Tuesday, April 30, 2013

26 Books That Changed My Life: #26 Children's Books

Z:  Zeitgeist of my youth (or the cultural codes of children's literature)

My mother divided all the books up
and gave each of us a big stack. I got this book...
and couldn't be more excited!
I thought I would spend the month of April delving into the literature that has made me the person I am today.

1] In this list you will find some of my favorite books, but you will also find books that I appreciate and books that I would recommend although they may not be my favorite. These are books that changed my way of thinking or my way of looking the world. These are books that helped solidify the core of who I am.
2] These books are in order of the theme that I came away with not alphabetical by title or author.

About this book from Wikipedia:

Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, and poems that are enjoyed by and targeted primarily towards children. Modern children's literature is classified in two different ways—by genre or by the intended age of the reader.
One can trace children's literature back to the stories and songs, part of a wider oral tradition, that adults shared with children before publishing existed. The development of early children's literature (before printing was invented) is difficult to trace. Even after printing became widespread, many classic "children's" tales were originally created for adults and later adapted for a younger audience. On the other hand, since the 1400s, a large quantity of literature—often with a moral or religious message—has been aimed specifically at children. The late nineteenth and early twentieth century became known as the Golden Age of Children's Literature since it included the publication of many books acknowledged today as classics.

Publication Date:  various years

Why these books:
To be these books embody the 1980s, add to this list such wonderful cartoons as the Smurfs, the Monchichi's and Rainbow Brite and you've got my youth wrapped up in a tasty shell of awesome.

In Sheldon's Lunch and Popcorn, I learned that you can have too much of a good thing. In The Purple Pussycat, a book I taught my sister to read, I learned that nighttime is just as exciting as the daytime. Mr. Pengachoosa taught me that there's always time for adventure and fantasy is fun. But, No Elephants taught me the value of home and family. In Chrysanthemum, a book I bought for my niece, I learned that every is different and it's these differences that make us cool. I bought my daughter Pete the Cat after I read it to her so many times at Barnes and Noble that I felt we needed to own it. We sing the song a lot...everything is groovy and don't sweat it when it's not. Hmm...that's a lesson that we could all take to heart.

Of course, as a grown-up looking back at all of this I wonder what the adults in the 1980s thought of the children and I really do wonder what lessons they were trying to teach us subliminally...I mean, come on snakes that eat pancakes and bears that go to fancy balls!?

And...I don't really have enough words to describe how in love I am with all the Serendipity books...
especially Leo the Lop

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