“Underestimating children’s literature is akin to underestimating children themselves. Both are capable of much more than we recognize them for.” Children’s books are for more than just children. It’s even possible for adults to relive their entire childhood through a great children’s book. Our imaginations fade away as we become older. We experience an emotional void due to dealing with disappointments and facing the harsh realities of life.
Best Children’s Books For Adults To Read!
However, deep down, we still long for simple joys. That is what Children’s picture story books give us. Children’s novels also give us the impression that anything is possible with a good heart. They free our minds and make us believe in everything.
1. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
A young girl named Fern Arable stops her father, John Arable, from slaughtering a piglet. Later, her father gives her the piglet, which she names Wilbur. She looks after Wilbur, who grows slowly under her care. As John decides to sell Wilbur, Fern objects, and Wilbur is given to Fern’s uncle, Homer Zuckerman. Fern visits Wilbur frequently in the early days as Wilbur befriends other animals. Charlotte, a spider, and Wilbur become best friends.
Wilbur is well-fed and lives happily until he learns he will be slaughtered. The animals team up and plan to save Wilbur. Charlotte starts writing good words in her web, like Terrific, Radiant about Wilbur. The news spreads quickly, and Wilbur becomes famous. Wilbur even wins a prize at the country fair. Charlotte’s health begins to deteriorate, and all that remains of her are 514 eggs.
After the country fair, it is evident that Wilbur will not be killed as he is famous. Meanwhile, Wilbur takes the eggs to the barn. Several spiders emerge from the eggs once they hatch. What happened to Charlotte after the country fair? Did their friendship cycle continue further? What happened to those baby spiders and Wilbur in the end? The life lessons we can learn from this book:
⭐ Always be compassionate. Fern’s compassion towards Wilbur saved his life, while Charlotte’s compassion toward him helped him stay alive for a long time. Compassion is most required in the fast-paced world of today. We can improve the world by including compassion in our actions and choices.
⭐ Cope up with the loss. The story also teaches us how to cope with loss. When someone passes away, we grieve for days. But at some point, we start developing new bonds and start coping. Charlotte’s newborn children, too, develop new bonds and compensate for the previous loss. The dreadful days of the Corona Virus, they taught everyone a valuable lesson in dealing with loss. We lost jobs, money, and in the worst-case scenario, people. But still, we coped up. People may die, but their love and the memories they made with us stay forever. You can get the book here! 📖
Heidi is a five-year-old swiss girl whose parents have passed away. Her aunt Dete gets a job and takes her to her Grandfather, Uncle Alp. Uncle Alp has a troubled past, isolates himself, and lives in a hut at the top of a mountain. Heidi bonds with Uncle Alp and also spend time connecting with nature. She relishes the sound of trees rustling, greets the sun daily, and becomes friends with Peter the goatherd and his grandmother.
After a few years, her aunt unexpectedly shows up and brings her to Frankfurt to be a companion for Clara, a young girl who uses a wheelchair. Heidi is taken there against her will and suffers from homesickness as she is completely cut off from nature. There, she makes friends with Clara and her grandmother. She cries daily as she sleeps and wishes to return to the mountains one day.
After an unexpected change, Heidi returns to the mountains and rekindles her friendship with everyone. Meanwhile, Clara misses Heidi. She wants to meet Heidi, but her physical condition doesn’t permit her. Will they both ever meet? Will she begin walking again? The story portrays the following messages for adults via the eyes of the protagonist. The life lessons we can learn from this book:
⭐ Good things take time. Though Heidi wishes to go back every day, her dream takes time to come true, and in the meantime, she acquires literacy skills and evolves as a person. Ergo, our wishes will be considered and fulfilled when the time comes. When we have patience, things often turn out better than we expected, if not precisely as we had hoped.
