Children’s books aren’t exclusively for children. Sure, there’s the whimsical cover, a silly tale here and there, but at their core, these books that we read as kids are for adults too. The proof is when you revisit an old book that you read as a child. My guess is many of these books will have taken a different meaning for you as an adult.
Here are a few children’s books that you can enjoy as a grown up:
The Little Prince is everyone’s inner child. This timeless tale of a minute prince, a pilot and little planets far away is simple and profound at the same time. It’s a book for grownups who forgot how to be kids.
It isn’t possible to make this list without our favorite boy wizard. Harry and me met at my fourth grade classroom some years ago and since then, we have been inseparable. Harry Potter is popular and for good reason: it’s magical, and you take that magic with you all the way to Hogwarts and back.
Confession: I saw the movie before I read the book. But who doesn’t love this little adventure? James is an orphan, who encounters— yes, a giant peach— and goes adventuring with funny garden bugs. Seems weird? It is, in the best way!
Painfully simple and deeply moving— that’s how to best describe this tearjerker. Bridge to Terabithia tells the story of two lonely kids Jesse and Leslie as they try to build a magical world called Terabithia. Their tale of friendship, love and loss will stay with you for a long, long time.
Well, you may very well like this book back. I Like You is a little picture book with quirky drawings and a few words that can make your heart melt. The author tells you reasons why “she likes you” in silly words and rhymes and you can’t help but feel warm and fuzzy. Perfect as a gift for kids aged 8 to 99.
Recommended by Stefan
Imagine a story illustrating Tennyson’s adage of “nature red in tooth and claw” but told through cute, fluffy bunnies. Reading Watership Down as a child may have planted an early interest in politics way before we were marching in the streets for EDSA II. Ostensibly about a group of rabbits evacuating their warren before disaster to find a new home for themselves, metaphors of human power abound, but unlike Animal Farm, Adams’ novel manages to build a thrilling story with characters we root for. Add in a bit of redemption in the end, this is the bunny story we all need in these dark, politically gnarled times.
Recommended by Jason
A follow up to the original trilogy of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, Tales of the Peculiar explores the world of gifted individuals in a time when they were free to be themselves and explore their talents. For those not familiar with the trilogy (now a motion picture), I highly advise you to pick up the rest of the books before getting this one.
Recommended by Jason
This series of books involves the adventures of gifted children. But unlike the peculiar children, these kids have more “normal” gifts. It’s an action packed and witty adventure filled with clever twists and surprises!
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