It is somewhat gratifying to know how many adults absolutely adore children’s books and how passionate they are about their personal favorites.
If you are another one of us who can’t get enough of this topic, and you’ve checked out Part I and Part II already, read on…here are some more recommendations from some more of our NewsWhistle interviewees.
Brett Jarrell, Biovita: I enjoyed Where the Sidewalk Ends as young child. I also liked
the Narnia series as well as the Lloyd Alexander series, especially Book of Three. (I pretty much read anything in front of me though, especially biographies.)
Margaret Dorsey, anthropologist: My favorite to read to children is Goodnight Moon because it’s relaxing. My favorite as a child was Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I guess that I have long been attracted to adventure and trying new things.
Alice Quinn, Poetry Society of America: I recently ordered one of my favorite books for children by the Caldecott winners Alice and Martin Provensen. It’s called Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm and is a personal book set on their own farm. I’ve read it hundreds of times babysitting for the children of friends. It is so charming and wonderful.
Yurika Nakazono, Terra New York: I have the Elsa Beskow books I love. And Astrid Lindgrin. The Little Prince is my number one favorite. Also Guri and Gura—Japanese books about two small mice!
Najaam Lee, artist and sickle cell advocate: Favorite children’s book? Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland…overcoming obstacles and winning at the end. Having that magical fairy tale.
Philippe Vergez, Philippe V: Le Petit Prince… (The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry) The best life, love, friendship, behavior lessons ever that resonate in me since I am 7…This book was written more than 70 years ago and every word in it is still finding its truth nowadays. If we were to feed every kid’s brain with these words we would live in a much better world…
And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.
“One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox. “Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me. . .”
“What a queer planet!” he thought. “It is altogether dry, and altogether pointed, and altogether harsh and forbidding. And the people have no imagination. They repeat whatever one says to them . . .On my planet I had a flower; she always was the first to speak . . .”
Grown-ups love figures. When you describe a new friend to them, they never ask you about the important things. They never say “What’s his voice like? What are his favourite games? Does he collect butterflies?” Instead they demand “How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much does his father earn?” Only then do they feel they know him. If you say to the grown-ups: “I’ve seen a lovely house made of pink brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,” they are unable to picture such a house. You must say: “I saw a house that cost a hundred thousand francs.” Then they cry out: “How pretty!” Again, you might say to them: “The proof that the little prince existed is that he was enchanting, that he laughed, and that he was looking for a sheep. When someone wants a sheep, it is proof that they exist.” The grown-ups will merely shrug their shoulders, and treat you like a child. But if you tell them: “The planet he came from is Asteroid B 612,” then they will be convinced, and will spare you all their questions. That is how they are. You must not hold it against them. Children have to be very indulgent towards grown-ups.
If you succeed in judging yourself rightly, then you are indeed a man of true wisdom.
No one is ever satisfied where he is.
I believe I do not need to comment any further…
Clare Frost, kimono designer: The Big Orange Splot, by Daniel Pinkwater. I give it to all my friends and family who have babies. The honesty of its magic marker illustrations, and the importance of its message to follow your heart and your dreams, and create your world as their reflection. Be yourself, be kind, respect yourself and the different opinions of others. And, importantly, support other people to have the courage to live their truths, too.
Yvonne Chu, Kimera Design: I loved The Little Engine That Could because of its message…never give up. I apply this to all aspects of my own life, from running my business to competing in ultras and triathlons.
Laura LaVelle is an attorney and writer who lives in Connecticut, in a not quite 100-year-old house, along with her husband, two daughters, and a cockatiel.
Laura can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lead-In Image Courtesy of Monika Bhandari / Shutterstock.com