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What Are Your Favorite Children’s Stories?

Posted by on Jun 3, 2013

I thought it was time to lighten things up a bit and talk about something that has absolutely nothing to do with blogging… or does it?

being still amidst chaos {explored}
Jack Fussell via Compfight

I tend to think that those blogs that work best are the types that know how to tell a story or know how to give detail on how to get something done. But where do we learn how to tell stories? Sometimes we learned from our parents, sometimes we learned from other people we listen to, but for the most part we probably got it from stories we read as children.

Since my parents never read to me that meant that I had to basically read all the books myself and use my imagination to bring them to life in my mind. Even now I don’t have a problem with that, and yet I’ve always wondered what kind of voices my parents would’ve given to stories if they had read to me.

Here’s an unfortunate truth. At a certain point most people stopped reading children’s stories unless they have children of their own. I’m not one of those people, so over the years I’ve continued to read a story meant for children here and there along with all the other things I read. It’s probably because I drive so much and listen to the a lot of recorded books that it makes it easy for me to absorb so many books in so many genres.

Thus, I’m going to share some books here that are children’s stories that I didn’t read only as a child. I’m only sharing for them, and after I share these four I hope that you will comment below and let me know what some of your favorite children’s books are because to tell you the truth I have probably missed a lot of them. My wife is always amazed at the books and stories and fairy tales I’ve never heard, and yet when I mention the ones I know she never seems to know those so I think we’re even.

With that said let’s take a look at my little list here:

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Watership Down – I actually read this book in college when I took children’s literature to catch up on some of my elective credits that I needed to graduate. This isn’t a typical children’s book in that it was around 500 pages and pretty dense and detailed. And yet the authors seem to perfectly capture as much of a sense of personality that a rabbit could have along with the motions of trying to survive their world. It was probably this book they got me to realize that just because something is called a children’s book doesn’t mean it can’t be quality literature.

frisby_nimh

Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH – This is a book I read in high school but not for any particular class. I thought in the library and it looked interesting so I took it out and read it at home. It’s a story of a mouse child is sick and they need their house moved because the farmer is going to basically destroy where they are, and she goes to these intelligent mice who were given all kinds of drugs to make them more intelligent at the National Institute of Mental Health. It’s an intriguing story and more down to earth than the movie that was made 20 years later called The Secret of NIMH, and really made me think about some of the experiments done on rats and mice and whether there are certain areas that should be explored.

GDGo

Go Dog Go – This is a Dr. Seuss book, and my favorite one of all time. It’s basically got dogs, dogs of all kind, dogs of all color ( including blue dogs), and every once in a while has two dogs meeting up where the female dog asked the male dog if he likes her hat, to which he responds “no” until the end of the book. This is just a fun book of course and yet almost 40 years later I still have this book.

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1st 3 Harry Potter books – I’ve broken it down this way because anyone who reads the last four books and think does a children’s story haven’t paid attention to what’s going on. Actually I started out with book number five, The Order of The Phoenix, because I didn’t know that the books were supposed to go in order at the time. But the first three books, even with some of the dangers that were in them, and the adult theme that was added near the end of the third book, are classic. I find me so fascinating that I keep watching the movies and listening to the books (as I said, I listen to a lot of recorded books and I travel a lot) over and over, and I pick up something new every single time.

And there you go. So, tell me what you think of my choices and let me know what some of your favorites are. See, isn’t this a nice light topic for once? 😉
 

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31 Comments »

Harry Potter got me interested in fantasy genre. This led me to finding out about Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman who became my favorite writers.

June 3rd, 2013 | 4:59 PM

I had to go look both writers up. Knew nothing of Pratchett’s but did know the Golden Compass story by Pullman, though more because of the movie than the book.

June 4th, 2013 | 12:28 AM

What a fabulous topic Mitch! I read to my children all,of the time and I still enjoy children’s literature a great deal – both for the content and often for the lovely illustrations as well. Some of my favorites include classics that many haven’t read, but think the well known movies are the real stories when they are not. The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, any of the original Grimm’s Fairytales or Hans Christian Anderson etc.

June 3rd, 2013 | 5:24 PM

Aradia, would you believe I know few of the fairy tales, as I didn’t grow up with them, and I’ve never read or seen any movies or cartoons about Alice in Wonderland; I’ll have to rectify that one of these days.

June 4th, 2013 | 12:29 AM

The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings easily the most appealing to me. I was also brought up on Indian stories the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Great stories which continue to enthral me even now.

Less in excitement but something that I did enjoy in my very young days were Enid Blyton and just about every cowboy comic that I could lay my hands on.
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June 3rd, 2013 | 9:20 PM

Rummuser, were the Tolkien books considered children’s stories in their day? I’ve never been able to read them so I’m glad the movies finally came out. I looked up Enid Blyton and she wrote lots of things, and I don’t know any of them. I feel so deficient in my children’s literature. lol

June 4th, 2013 | 12:31 AM

All from the English stables Mitch. We are yet to break off fully from the Brits. We still use their spelling for instance.
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June 4th, 2013 | 2:03 AM

Both of my parent used to read me books, until I was able to read on my own. I think one of my favorite books was “Pippi Longstocking”. Well, I still keep up with reading, not quite children’s book, but read a lot manga stories in the last few years.
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June 4th, 2013 | 1:57 AM

Carl, you don’t read to your son? lol As a kid I never read Pippi Longstocking, but I remember there was a movie and I was in a play in 3rd grade. How weird that was!