⭐ The healing power of nature. Clara feels better after spending time with nature, and Heidi also returns to her old chirpy self. We all struggle with some form of physical or mental illness today. Nature is aware of the body’s innate capacity for self-healing. Hence, we must recognize that we are a part of nature and set aside time to be in touch with it. This could help us with at least some of our health problems. You can get the book here! 📖
3. Winnie the Pooh by A.A.Milne
Winnie the Pooh is a collection of tales based on the adventures of a yellow, honey-loving, and good-natured bear, Winnie the Pooh. He resides in a forest with his friends Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger, Rabbit, Owl, and Kanga, and baby Roo lives in her pouch. The life lesson we can learn from this book:
⭐ Looking for sunshine. Winnie-the-Pooh stories are not only enjoyable to read, but they are also rich with life lessons. Even though the book is aimed at children, the stories and characters provide valuable life lessons and messages for anyone, regardless of age. The tale emphasizes the wonder of being innocent and childish, as seen in the memes and quotes from the story that are popular to date. Adults have a lot to learn from Pooh, starting from Positive thinking, problem-solving, gratitude, self-acceptance, and friendship. You can get the book here! 📖
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4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Mr. Willi Wonka owns the world’s most excellent chocolate factory. His factory’s gates stay shut for a very long time. One day, he announces that he has hidden five golden tickets in chocolate bars known as “Wonka bars.” The finder of those tickets will be granted access to the factory. Four rich and spoilt children find the first four tickets, but Charlie Bucket, a poor boy who lives with his parents and grandparents, finds the final ticket. Charlie, his Grandfather Joe, the other four children, and their parents begin touring the factory.
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As all four children succumb to their character faults and are sent out of the factory, only Charlie remains. With no one left to compete, will Charlie get the destined prize? Will his family come out of poverty? Though the story’s moral can be depicted as “Good children get wonderful things and bad children getting punished for poor behavior,” re-reading the novel as an adult allows us to understand even deeper ideologies. The life lessons we can learn from this book:
⭐ Taking time to appreciate life. In the factory, while the other kids constantly criticize the surroundings instead of cherishing and appreciating them, Charlie stops by and admires everything. In life, we often rush and forget to be grateful for everything we have. We become aware of how much we have once we cherish it.
⭐ It’s okay to dream. Charlie’s dreams never end. He continues to dream even after four tickets are found. And his dreams took him to greater heights. As our childhood ended, so did our dreams. Irrespective of age, we can always dream. Dreams may not always come true, but there is nothing wrong with dreaming. You can get the book here! 📖
11-year-old Anne Shirley, an orphan, is sent to live with Mathew and Marilla Cuthbert, two older siblings. Both expect a boy to help them on the farm, but Anne is accidentally sent to them. Anne is full of imagination. She is also adamant that her name should be spelled with an e at the end (Anne with an E). Though she is defensive of her appearance as she has freckles, red hair, and a lean frame, she settles down quickly in the place which is her first real home.
The plot later focuses on her experiences in the place and how she grows as a person there. She eventually received a scholarship for her higher education. But when a tragic incident occurs, and Matthew dies, she renounces her scholarship and accepts a job closer to home to help support Marilla. The novel has several sequels that focus on her life at various stages. The life lessons we can learn from this book:
⭐ It’s okay to be odd. Anne is one-of-a-kind; she does not fit into society’s preconceived expectations. She is always curious and admires everything. The idea of standing out makes us adults feel awful. Even though we don’t share their opinions, we always want to socialize. But, it is okay to be odd, even if you are alone, as long as you are kind to yourself and others.
⭐ There is always another bend in the road. One of Anne’s most robust characteristics was optimism. She had never led a perfect life but didn’t give up. She concentrated on all that was good. Similarly, we frequently fixate on problems and believe they will never be resolved. But things will always change, both the good and the bad. You can get the book here! 📖
6. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
A pilot’s plane crashes in a desert, and he meets the little prince, a small boy from a tiny planet (an asteroid). The little prince loved and protected a rose on his planet. After a turn of events, he goes exploring planet to planet in search of knowledge. On his journey, he meets various people, including The King, The Vain Man, Drunkard, The Business Man, The Lamp Lighter, and The Geographer, and he understands the nature of all these adults.
