Childrearing

10 Kids’ Books That You Won’t Want To Set On Fire After The Twentieth Re-Read

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6. Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!

oh the thinks you can think

(Amazon)

Dr. Seuss is great. That said, the Cat in the Hat is a complete asshole, and there are some days I’d rather bite my tongue off than try reading Fox in Socks again. Oh, the Thinks You Can Think, on the other hand, is a cute little book that features exactly zero discussions of either tweedle beetle puddle battles or chicks with bricks and blocks and clocks.

7. Something Big Has Been Here

something big has been here(Amazon)

Jack Prelutsky’s poems put me in mind of Shel Silverstein’s, but with rather fewer turns to the macabre. They’re funny, the illustrations are cute, and don’t tell anyone, but I think I like this book better than A Light in the Attic. Shh!

8. Hey, Al!

hey al(Amazon)

Hey, Al is a whimsical (by which I mean, kinda weird) fable about finding joy where you can in life and also about how if you try to take the easy way out, you might turn into a freakishly giant bird. The artwork is lush and lovely and so is the moral: that dreams are something you have to work for. Suck it, Aesop.

9. Strega Nona

strega nona(Amazon)

Drawn in Tomie dePaola’s characteristic style, Strega Nona is one of the most recognizable characters of my childhood. This is a new folk tale where an awesome old lady gets to save the day in the end – a friendly old “Grandma Witch” who saves her town from a pasta flood caused by her well-meaning but dopey assistant – instead of being a wicked witch, or even a damsel in distress. Strega Nona gets it done.

10. Winnie-the-Pooh

winnie-the-pooh(Amazon)

The Disneyfied version put me off picking up A. A. Milne’s classic novel, but as it turns out, it’s kind of amazing. The way Milne writes about his son, the famous Christopher Robin, is a powerful reminder of the common thread of parenting that unites us across the years. Also, of how little four-year-olds have changed, based on this passage:

“If you happen to have read another book about Christopher Robin, you may remember that he once had a swan (or the swan had Christopher Robin, I don’t know which) and that he used to call this swan Pooh. That was a long time ago, and when we said good-bye, we took the name with us, as we didn’t think the swan would want it any more. Well, when Edward Bear said that he would like an exciting name all to himself, Christopher Robin said at once, without stopping to think, that he was Winnie-the-Pooh. And he was.”

Sounds about right, doesn’t it?

(Image: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock)

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