8. The Jungle Book
“For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” - Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book
Jungle is a concept which is forbidden and hence fascinates children the most. Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book -the story of young Mowgli, probably the most famous saga among children, is about this fascinating life in a jungle. It showcases the most ferocious of animals in the friendliest of ways. We have Ballu, the bear; Bagira, the Black Panther; Ka, the snake; and villain Sher Khan, the tiger. With such attractive names for dangerous animals, and with the way they raise a human baby in jungle, the story is bound to steal every child’s heart.
9. Alice in Wonderland
“Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle.” - Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
We all still remember the hare, the hatter, and the mad tea party we all attended with Alice, down the rabbit hole in Wonderland. A perfect example of how a child thinks and takes everything literally because of his innocence, the book is worth reading for both children and adults. Alice needs to escape the real world and the rules that society wants her to follow in order to find who she really is.
10. The Little Prince
“All grown-ups were once children... but only few of them remember it.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
It is an adventure story in the intergalactic universe. The explorations, discoveries, and realizations that are made in the journey of the little Prince are worth taking a lesson from, for both children and adults.
All the books mentioned are a real treat for the children. They must read some or all of these books for knowledge and pure delight.