After getting to know everyone, he remembers the rose and departs for his world. What happened between him and the rose which made him leave his planet in the first place? Having met all these people, what did the little prince do? Will he go to his planet again? The life lessons we can learn from this book:
⭐ You are here. The book is mainly centered around existentialism. Often called “the children’s fable for adults,” the novel emphasizes that the heart sees what is invisible to the eye. Only the heart can see abundant goodness, pleasure, and contentment. Also, the story tells us to pause and look around once in a while amidst our rush. You can get the book here! 📖
The story begins with Alice, a bored young girl chasing a rabbit who runs around with a waistcoat and pocket watch. She follows the rabbit down a rabbit hole, where she drinks and eats various foods, grows larger, shrinks smaller, and so on. Her adventure becomes “curiouser and curiouser” as she begins meeting new people on the way. Did Alice get back to the real world? What did all these imply? The life lessons we can learn from this book:
⭐ Experiencing identity crisis. As Alice meets new creatures in the wonderland, she is constantly asked to identify herself, which causes her to struggle at first. Almost everyone in today’s world can relate to this. We are all confused by the idea of growing up. We can also not respond to the question “Who are you?” like Alice. Spiritually speaking, the answer to this question summons our entire existence.
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⭐ Growing and evolving. The adventures of Alice show her personal development rather than mere adventures. She improves throughout the journey, becoming a better person. Similarly, we are continuously evolving. By closing our past chapters gracefully, we can look forward to a hopeful future. You can get the book here! 📖
8. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The plot centers around Tom Sawyer, who lives with his brother Sid, his aunt Polly, and his best friend, Huckleberry Finn. He engages in many mischievous tricks and risky adventures that annoy everyone, especially adults. Sometime later, Tom and Huck find a treasure, ensuring they remain wealthy. But will they take that? Will Tom’s adventurous spirit stay forever? What will happen to Huck? The life lesson we can learn from this book:
⭐ On being accountable. Re-reading the tale as adults, we can comprehend Tom’s transformation. He starts taking responsibility for his actions. This statement resonates deeper with us because we, too, have made many mistakes. But we transformed and began acting responsibly. Likewise, money makes no difference to Tom Sawyer; he desires adventures more, thus keeping his spirit alive, which many of us yearn for. You can get the book here! 📖
9. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The book depicts the lives of the four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. When their father goes to war, the women live with their loving Mother, Margaret, aka Marmee. Despite their poverty, they feel content with what they have and keep working towards their dreams. The rest of the story is about how they settle into life and achieve their dreams. The life lessons we can learn from this book:
⭐ Dreams are wings. Adults may relate to the book when Meg says, “Just because my dreams are different from yours doesn’t mean they aren’t significant,” We all have our dreams, no matter how big or small they are. And from each person’s perspective, their dreams are the greatest, regardless of everything else.
⭐ Work and play. The sisters take a weeklong break because they are tired of their mundane lives, and all they are left with is a disorganized home. They grow impatient and want to return to regular activities as soon as possible. Similarly, we yearn for breaks and vacations in our corporate lives. But after a day of doing nothing, we become irritated. So, a proper balance of work, leisure, and rest is required for a peaceful life. You can get the book here! 📖
10. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Though commonly viewed as a children’s novel, this book wasn’t intended for children. The book aims to educate readers on how to treat horses humanely. Black Beauty, a beautiful horse, tells the tale, which is more of an autobiographical memoir. He starts with his carefree days before describing his challenges living with several owners. The rest of the story is about how he tackles those struggles and ends up with a good owner. The life lesson we can learn from this book:
⭐ Being kind to all kinds. Though this novel is about the challenges of Black beauty, many such beauties exist in today’s society. Today, many animals suffer numerous issues. After reading this book as children, we could have only felt sorry for them. We were unable to do anything. Yet, as adults, we may begin to care for the homeless animals out there. And if Black Beauty were still alive today, it is what he would also want us to do. You can get the book here! 📖
How many of these books have you read? Do share your comments below! Happy reading!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)❓
Is it OK for adults to read children’s books?
It’s completely alright for adults to read children’s books. Most people think children’s books are only for children or when we are young, but not that’s actually true, we can read such books whenever we want, at any point in our life.
Why children’s books are good for adults?
There are plenty of life lessons and moral values we can learn from children’s books as adults. By re-reading our favorite children’s books, we can revisit our childhood memories. Also, this is a great way to start if you are new to reading books. You can pick the storybooks with pictures.
I am a freelance content writer and book reviewer who loves unleashing creativity, one pen stroke at a time. I like reading and writing about what I read. In an attempt to explore and introduce Tamil and Indian literature. Welcome to my world!