Top 5 Wednesday is hosted over at this goodreads group, and involves, obviously, listing the top five… something. This week’s topic is children’s and middle-grade books, which I’m super excited for. It’s been too long since I’ve returned to my favorite childhood books. And I’ve recently come to appreciate some children’s books that I didn’t get to read as a child. So, here goes.
The Chronicles of Narnia
by C.S. Lewis
No list of children’s books would be complete without the books I either read or had read to me more times than I can count. C.S. Lewis is still one of my favorite writers, and I hope one day I can write children’s books half as well. I mean, “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.” Sorry, Jane, but this is better than the first line of Pride and Prejudice.
A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L’Engle
I actually only read this book this year, but more children’s books (and all books, really) need to be like this one. There are active and involved parents, a girl who’s not perfect but doesn’t spend all her time focused on it, a girl who’s good at math, a boy who’s good at sports and also nice with a solid backstory, theology, philosophy, and just an all-around good story. It’s great.
Six by Seuss
by Dr. Seuss
Is this cheating? Including six stories in one? This was my favorite of the Dr. Seuss books I owned, because the mooing Mr. Brown creeped me out as a child for some reason. Anyway, this includes many of the classics: The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, The Lorax, Yertle the Turtle, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, Horton Hatches the Egg, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. So good.
Jethro and Joel Were a Troll
by Bill Peet
To be honest, I don’t remember anything about this story, other than the fact that I loved it. It’s basically about a two-headed troll, one head a good farmer and the other a terrorizer, and the bad head gets to lead for a day. I saw it in a Goodwill not too long ago, which is what made me think of it, but it was in such bad shape that I didn’t buy it. I need to read it again.
“The Magic of the Holidays”
by Ann D. Hardy
So, fun fact, a google search of this won’t bring anything up. It’s a short story in Buddy’s Favorite Christmas Stories and Poems by the staff of My Weekly Reader, published in 1981, and it was one of my favorite childhood books. The beat-up copy we had was missing the last few pages, and so every time my dad would read it to me, I would get to make up the ending to the story. I partially credit this story for my desire to become a writer.
This list was way too hard to choose, so I must include my honorable mentions:
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett
Amelia Bedelia books by Peggy Parish
The Magic Treehouse books by Mary Pope Osborne
Matilda by Roald Dahl
The Guardians of Ga’Hoole by Kathryn Laskey
Warriors books by Erin Hunter
Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene
…and I’m sure I’m missing so many other good ones. Kids’ books are the best, man.
Were any of these your favorites?