This Saturday, read a book! April 2 marks International Children’s Book Day, an annual event that promotes children’s literature and encourages children to read. Naturally, Thinkery is celebrating by blogging about (and rereading) some choice selections from children’s literature.
Several of Thinkery’s staff members weighed in on their personal favorite children’s books. Check ‘em out!
My all-time favorite is “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster, and I reread it often to this day. It was one of the first “chapter” books I ever had read to me, and I remember wanting to hear it all the time, over and over again. It was one of my favorite adventure stories, and what I imagine was probably that original inspiration to travel and try ALL of the new things, ALL of the time. It also taught me a thing or two about witty word-choice and innocent double entendres that I’m sure drove my family crazy.
Emily, Volunteer Resources Coordinator, Teen Programs
My favorite book as a child, “Harriet the Spy” by Louise Fitzhugh, spoke to the sneaky and independent human I was in my younger years (and am now). I related to Harriet’s lack of adult supervision as my parents always allowed me the freedom to explore the woods of East Texas alone, from sun up to sun down. My favorite quote, “There are as many ways to live in this world as there are people on it,” said by Ole Golly, has become a motto of my life and a line I repeat frequently as an adult. This book’s subversive lessons guided me, comforted me and ignited the fire that led me to obtain a journalism degree.
Lauren, Marketing and Communications Manager
My favorite books growing up were the “Bangers and Mash” series by Paul Groves. I grew up in London and Australia where they were very popular. The books were about two chimpanzees (Bangers and Mash) who were always getting into trouble, which I think I related to a lot at the time (and still do). I have a clear image in my memory of my mom’s hands flipping the pages as I sat in her lap and read or listened.
Without a doubt, my favorite children’s book is “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein. I vividly remember my older brother daring me that I couldn’t read it—he hadn’t learned to read yet, and he didn’t think his little sister would be able to read before him. He was totally wrong! It was the first book I ever read, and it’s still my favorite to this day. In fact, the first poem in the collection is my favorite poem of all time.
Margie, HR Generalist
I’d have to say “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. To this day, I can still visualize the tree at the end when it can only offer its stump to the grown man—the same grown man that, as a boy, used to play and swing on the tree. It is such a strong memory about the lessons of giving. Today, as a parent, when I watch my son scale a tree, bang on it to get “moss balls” out to throw, gather sticks to use in a fort and then relax in a hammock under its canopy of leaves, I sometimes think of this book as I watch the limbs and branches sway and shake and wonder what he will be like (and where he will go) when he is older.
Molly, Innovators’ Lead
I have so many wonderful memories of reading Gary Paulsen’s “The Transall Saga.” It’s a thrilling, engaging science fiction adventure with tons of twists and turns—it’s constantly keeping you on your toes. Without revealing too many surprises, I will say that this was the very first book to spark my imagination in a big way. It got me interested in history—the tools, the technologies and the civilizations—a passion that later led me to study tools and archaeology in college. I definitely recommend it!
My favorite children’s book is “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst. Like Alexander, I was the youngest in the family and I could often relate to his struggles with his older brothers. When I was little and I was having a particularly rough day, my mom would read me this book to remind me that everyone has bad days and that bad days can always turn around to be good days. To this day, whenever things aren’t going my way, I still threaten to move to Australia. But of course, as Alexander’s mom tells him, even people in Australia have bad days.
Whether you’re rereading a cherished classic or discovering a new family favorite, spend part (or all) of International Children’s Book Day with a book in your hand.
Looking for something special to kick off Saturday’s celebration? Pop by Thinkery’s gift shop and pick up one of the many incredible children’s books we offer—our inventory changes frequently, so there’s always something fun and fresh to read.