I love re-reading childhood favourites as I get older and I think there is a certain magic in discovering aspects that you didn’t appreciate as a child. For this reason I thought it would be cool to make a post about some of my favourite ‘children’s’ novels! This idea has also inspired me to make a similar post with a focus on children’s films. I hope you enjoy this post!
- The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
Initially written as a children’s book, J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit is a book I read for the first time when I was in my late teens and I enjoyed just as much as or perhaps more than I would have if I’d read it as a child. Tolkien is a favourite for a reason; his writing his intricate and his stories are magical, exciting and full of adventure. This book is a classic fantasy story that is warm and absolutely one for all ages. My Grandma read this for the first time only last year and absolutely loved it, despite being a dedicated mystery/crime reader without much interest in fantasy.
- The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
This may be a strange choice for some people as it is relatively unheard of and quite a strange little book. But it is a book that is filled with heart. This story will yank at your soul and prod at your eyes until tears form. It is a sad story, but also an incredibly happy story. It is the story of a mouse, a serving girl, and a rat. Kate DiCamillo’s writing is very poetic and the characters are sweet and diverse and so easy to connect with. This book is definitely on my ‘desperately want to re-read but unsure of how to find the time’ list.
- The Wall and the Wing by Laura Ruby
I haven’t read this book in years but I am confident in recommending it anyway. Laura Ruby (author of the magical realism book Bone Gap) has an incredible imagination, and a beautiful writing style. Her books are incredibly immersive, and The Wall and the Wing is no different. Following the story of orphan children Gurl, a girl who can turn invisible, and Bug, a boy that can sort-of-occasinally fly, the story is filled with wit, warmth, and a some danger. This is a book that has all the elements that one could ask for and I know that if I were to pick it up today I would find myself laughing out loud and probably stuck in the pages until I reached the end. If you liked Bone Gap, definitely check this out!
- Whinnie the Pooh by A.A Milne
A classic recommendation. This list would not be complete without one of the most famous children’s stories of all time. I remember when my mum used to read Whinnie the Pooh to my brother and I when we were younger and she would be in hysterics trying to get the words out in some scenes, because it was just that funny. I remember in particular, the story where the gang are playing ‘pooh-sticks’ and Eeyore floats out from underneath the bridge, having been ‘bounced’ into the river by Tigger. Pooh then proceeds to heave an enormous boulder over the side of the bridge in an attempt to ‘wash’ Eeyore onto the riverbank. Obviously a terrible idea, the events that unfold are hilarious and I chuckle every single time I re-read it. Whinnie the Pooh was my absolute favourite story as a child and I even have a stuffed Eeyore the size of a large dog, to prove it! This story is so timeless.
- The BFG by Roald Dahl (or any of his books)
I grew up reading Roald Dahl, and the BFG was one of my absolute favourites. I also adored The Twits and Esio Trot (this one primarily because the book belonged specifically to me and it involved tortoises). Looking back I have a fresh appreciation for the insanely intelligent Matilda and the funny, inventive Fantastic Mr Fox. Roald Dahl’s writing is so witty and I can see myself picking these books up off the shelf in decades to come and still appreciating them. These are the kind of books that I want to buy for my children (if I have any) and books I would be proud to see them reading. Each of these stories is so warm and simultaneously a little heart-breaking. All of them are relatively short, and yet, Dahl has the ability to suck you straight in from the beginning.
Special Mentions: Harry Potter (it was an obvious choice but I wanted to branch out a little, and The Chronicles of Narnia. My brother also suggested the Redwall series by Brian Jacques; I only ever read Mossflower and I loved it! They are books about all different kinds of animals, adventures, war, love, family, and friendship. Incredibly warm, cosy books that can make you laugh and cry at any age!
I’d love to hear your top children’s books that you’d read at any age!