Revisiting Children’s Classics

Author Katherine Rundell
Photograph by Blair Mowat

I love Peter Pan for being so entirely itself, not a diluted version of some other, adult thing. It offers up to us its own defiant logic, for Neverland is the place of the free experiment of the imagination.

– Katherine Rundell

Obviously, I adore children’s books. I spend all day working with them and their creators and then spend much of my free time reading them. I absolutely believe that they are worth reading at any age and that more adults should revisit the books published for children more often.

I’m particularly fond of classics and find going back and reading the books that created genres and that were touchstones for wider culture are especially interesting. I also find that when I read a classic everyone knows from an adaptation or references elsewhere (like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or The Wonderful Wizard of Oz), they often surprise me by being not quite what I thought they were. I love that.

I came across this article in the Guardian by children’s author Katherine Rundell about why she thinks adults should go back and read children’s books, even if they read them as kids, and she gives five titles she thinks are especially good reads for adults. Her choices are fascinating and her commentary even more so. I definitely recommend reading her article and then going and revisiting (or exploring for the first time!) some of the classic children’s books.

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