In childhood, we all wanted to grow quickly so we could do all the things we weren’t allowed to. But now as we are stuck in this enduring still amazing world, we miss our childhood days. Those days were really “golden.” Everything about that time is special including those movies, school friends, playgrounds, and even teachers we hated the most are now in our cherished memories.
Well, we don’t have a time machine and we can’t go back there. But we can relive that time in various ways and that’s why we have listed here the best 7 young children’s literature books that would definitely give you nostalgia. Although we live in the modern world and we are blessed with all the tech and gadgets where you can play games, online casino, or even you can binge-watch your favorite childhood movies to remember those times, but we bet, all this modern fun cannot beat the joy these books would give you. Not only you, but some of these books could trigger your parents’ nostalgia for their childhood as well.
Where the Wild Things Are
There aren’t too many youngsters who get through their childhood without encountering Where the Wild Things Are. The book takes the reader into an imaginary world where a naughty boy named Max dominates the Wild Things – beastly monsters who are part-scary and part-friendly. Max succeeds in intimidating the creatures and becomes their king but when he becomes lonely, he banishes them from his thoughts, returns home and finds that his mother has left out a hot supper for him.
Many children are thrilled and entranced by the paradox of friendly beasts who can both scare and play with Max. Fear and comfort are balanced as Max is sent to his room after misbehaving, enters his world of imagination and frightening occurrences, and is then pulled back into his family’s loving embrace.
The National Education Association named Where the Wild Things Are as one of the “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children” in 2007 – over 40 years after the book was written and was one of the top four of the New York Public library’s Top Check-Outs of All Time. In awarding author Maurice Sendek, the Caldecott Medal in 1964, Wild Things was recognized as the “most distinguished American picture book for children” of 1963. In a 2012 survey, School Library Journal named it the year’s number one picture book.
Blueberries for Sal
Blueberries for Sal is a Caldecott Honor Book that takes young children’s fascination with “getting lost” into a comforting milieu. The story revolves around Sal and her mother, who go to Blueberry hill to pick blueberries to can for winter. On the other side of Blueberry Hill, Little Bear and his mother are stuffing blueberries into their mouths to store up food as they prepare for winter hibernation.
Sal ends up trailing Mother Bear and Little Bear finds himself walking behind Sal’s mother as the two youngsters get lost amongst the blueberries on Blueberry Hill. When the two mothers discover the mix-up, they panic but the two young ones are unperturbed and easily find their way back to their mothers. A focus on nature, family, and the simplicities of life combine to make this magical tale of a child’s curiosity and trust wonder a genuine classic.
Blueberries for Sal was ranked thirteenth among School Library Journal’s 2009 “Top 100 Picture Books”.
The Story of Ferdinand
If there was ever a children’s book whose message was “be true to yourself,” it’s The Story of Ferdinand. Ferdinand is a bull whose greatest and only pleasure in life is to smell flowers. Despite pressure to be like the other bulls who like to kick, snort and butt their horns, Ferdinand sticks with his flowers. When he’s brought to the bullfights in Madrid, he defies all expectations and squats down in the center of the ring to smell the flowers that decorate the hair of the ladies who have come to the ring.
The book was first published in 1936 and by 1938 it had become the number one best seller in the United States and as of 2019, it has never been out of print. magazine wrote that Ferdinand was “the greatest juvenile classic since Winnie the Pooh.
Make Way for Ducklings
Like Blueberries for Sal, Make Way for Ducklings was written by Robert McCloskey but it’s such a classic that it absolutely must be on this list.
In Make Way for Ducklings, a duck couple, Mr. and Mrs. Mallard, find themselves in the middle of one of America’s busiest cities – Boston – as they search for a place to lay eggs and raise a family. The ducks’ adventures, where they are welcomed and taken care of by good-hearted people at every turn, creates a warm and loving atmosphere for McCloskey to teach children a littlebit about how ducks are born and raised.
Make Way for Ducklings won the Caldecott Medal of 1942 for its illustrations. It’s the official children’s book of the state of Massachusetts and inspired a statue of a mother duck and her eight ducklings which is located in Boston’s Public Garden near the corner of Beacon Street and Charles Street
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel is a National Education Association “Teachers’ Top 100 Book for Children”, focusing on attributes of loyalty and tenacity. In the book, Mike and Mary Anne, his steam shovel, find themselves facing competition from more modern equipment. Mike struggles to find work and takes on a job to dig a cellar in a single day for a small-town hall.
The two old friends work hard and finish the job but at the end of the day, they discover that they hadn’t created an exit route for Mary Anne who is stuck at the bottom of the pit that she dug. A solution that is acceptable to all is suggested by a child who notes that Mary Anne would make a terrific steam boiler for the building’s heating system and that’s what they do.
In 2007 the National Education Association named Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel.
Many of the best of children’s literature comes from early to mid-20th century but The Gruffalo, published in 1999, is a little more modern. The story is accompanied by engaging illustrations of real and fictional characters who, though believing themselves to be in frightening situations, are warm and embracing.
The story follows a mouse who creatures who would like to eat it while walking through the woods. The mouse causes them to panic by describing its friend, a Gruffalo, who will eat them. When the mouse meets an actual Gruffalo who does want to eat the mouse, the mouse cleverly takes the Gruffalo back through the forest where the animals who see it run away in fear – convincing the Gruffalo that it’s really the mouse who is frightening them and as such, should be feared. The Gruffalo flees and the mouse is safe.
The Gruffalo won the Blue Peter Best Book to Read Aloud in 2000 and the 1999 Nestle Smarties Book Prize. UK Booktime listed The Gruffalo as a children’s’ book favorite in 2010.
Bedtime for Frances
Bedtime for Frances is one of a series of Frances books – stories about a little badger and her life with her mother and father (and later, sister Gloria). The Frances books didn’t win awards but children around the world have loved the simple stories about issues that touch every child – sibling rivalry, parents, classmates and more.
Bedtime for Frances tells a story that is familiar to every child and every parent – what happens when it’s bedtime but the child isn’t ready for bed. In this story, Frances is put into bed by her loving parents but hops out repeatedly to get something to eat, watch a bit more TV, check on various items in her house and express her worries about scary things in the dark. Sleep finally comes but not without its comic moments.
A comforting book to which all children can relate.
Photo: Ella Deane