The Children’s Books That Shaped and Inspired Us

Apr 02 2018

books

by Ashika Sethi

From Dr. Seuss to A Wrinkle in Time, everyone remembers their favorite books from childhood and the lessons they learned from them. On this year’s International Children’s Book Day, we’ve compiled a list of our staff’s favorite reads from when they were little:  

Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel

The Frog and Toad books are short stories that chronicle the adventures of two best friends, Frog and Toad. Frog and Toad have a variety of different adventures together, and the stories range from humorous to very poignant. I used to read these books with my younger sister and she would impersonate Toad’s voice in the most hilarious way, so I have fond memories of that. I also love the characters of Frog and Toad- Toad is more serious and uptight while Frog is happier and more easygoing. These are wonderful books for younger children that really model a true friendship. Frog and Toad are funny and endearing characters. 

Audrey Sherman, Associate Director of Advocacy

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

The Paper Bag Princess is about a princess named Elizabeth who is set to marry Prince Ronald until a dragon smashes her castle and carries him off. She decided to go after her prince, puts on a paper bag, and goes to confront the dragon and get him back. Once she arrives, she has to use her wits to outsmart the dragon, and tire him out so she can get to Ronald. When the prince sees her, he tells her she needs to go back to looking like a princess and she decided he is a bum and she is better off without him. Robert Munsch is my favorite author of children’s books, and he wrote this one because he was tired of the prince always saving the princess! I love the illustrations and I love that it is written simply enough that young kids can enjoy it, with a message that kids of all ages can love. I would recommend this book because it teaches you how to have compassion for others, that you have internal strength, and that using your wits can help you in tricky situations.

Jen Cosman, Child Advocacy Specialist

Dr. Seuss

Dr. Suess’s books are unique and fun to read. What I love most is that they are timeless adventures that every reader “big or small” can experience. Each book because has its own life lessons that are taught to us in fun, endearing ways. His writing is creative yet inspiring and can make reading really entertaining!

Elena Jimenez, Volunteer Recruitment Specialist

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

I would recommend Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing to any kids between the ages of 7-11. The book is about a kid that is struggling with fitting in everywhere from school to home; he just can’t get comfortable anywhere. It was one of my favorite books as a child because it is so funny and expressive and relatable. There is an energy about the book that made it enjoyable to read and to want to find more books like it! Luckily, the follow-up book to it, Super Fudge, was equally as wonderful! I would recommend this book because it brings joy and humor to reading. Often we read things out of obligation and the joy can be taken out of reading. This book is a great example of investing in and relating to the humanity of a character!

Janet Rodriguez, Director of Volunteer Admissions

For the Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka

For the Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales is a hilarious book that parodies classic fairy tales in a slightly irreverent (but appropriate) way. Original fairy tales that receive a twist include Cinderella, Rumplestilstkin, The Ugly Duckling, and The Princess and the Pea, to name a few. As a kid I loved this book because it had all my favorite stories, but with a twist. It combines several of the fairy tales in unexpected ways and I loved the creativity and the illustrations. I would recommend this book to school-aged children because it is funny, creative, and leads you to rethink classic tales in a new way.

Audrey Sherman, Associate Director of Advocacy