Armchair BEA: Children’s Literature

Today’s Armchair BEA topic is Children’s Literature:

From picture books to middle grade to young adult novels, this is a category that encompasses books that young and old alike flock to on a daily basis.

As a reader and as a mom, I love children’s books. When my kids were little, we had piles and piles of board books in every nook and cranny of the house. As they got older, we’d hit the library each weekend and come home with armloads of picture books. Older still, we moved on to chapter books and kids’ non-fiction books on topics as varied as jellyfish, how to build a castle, and what life is like on the International Space Station.

Now that my little guy is not so little any more (just graduated from elementary school!), his tastes have matured as well. We still read out loud together at night, although I’m guessing that he’ll tell me he’s too old for it in the not-so-distant future. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying it while I can. I love revisiting old favorites and discovering new and amazing authors and titles, and I love even more seeing my son get excited by a new book or be filled with wonder as we explore magical lands.

I think of all the books we’ve read, the best reading experiences for both of us have involved books about magical worlds. This is just my opinion, of course, but I do believe that children who are exposed to the wonders of fantasy through fiction grow up to appreciate a much broader scope of literary genres and imaginative flights of fancy. My personal favorites include:

  • The Harry Potter series. I’ve read it countless times on my own, and most recently read the entire series out loud (!) to my son over the course of a 10-month period. Amazing experience.
  • Narnia. I missed out on these books as a child, but I’m now reading these with my son and finding so much to love.
  • The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials series) by Philip Pullman.
  • Half Magic and Knight’s Castle by Edward Eager. Or really, anything by Edward Eager.
  • A Wrinkle in Time.
  • The Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce. For slightly older girls, especially, a fantastic series with an unbeatable girl power message.

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of reading good quality children’s literature, even when my son is too old and too cool to have his mom read to him any longer. There’s something so lovely about these books — the ability to dream, to take chances, to imagine, to believe.

So yes, I read children’s books, I review children’s books, and I love children’s books!


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