Sunday, August 14, 2011


Have you ever heard a piece of music, smelled something and all of a sudden a feeling washed over you, bringing back a happy or sad memory? Great children’s books will do the same thing. They will take your heart and mind to back to the memory of days gone by.

If you consider books to be only teaching tools, remember the warm glow that special book brought you. Think about it, can you feel the joy, sadness, warmth, and yes even the smell of the place you were in, when first you heard or read that special book?

What was that book, was it one of the classics like, Little Women, The Cat in the Hat, Charlotte’s Web,Treasure Island or another book? When writing for a child, you should remember the world that they see and hear. Find within yourself the beauty and wonder of life as it unfolded around you when you were young. The book will hopefully take even an adult back to the silly, clever, imaginative or wondrous world that still lies within them.

Take Dr. Seuss’, The Cat in the Hat, many of us remember it being read to us as a child. Our eyes lit up and we giggled as the clever rhymes told a wondrous story. If we picked it up again today, to read to a child or just for our own enjoyment, maybe it would help us to once again find the spirit of the child within us, waiting to be let out.

Remember the sweet sad, touching story of Wilbur the pig being saved from slaughter by a spider named Charlotte? Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White is considered a true classic in children’s literature, yet it is written from the point of view of a pig and a spider.

So what makes a great children’s book? It is a story that holds the heart, mind and spirit of a child within its pages. It is a book that can be picked up years later by an adult and they will again be swept up into the story all over again. Maybe like The Cat in the Hat, the adult will find themself once again chuckling, reliving their own youthful innocence.

Charlotte’s Web, might once again make you cry, feel the pain, loneliness and simplicity of life, nature and the love that fellow creatures can have for one another.

Perhaps you will feel the adventure again that you found in Treasure Island, and remember the days when you played pirates.

Little Women, might bring you back to a kinder, gentler world. A world that is forgiving, even in the face of darkness and pain.

No matter the age of the person, a great children’s book will delight both the child and the adult. It will sweep all the world’s problems away and take you into the land where you will once again live the glorious days of your own youth and innocence.

Whichever book you remember most clearly the message remains the same. The story, prose or verse must capture the essence of the heart of the child. It must see the world through their eyes, if it is to be a book that is to be picked up generation upon generation.


  1. I still remember with great fondness the books I read as a child. They introduced me to a whole different world and sewed the seeds for escapism for the rest of my life. Great post, Marta and good luck with your own books!

  2. Thank you Pat. I really appreciate the comment, I too remember all the wonder that books held for me. They are still books that can sweep me back into the wonder and joy of my youth.

  3. I have a very old book my grandparents read to my mum. It is a thick book that contains twenty short story's. I haven't read it in a long while now but there were several story's that I was so fond of. I think I might go and have a read. :D Thanks Marta

  4. Beautiful post, Marta. You very eloquently remind us of the importance of reading and remembering.

  5. This is wonderful! Such a great intro to the world of children's lit. I'm not teaching that particular lit course this fall, but I'm going to find out who is and forward him/her this link.

    Charolette's Web was my fav, fav, fav! Now I want to read it again.

  6. Thank you Lisette I really appreciate your reading my post.

    Jen I am sorry you aren't teaching the class but I am sure you will be very busy with your wonderful writing.

  7. I am glad that you mentioned the book that your mum read to you Lisa. It reminded me it has been awhile since I read Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and a few other classics.

    Jen I will have to reread Charlotte's Web too, one of my favorites.