Who doesn’t love how children’s books transport us to amazing places and introduce us to characters who steal our hearts? Their lasting legacy, though, is the life lessons they share with us.
Take, for example these pithy quotes from timeless children’s books that comfort and challenge us to be our better selves.
Wonder, by R.J. Palacio
R.J. Palacio started an international movement with Wonder, her middle grade book about a boy with a facial deformity who is desperate to fit in with his classmates. More than 16 million copies of the book have been sold and it was made into a motion picture.
The full thought is, “When given a choice between right and kind, always choose kind.”
It’s proactive. It doesn’t have to cost anything. Anyone can do it. No wonder that simple thought grabbed our collective attention.
“Friendship doesn’t have to be hard”.
Wishtree, by Katherine Applegate.
This thought, communicated by “Red,” a wise oak tree, speaks to the middle school kid in each of us, who remembers how it felt when everybody else had someone to sit with in the lunchroom.
“We can all dance, if we find the music we love.”
Giraffes Can’t Dance, Giles Andrea
Reminiscent of Rudolph, Santa’s red-nosed reindeer, Gerald, the giraffe, longs to dance, but crooked knees and long, skinny legs make it difficult and his companions laugh at him. Gerald learns it’s okay to be different and dance to your own tune.
“I love you right up to the moon — and back.”
Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney
This is the beloved story of Little Nut Hare and Big Nut Hare. Little Nut Hare asks his father “Guess How Much I Love You.” Thus begins an endearing contest, with each one finding bigger and bigger ways to express their love for each other. There are no losers in this competition.
“There’s no place like home”
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum.
That’s what Dorothy said to Toto after they returned to home to Kansas from the Land of Oz. The feeling is universal, especially when home is another word for love.
The first press run of 10,000 copies in 1901 quickly sold out. Three million copies had been sold by 1955, when it entered the public domain.
Makes you want to read someone a bedtime story, doesn’t it?
Marilyn Ostermiller is a long-time journalist, who never outgrew her love of children’s books.