June 5th, 2013 | 9:51 PM

Good question, Mitch but in my case it is very tricky. You know that I am living abroad and actually my son speaks better English than his mother language and actually he refuses to speak any other language than English. He have to go to school next year and he count and write in English already, though he refuse to say a word in Thai and I don’t speak this language either!
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June 7th, 2013 | 9:48 PM

That’s funny Carl. I’m betting you’re going to have a very interesting experience from his first year in school.

June 9th, 2013 | 8:48 PM

Oh man, what a great topic.

I’m not much on Harry Potter, but I loved Watership Down and especially Mrs. Frisby!

My favorite children’s books have to be ‘The House with a Clock in Its Walls’ by John Bellairs, as well as his next 2 books – ‘The Figure in the Shadows’, and ‘The Letter, The Witch, and The Ring’.

In these books, a young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt moves in with his uncle, who turns out to be a friendly, though not very powerful, magician.

The house he lives in once belonged to a powerful warlock. Inside the house is a constantly ticking clock that they cannot find. Whatever it’s for, it can’t be good, and Lewis inadvertently kicks off a chain of events that uncovers the true purpose of the clock.

I remember being somewhat frightened by these books as a kid, but I loved every page.

Then there’s ‘Bunnicula’, and ‘Howliday Inn’ by James Howe. In Bunnicula, the family dog and cat are alarmed when a new pet is brought home, a rabbit with fangs they are convinced is a vampiric bunny (well, at least the cat is convinced).

Then in ‘Howliday Inn’, the pets are embroiled in a murder-mystery when they are left at a pet kennel while the family vacations. Hilarity ensues.

Some of my favorite books as a kid used to be the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ series. I just couldn’t wait for a new one to come out.

I’m thinking now that I might have to revisit a few of these old childhood pleasures…
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June 4th, 2013 | 12:23 PM

Man John, I don’t know any of those. Then again, I’m about 10 years older than you, so I imagine I missed a lot. Sounds intriguing though, almost like those Lemony Snicket books.

June 5th, 2013 | 9:54 PM

Mitch, I recently read ‘Fireflies and the Shooting Stars’ which is about this little firefly called Enzo whose tail does not light up. Enzo goes through a lot, facing the challenges of being different from other fireflies that make rude comments about him. I was touched by the story of Enzo because I think, at one point or another, we all face a little bit (or a lot) of what Enzo did in his life.
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June 4th, 2013 | 4:36 PM

You’re absolutely correct Pitt; it happens to all of us at one time or another.

June 5th, 2013 | 9:55 PM

My husband reads the books about the Malazan Empire. He swears that they are the best fantasy books out there. I like Forgotten Realms….well I did before the spell plague. D&D is lame these days imho.
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June 5th, 2013 | 2:58 AM

I don’t know any of those; never even heard of the Malazan Empire (we Americans are so self centered sometimes lol)

June 5th, 2013 | 9:58 PM

Hey Mitch,

Harry Potter books are for me, one of the best story book series i have read. I may not be a child anymore when I read it but it brings out the childhood in me. Poots in boots is also one story book that I read in my early childish days. Having these books can really remind us of something that we tend to forget when we grow old.
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June 7th, 2013 | 6:25 AM

Farrell, I’ve always known about Puss ‘n Boots but I’ve never read the story; I might have to slap myself for that one.

June 9th, 2013 | 4:57 PM

I love to read the story books which my son is given from his school and I found Charlie and the Chocolate Factory very interesting and of course Harry potter is a best series which I always like.

June 9th, 2013 | 2:20 PM

Once again Muzammil, you bring up a story I know very well but have never read. I have read the first three chapters, but that’s about it. One of these days…

June 9th, 2013 | 8:49 PM

I love children’s books and can admit I have not ready any for a while now. I loved Roald Dahl books so much that I have bought a collection that I have kept for my kids to read oneday.
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June 13th, 2013 | 5:12 PM

Welcome Kristine. That’s someone else I’ve never heard of that I’m going to have to check out. I’m going to hope that I’ll get to read to my great niece one of these days, since I know she’ll at least be in town.

June 13th, 2013 | 11:25 PM

My most liking book is Harry Potter . My favourite serial is Doramon . This serial shows how much our technology will going to advance in the future .
Thank you so much for this article because it reminds me my old memories.
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June 17th, 2013 | 10:54 AM

Glad to help you with your memories Deepak, and also glad you liked the Harry Potter series.

June 17th, 2013 | 11:41 PM

I must say, book n serial is The Adventure of TOM SAWYER, i was raised abroad, thou I Indonesian,i had such a wonderful years as a kid with tears, laughter,so much joy that i wanna go back in time remembering Tom n Huckleberry Finn adventures.

June 19th, 2013 | 1:00 PM

I enjoyed Tom Sawyer as a kid though I must admit that I never could read Huckleberry Finn because of some of the offensive language in the book… at least to me.

June 20th, 2013 | 1:06 AM
Edgar Williamson:

Harry Potter was the trend during my son’s elementary days and as a Father, I also read them to know what keeps my son interested to it. In fairness, I love it and it made my son appreciate books.
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June 20th, 2013 | 7:51 AM

I think it’s one of the best series of books in history, and I keep going through them over and over. Great stuff.

June 21st, 2013 | 9:36 PM

With great success often comes great controversy. Rowling’s Harry Potter books landed on a list of banned books because of their depiction of wizardry and witchcraft. However, Rowling regards her place on the list as a feather in her cap, as past lists have included works by such literary giants as Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, J. D. Salinger, and Harper Lee.
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June 29th, 2013 | 12:23 AM

Thanks for your participation Lucas. To me, people who believe in watches and witchcraft really need to check their reality meters, especially when it comes in books aimed at children.

June 29th, 2013 | 10:21 AM
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