Top Ten Tuesday: Beloved Children’s books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl since January of 2018. Jana writes, “it was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” In that spirit, link up with your list at That Artsy Reader Girl and comment with your list, link, or thoughts below.

I truly love this week’s prompt, but I’ll be honest–I did no soul-searching to dig up my childhood favorites. Instead, I listed the first few that came to mind. I limited the list to legitimate childhood years-strictly below age thirteen. I recommend them all.

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes- by DuBose HeywardMarjorie Flack (Illustrator). Memories of my grandma reading this to me, all snuggled in her bed during sleepovers, are some of my most treasured. She kept a handful of children’s books about, but I always went back to this one. A fantasy tale of quiet sacrifice and duty to humankind by a loving momma rabbit.

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans. I was no rule breaker as a child and I’d never be accused of being a rebel in adulthood. Yet I was fascinated by wee orphan Madeline’s exploits, where she continually escaped the watchful eyes of her nun chaperone and got into as many precarious situations as a cheeky child in France could.

Charlotte’s Web-by E.B. White. I’ve waxed poetic about this classic before, but I challenge anyone to find a better tale of friendship and sacrifice than that fleeting friendship demonstrated by Charlotte and Wilbur.

The Little House Collection-by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Wilder’s beloved canon has taken a media beating in recent years for racial insensitivity, and the critics are right. The images and portrayals of Native Americans are stereo-typically cringe-worthy but it doesn’t change how I felt about reading Little House as a child. To me, Laura’s tales of life on the prairie were adventure stories wrapped in the comfort of Ma’s quilt and the lullaby of Pa’s fiddle.

The Baby-sitter’s Club-by Ann M. Martin. Kristy, Mary Anne, Stacey and Claudia were my original girl gang. I lived and breathed BSC. Ironically, I never once baby-sat when I was their age because I had two older sisters to do the job.

Please tell me your favorite childhood stories, I know I’m forgetting so many I’ve read.

16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Beloved Children’s books

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    1. It was sweet but somehow a little melancholy when momma rabbit struggled to travel the world to deliver eggs on her own before she got her magic shoes. My favorite image was an endless underground burrow filled with piles and piles of brightly colored eggs. A simple but memorable storybook.

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  1. Childhood favorites always seem to stick in our minds. I loved Country Bunny and Charlotte’s Web and Little House and Madeline. I’ve heard from so many people that Babysitters Club is wonderful, too.

    I wrote about French favorites from childhood. I hope you will stop by.

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    1. Babysitters weren’t as classic and timeless of course, but the books are experiencing a real resurgence in popularity now. There’s a Netflix show in the works of course!
      French favorites?? I’ll be right over:)

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    1. Madeline was fascinating in it’s anti-conformity storyline. I still own a few of the Madeline goes
      to… books. My hope is to find the London one to add to my collection.
      I’ve read your TTT list and loved it!

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    1. Wait, I think I remember catching an animated version of Madeline long ago. Was that it? She’s just adorable and I think her background would be interesting backstory for a novel character today too. I’d love to read of a female French-centric adventure story.
      BSC is soooo 80s, but I loved them!

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  2. Hahahahaha, sitting on my shelf right now, in absolutely no ironic fashion whatsoever, are Charlotte’s Web, that exact collection of Little House books (I even kept them in the box) and that Babysitters Club book! There’s also a shelf full of Christopher Pikes, but they’re behind doors because the spines are awesome, but not exactly display book material.

    I loved this series of books Scholastic published (what didn’t they publish?) about a vampire rabbit named Bunnicula who drained the juice from carrots and other veggies. The sequel was called The Celery Stalks at Midnight, and it was a kind of noir-ish thriller about a cat and dog detective, very inventive. I was also super into this book called Poinsettia and Her Family about a little pig who’s tired of her gigantic, inconsiderate pig family, so when they move, she just stays behind. It’s home alone with an entitled little piglet, and the entire thing is illustrated and coloured in just black, white and rose pink. It is SOOOO cute, one of my favourites. And a book called Herbert the Hippo about a hippo named Frank (kidding, his name is Herbert) who wants to leave his high stress job in the city and go back to Africa to live the life of a proper hippo with a big, fat hippo family (his words.) I liked some weird books when I was younger. Sweet Valley High, of course, although they always felt a bit trashy. Also, what the hell is a Fiat?

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    1. I’m not surprised, we have excellent taste.
      Christopher Pike forever! I’d display those babies (maybe slightly ironically) if I had the space, and the actual books. I did get into SVH marginally, but had started moving on to Stephen King, VC Andrews and Danielle Steele around that time (lord halp my poor teenaged psyche) but the good friend of mine that you totally remind me of still owns most of the SVH books today.
      In fact, I follow an IG acct that I love- Cover Critiques- which dissects the BSC and SVH books in comic fashion. I think I’ve even requested her to do Christopher Pike someday. I’ll share the link with you.

      This hippo book sounds wonderful, Shel loved Bunnicula and The Celery Stalks at Midnight and of course you read some weird stuff because, Canada, lol.

      Oh, and guess what? I’ve just ordered a thrifted copy of Charlotte’s Web when I realized I sadly had never owned it, and saw it sitting on my sister’s bookshelf

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      1. Ha, we DO have excellent taste(s)! VC Andrews and Danielle Steele?! Oh man, you liked it trashy! I say that with a lot of love, because there was nothing I liked more than creeping down the K aisle at the library and pawing through, like, Judith Krantz’s Scruples to check out the raunchy sex-and-shopping scenes. Nobody’s trashier than Krantz (rest her smutty soul, recently passed.)

        I will have to check out that IG account, please hit me up with its name. I think it’s Pajiba that does a YA book club thing – they were recently ragging on Witch, by Christopher Pike, and I WASN’T having it. I loved that one, speaking of trashy!

        Ha, I can’t believe Shel knows of the Celery Stalks books, that’s amazing. I really thought they were one of those lost/hidden gem kind of things that nobody else knew about. They certainly weren’t popular with my friends. Looking forward to seeing what you have to say about Charlotte’s Web once your new-ish copy gets here (there.) 🙂

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        1. I’ll get around to showing off all my thrifted books eventually. How dare someone go after Witch? I loved it too and got an A on my 8th gr. Witch book report, lol. Call it trashy if you must, but VC Andrews and Steele were pretty much required middle school reading in my neighborhood, if a bit traumatizing. Never checked out Krantz’s work, the covers must not have conveyed enough creepy incestual horror that was the hallmark of every VC Andrews series. Man, I think I was messed up, Steele was tame by comparison.

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          1. I remember your book report! I think you blogged about it. It was such an audacious choice – no way would I have been able to do a book report on a Christopher Pike, though I should have gone for it anyways. 🙂

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  3. The Little House series made my list this week too. I also agree with your about Charlotte’s Web. I had already featured it before so didn’t include it this time around, but it’s one of my all time favorites because of the friendships.

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    1. Little House remains a childhood touchstone to me-I shall have to try to acquire an 80s boxed set if I can find one intact. I couldn’t resist Charlotte’s Web even though I’ve mentioned it before. It’s such a stand-out from childhood. Thank you for stopping by, I’ve checked out and loved your list, so many shared favorites.

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  4. Those are classics that every child would enjoy. I remember reading several of them aloud to my daughter, especially the Little House books. Charlotte’s Web is in a class all by itself.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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