In recent days I’ve been bumbling around my brain looking for a way to think and then write about Children’s Book Week, May 7-13, 2012 I have plumbed the digital depths of new books for children, bookstores, publishers, writers, illustrators, library programs, awards, children’s book centers and more. Bottom line: I was overwhelmed with the rich children’s literature environment that envelops all of us.
I could not decide which string to pull.
And then came the epiphany – I was marinating in the world of children’s books – memories of favorite reads were conjuring thoughts of other eras, of dynamic teachers, favorite aunts, intrepid librarians and, of course, loving parents who read, and read, and read, long after I was well able to curl up and read my own Betsy book.
I realized that children’s books are not just for children – that readers of every age find unspeakable joy in reading what’s new and re-visiting those stories and illustrations that evoke long-submerged thoughts.
Thus began my digital dig into books that grown-ups remember and yearn to re-visit. As usual, Google disgorged a wealth of lists, including, but not limited to, these:
- http://kids.nypl.org/reading/recommended2.cfm?ListID=61 – One hundred picture books everyone should know. Created by staff of the New York Public Libary
- http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1685.best_books_for_children_that_adults_should_also_read – Best books for children that adults should read – gives you a chance to vote for your favorites.
- http://www.amazon.com/Childrens-Books-for -Adults/lm/R1WNHVWG6F69OX The list author says: “For parents who get tired of reading the same stories over and over again. Here are some faux-children’s books…for you!”
- http://www.good.is/post/good-books-cynical-children-s-books-written-for-adults/ “These books entertain with the biting wit that only adults frustrated with reality can understand, from a parent desperately reading a bedtime story to his insomniac toddler to a bloody-yet-satisfying remake of the children’s classic Pat the Bunny. Put down the iPad… and indulge in a book that’s short, illustrated, and perfect for a momentary escape.”
- http://www.childrensliteraturenetwork.org/resource/readlist/favsetinmn.php– This is sort of bonus, prepared by Julie Reimer, media specialist at Turtle Lake Elementary in Shoreview. It just seems to me that any adult Minnesotan would enjoy a Minnesota read, alone or with a special child.
And there are book clubs where adults channel their inner child with a good read:
- http://www.childrensliteraturenetwork.org/bookclub/bkclubcurr.php Chapter & Verse is a national book club for members of Children’s Literature Network and other children’s literature enthusiasts in their communities – libraries and bookstores – who wish to discuss children’s and young adult fiction, nonfiction, picture books, and poetry. Three of the six independent bookstores listed are in Minnesota.
- http://www.wildrumpusbooks.com/remedialbookclub The mature book club for immature adults… rated PG-18….designed for adults to rediscover some of the classics of children’s literature that some of us may have missed in our own childhoods….ok, or we didn’t do the homework assignments in time. Meets on the first Monday of each month starting at 6:30 pm.
There are many other lists, book clubs and rich resources. With Children’s Book Week starting soon – and with all of these lists to explore – I had to stop. I think I will take a break and re-read for the zillionth time my personal literary refuge, Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day.