Wisdom from the Smallest: What Children’s Books Teach Us

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”
C.S. Lewis
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“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
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“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!
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“It’s not what the world holds for you. It’s what you bring to it.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
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“… if God took the trouble to tell us eight hundred times to be glad and rejoice, He must want us to do it—SOME.”
Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna
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“It seems like once people grow up, they have no idea what’s cool.”
Bill Watterson, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
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“Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
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“It can’t beat us!” Pa said.
“Can’t it, Pa?” Laura asked stupidly.
“No,” said Pa. “It’s got to quit sometime and we don’t. It can’t lick us. We won’t give up.”
Then Laura felt a warmth inside her. It was very small but it was strong. It was steady, like a tiny light in the dark, and it burned very low but no winds could make it flicker because it would not give up.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Long Winter
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“I am sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening.His mother put him to bed, and made some camomile tea; and she gave a dose of it to Peter!

‘One table-spoonful to be taken at bed-time.’

But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail had bread and milk and blackberries for supper.”
Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Peter Rabbit

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“It made her think that it was curious how much nicer a person looked when he smiled. She had not thought of it before.”
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
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“People should think twice before making rude remarks,” said Mrs. Lambchop. “And then not make them at all.”
Jeff Brown, Flat Stanley
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“None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don’t understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning–either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again. It was like that now. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in it’s inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of Summer.”
C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
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“I shall be satisfied if young people who read this record of our lives and adventures should learn from it how admirably suited is the peaceful, industrious life of a cheerful and united family to the formation of strong, pure, and manly character.”
Johann David Wyss, The Swiss Family Robinson
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“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

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3 thoughts on “Wisdom from the Smallest: What Children’s Books Teach Us

  1. afsheenanjum says:

    you make me remember all the old fantasy characters 😀

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