There are some books that are simply a good read: you browse through them, enjoy them at the time and promptly forget about them. And then, there are those books that stay with you through the years, the ones that you enjoy reading and rereading when you are young, and which you share with your own children or school classroom when you are an adult. These are just a few children’s classics that have withstood the test of time.
“The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein
($12.01 ) at Barnes and Noble –Recommended for ages 3-8
“Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy.”
So begins this beautifully written classic story of love, giving and acceptance, written and illustrated by the talented Shel Silverstein.
Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk…and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave until she could give no more. At the end comes the acceptance and mutual love demonstrated by the final illustrations.
This is a tender story, a modern-day parable, touched with sadness and changing relationships. It illustrates the tree’s boundless capacity to love and give, and the boy’s friendship and love of the tree, demonstrated by his acceptance.
“Love you Forever” by Robert Munsch (Sheila McGraw Illustrator)
($4.09 ) price at Walmart –Recommended for PreK-Grade2
This story holds a special place in my heart, being part of my teaching presentation in the field of Education. And it all begins with a song: A young woman holds her newborn son and looks at him lovingly. Softly she sings to him:
“I’ll love you forever
I’ll like you for always
As long as I’m living
My baby you’ll be.”
So begins the story that has touched the hearts of millions worldwide. Since publication in l986, Love You Forever has sold more than 15 million copies in paperback and the regular hardcover edition (as well as hundreds of thousands of copies in Spanish and French). It’s a classic story of a mother’s love and a child’s desire for affirmation. Beautifully written, touchingly illustrated.
“Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown.
($6.71 ) at Books-A-Million —Recommended for Preschool children
So many children have shared this peaceful book with their parents. In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.” And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room
— to the picture of the three little bears sitting on chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens, to everything one by one — the little bunny says goodnight.
This is a classic example of children’s literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners. There’s something hypnotically poetic and utterly soothing in the cadence of the words and the illustrations, combining to make this the perfect bedtime sharing book.
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT by Margery Williams
($5.99 ) at Amazon –Recommended for all readers over the age of 3 years
There are many versions of this classic tale, and each are beautifully illustrated and touch the hearts of parent and child. Nursery magic is a strange and wonderful thing, only truly understood by those playthings old and wise and experienced enough to understand it. The Skin Horse tells the little rabbit of the magic of “Being Real,” as he moves from cherished treasure to castoff toy to a real rabbit.
The original book was written in 1922, by a sensitive author who truly understood how toys – and people – become real through love.