Children’s Writers Who Teach Adults
Tell me about the favorite book of your childhood, and I’ll tell you about your dreams. I’ll tell you about your values. Would you pick Alice in Wonderland? Then, I would say you’re an adventurist, dreamer, and risk-taker. Was Peter Pan your favorite character? Then, I would say you have a goal to stay in touch with your inner child, forever and ever.
Children’s books form our characters. Although today’s kids are more into iPads and cartoons, parents are still finding ways to get them interested in reading. Why? Because reading the right books can help them form the right characters.
Children’s Books from an Adult’s Perspective
If you were reading a lot when you were a child, that habit helped you develop skills of critical and creative thinking, as well as writing. Instead of ordering papers from AustralianWritings like most other students do, you probably had the capacity to write your own essays and research papers. In addition to skills, those books also helped us form moral values.
Have you thought about going back to the favorite books of your childhood? There’s a good reason to do that: when you read children’s books as an adult, you see them from a different point of view. You’ll have a reality check: how far have you gone from those values?
Children’s Writers Make Us Grounded
The Little Prince is seen as a children’s book, but Antoine de Saint-Exupéry thought of it as an allegory of his own life. He was searching for his inner peace and childhood certainties.
If you read The Little Prince now, you’ll realize this is one of the most philosophical books ever written. It’s about friendships, belief, kindness, growing up, and maintaining moral values. It makes you realize: children’s logic is the ultimate achievement of wisdom in life. Why do we distance ourselves away from it?
Many other children’s books can return us to the lessons we shouldn’t have forgotten. In addition to The Little Prince, here are four other suggestions of books you should reread as a grown-up.
1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”
That quote grasps the whole essence of this book. No matter how tightly we try to hold onto the past, we can never get it back. That is not a tragedy. Time goes by so we can change, grow, and evolve into better persons.
2. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
“Sir, with no intention to take offence, I deny your right to put words into my mouth.”
This classical adventure made us spend sleepless nights. We remember the adventure part, but do we recall the moral of the story? Treasure Island represents the good old theme that we face every day in our lives: Good vs. Evil. The pirates don’t end up well, and the good characters get the treasure.
But, what about Silver? The conflict in this character makes us realize: there’s no absolute good and there’s no absolute bad. A man’s soul is a battlefield among these two extremes. Just like Dostoevsky said in his famous Brothers Karamazov. The only difference is: we learned that lesson when we were kids, reading Treasure Island.
3. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
“Thus, fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger itself.”
If we were asked to define this book in a single sentence, this would be the answer: “it’s a novel about bravery.” We loved Robinson Crusoe when we were kids, since he taught us about believing in ourselves and not giving up. He taught us that having faith was an important aspect of reaching our goals. It’s time to remind ourselves of that lesson.
4. Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
“Reflect upon your present blessings -- of which every man has many -- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
First of all, this book taught us to learn from the mistakes of others. We don’t want to become our own versions of Ebenezer Scrooge, do we? Greed leads us to loneliness. The book teaches us how to love not only our close ones, but all people. Everyone has misfortunes, but blessings as well. When we focus on the good things, we see more of them.
As you were growing up, your tastes for literature changed. That’s the natural thing to happen. You progressed towards ‘books for grownups’ and now you’re probably expecting the next chapter of A Song of Ice and Fire to come out. While you’re waiting for that to happen, why don’t you go back to the favorite books of your childhood? Trust me: you’ll see them from a whole other perspective as a grown-up.
Jessica Freeman is a professional journalist and a freelance content writer from Sydney, Australia. She focuses on education, literature, and academic topics. She considers content writing to be her passion. You can follow her on Facebook and Google+.