3 Crucial Reasons to Be Thankful for Children’s Books

Children’s books are a diamond dozen, but what makes them so special? Continue reading to find out what makes your childhood reading list so exceptional.

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Image of two people sitting on the ground and looking at a book together, with fairy lights surrounding them

What is your favorite children’s book of all time? It must be The Very Hungry Caterpillar, or is it Dork Diaries? Oh! I know! It must be The Rainbow Fish or The Magic Treehouse series! There are too many children’s books to count, and we should feel so thankful for their influence on the tiny versions of ourselves.

If you love children’s books as much as I do or want to reminisce on your treasured book memories, here are some important children’s book values to be thankful for this year!

Willingness to Silliness

There is one thing that adult books cannot nail like children’s books. Call me a fool, but the silliness of children’s books is unbeatable. Surely there is no magical chocolate factory with a chocolate river, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. There is no hidden wardrobe containing a wonderous world with a lion and a witch like in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Wonderland is only in Alice’s imagination in Alice in Wonderland. However, these stories help our imagination and encourage creativity within ourselves. These stories make us laugh, engage our curiosity, and help us feel silly.

Cover of I'm Still Here in the Bathtub by Alan Katz, showing a boy soaking in the bathtub with random toys and objects in the bath with him.

Growing up, I found I had less time for messing and more time for dealing with adult tasks. It is hard to find that silly feeling that was so strong as a child because, in everyday life, there is no time to fool around. But now that I am older, I reread these memorable stories to kids or even in my free time, and they help me re-dig those childish feelings. I am growing up and struggling with relationships, money, and every other affair that adulthood throws at me.

Sometimes, I feel it is okay to feel a little silly again, and a children’s book always brings out my little self. My all-time favorite children’s book that makes me laugh is I’m Still Here in the Bathtub: Brand New Silly Dilly Songs by Alan Katz. It is full of hilarious songs for kids that would make my belly hurt from laughing as a child. I like to flip through my old copy if I am feeling down.

Astounding Illustrations

One of the best parts about children’s books is the illustrations. Most children’s books are picturebook style, such as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Some chapter books will still contain a few wee illustrations here and there but with more words, such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Of course, there are millions of just plain chapter-book-style children’s books, but there is nothing better than opening up a book with some fun, detailed illustrations to help paint the picture.

The best part about having pictures is that there are so many illustration styles, so it is impressive to look through all types of children’s reading material and see all the pictured creativity. It feels like there is an endless amount of inspiring illustrations and it is quite bewildering.

Front cover of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judy and Ron Barrett, showing a man holding an umbrella in a meatball storm.

Illustrations are an outstanding way to connect with children. While working in schools, I found that books with any illustration were better at capturing a younger crowd’s attention. Of course, this is obvious, what toddler would prefer reading a chapter book over a colorful picture book? These books grab their attention and keep a child interested to hear the story. They help guide a lost reader who may have a wandering mind or struggle with reading.

I would try reading aloud chapter books to classrooms, and I found it difficult to keep the children’s interest high. Compared to a picture book read aloud, the children are engaged, and curious to see the next page. Picturebooks are an astonishing practice for children’s reading and I guarantee it will help them prepare for chapterbooks.

They Help Us Grow

I am so thankful for children’s books because every bookworm has a collection of favorite children’s books that shaped them into their shells. These collections make up such a highlighted spot in our brains. They built our interests and impacted life-long lessons with their metaphorical stories and magical characters. The best part? We all have our own.

I bet you have at least five books from your childhood that I would not recognize. Yet, they made such an impact on you growing up. I find it fascinating that out of all the children’s books in the world, every person has a memorable collection that they may reflect on till they are old and grey. How cool is that? These books, full of singing dinosaurs or flying flowered fairies, stick with us forever and mold us into people.

Is it just me, or do you ever think about a specific book from your childhood that still affects you to this day? I can give an example. I have mentioned this author in some of my previous articles because, of course, he is my favorite. Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter collection was a statement in my household. We read different books by Mr. Mayers night after night because my sisters and I could not get enough of him.

Front Cover of Trick or Treat Little Critter by Gina and Mercer Mayer, showing two critters dressed up for halloween and ready to trick or treat.

There was one specific book from Mr Mayer that still sticks with me to this day, titled Trick or Treat Little Critter. A Halloween picture book, Trick or Treat Little Critter is a fun illustrated story about the critter families’ Halloween traditions. The family does the routine Halloween celebration, which includes carving pumpkins, buying costumes, and trick-or-treating. The book’s ending left an imprint in my brain. After trick or treating all night, the main little critter, unfortunately, discovers a hole in his candy bag. All of his candy has fallen out, leaving him in tears. Then, his little sister offers to share her stash, and they return home to eat their share of delicious sweets.

To this day, I think about the sister’s good spirit and her selflessness in sharing. Most kids would laugh at sharing free candy, yet she willingly shared without thinking. I grew up with the mindset that sharing is caring, and I try to put myself in others’ shoes before making any decision. I want to give this book credit as one of my first memorable life lessons inspiration. Growing up, it taught me to help others who need it and share my good fortunes when I can.

Books like Trick or Treat Little Critter are what help us grow. I am so thankful for the collection of books I had as a child. They have helped me in so many ways and it is astonishing to see children’s books impacting young readers and fulfilling them into adulthood.

Children’s books are way more meaningful than you think. Though you may not see yourself reading one as much as child-version you, they are a guide. We start with the small rhymes and colorful pages that teach us about the alphabet, and years later, we are reading chapter books about fantasy vampire romances. It is these beginning books that watch us grow up and shape us into who we are now. I am so thankful for all my children’s books growing up and I am thankful for the thousands more that I will read and recommend.

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