I’m about to admit something that many women in my age-group would be embarrassed to admit: I have no significant childhood memories of reading Judy Blume. I never read Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. I never read Then Again, Maybe I Won’t. I may have read Blubber, but the only thing I remember about it is the cover image of a girl standing in front of a blackboard with a whale drawn on it.
However, as an aficionado of children’s literature, I have an appreciation for how influential Judy Blume’s work has been and, with Blume’s book Tiger Eyes now a film, I feel inspired to salute the contribution of Blume and other children’s book authors by saying a bit about what kids’ books have taught me over the years.
by Munro Leaf:
Finding your own brand of happiness is more important than looking good in front of others.
by Shel Silverstein:
Kindness is great. Selfishness isn’t.
by Beatrix Potter:
A watering can is not a good hiding place.
by Judi Barrett:
Being allowed to choose what you eat and when is a privilege. Also, a giant stale loaf of bread held together with peanut butter makes for a sea-worthy vessel.
by Robert Munsch:
Being clever and resourceful is better than being rich or tidy-looking.
by Maurice Sendak:
Sometimes, a wild rumpus is the only sensible option.
by Margery Williams:
The love of others makes us real in a way we cannot achieve alone.
by E. B. White:
There’s nothing wrong with crying over a spider.
by Roald Dahl:
Reading and magic go hand-in-hand.
by Natalie Babbitt:
Changing isn’t as scary as staying the same forever.
by L. M. Montgomery:
Some of the best kindred spirits are the unlikely ones.
by Tamora Pierce:
The king of thieves is better than the prince…way better.