Children’s books, like perfectly cooked risotto, are complex in their simplicity. When done right, it appears uncomplicated.
Yet every chef knows risotto requires intricate precision and attention to detail. The simpler it is, the more detail it requires. Much like a good children’s book — the more profound the lesson, the more infantile it seems.
We grow up reading the tales of Winnie The Pooh and A Wrinkle In Time not realizing that we’re digesting grown-up themes. We think we’re reading about stuffed animals, wild adventures and elusive magic, yet what we’re really digesting are the necessary lessons we’ll need to survive in the adult world.
We’re learning about desire and yearning; betrayal and corruption; happiness and sorrow. Most importantly, we’re learning about the authors of these important books and the wisdom they hold.
Because so many of them used initials to find publishing and fair reviews, we didn’t know many of the authors we grew up with to be women. Today, we can look back at the books that molded us as children and study the profound bits of wisdom they so craftily placed for us.
S.E. Hinton – The Outsiders
“I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me.”
“They grew up on the outside of society. They weren’t looking for a fight. They were looking to belong.”
“You still have a lot of time to make yourself be what you want.”
“Nothing sparkly can stay.”
L.M. Montgomery – Anne of Green Gables
“My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes.”
“You must pay the penalty of growing-up. You must leave fairyland behind you.”
“I do know my own mind. The trouble is, my mind changes and then I have to get acquainted with it all over again.”
“That’s the worst of growing up, and I’m beginning to realize it. The things you wanted so much when you were a child don’t seem half so wonderful to you when you get them.”
Katherine Paterson – Bridge To Terabithia
“It’s like the smarter you are, the more things can scare you.”
“To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.”
“Sometimes it seemed to him that his life was delicate as a dandelion. One little puff from any direction, and it was blown to bits.”
J.K Rowling – The Harry Potter Series
“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
“Of course it is happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
“The truth.” Dumbledore sighed. “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”
“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”
Madeleine L’Engle – A Wrinkle In Time
“Believing takes practice.”
“People are more than just the way they look.”
“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.”
Harper Lee – To Kill A Mockingbird
“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”
“Love her, but leave her wild.”
“I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year.”
Kay Thompson – Eloise
“I always say what’s in my head. It makes everything much easier.”
Astrid Lindgren –Pippi Longstocking
“I am the sea and nobody owns me.”
“You understand Teacher, don’t you, that when you have a mother who’s an angel and a father who is a cannibal king, and when you have sailed on the ocean all your whole life, then you don’t know just how to behave in school with all the apples and ibexes.”
“I have never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that.”
Margery Williams – The Velveteen Rabbit
“Real isn’t how you are made. It’s a thing that happens to you. When someone loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become real.”
“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.”