Books

The greatest wisdom from the pages of classic children’s books

Posted by
Sejal Kapadia Pocha
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Brilliant writing can stop us in our tracks with a single sentence.

It can compress complex sentiments into a few simple words and can provide priceless wisdom, time and time again.

Literary greats from William Shakespeare to Donna Tartt have been celebrated for this, but somewhat surprisingly some of the most powerful quotes in literature can be found on the pages of children's books. 

Perhaps it is because the nature of their intended audience requires simplicity, but whatever the reason these short tomes often have a way of succinctly and simply provide advice for carrying on  - even when life is at its most challenging. 

From finding happiness to fighting adversity, we hope these 30 quotes from childhood classics offer advice and wisdom to help you deal with problems, no matter how 'grown-up' they are. 

Have we missed your favourite children's book quote? Please do share it with us in the comments box below.

  • The Little Prince

    “Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

    “Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light.” - Albus Dumbledore 

  • Winnie the Pooh

    “Promise me you'll always remember:
    You're braver than you believe,
    and stronger than you seem,
    and smarter than you think.” - Christopher Robin to Pooh

    “I don’t feel very much like Pooh today," said Pooh.
    "There there," said Piglet. "I’ll bring you tea and honey until you do.”

  • Where the Wild Things Are

    “Inside all of us is Hope. 
    Inside all of us is Fear. 
    Inside all of us is Adventure. 
    Inside all of us is… A Wild Thing.”

  • Matilda

    “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it's unbelievable” - Matilda Wormwood to friend Lavendar

  • The Wizard of Oz

    “You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”

  • Through the looking glass

    "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” - The Queen

    "It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” - Alice

  • The Cat in the Hat

    “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    “But there was one other thing that the grown-ups also knew, and it was this: that however small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance is there. The chance had to be there. This particular bar of chocolate had as much chance as any other of having a Golden Ticket” 

  • Charlotte's Web

    “Never hurry and never worry!” - Charlotte the spider to a worried Wilbur

     

  • The Rainbow Fish

    “The Rainbow Fish shared his scales left end right. And the more he gave away, the more delighted he became. When the water around him filled with glimmering scales, he at last felt at home among the other fish.”

  • The Twits

    “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely” - Mrs Twit

  • Peter Pan

    “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” - Peter Pan

  • Mary Poppins

    “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and ‘snap’, the job’s a game.” - Mary Poppins

  • Danny, the Champion of the World

    “It's impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren't feeling twinkly yourself.” - Danny says to his father

  • The Secret Garden

    "Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow."

  • Pippi Longstocking

    “He's the strongest man in the world.”

    “Man, yes,” said Pippi, “But I am the strongest girl in the world, remember that”.

  • Black Beauty

    Our friend stood still for a moment, and throwing his head a little back, “Do you know why this world is as bad as it is?”

    “No,” said the other.

    “Then I'll tell you. It is because people think only about their own business, and won't trouble themselves to stand up for the oppressed, nor bring the wrong-doer to light. I never see a wicked ¸thing like this without doing what I can, and many a master has thanked me for letting him know how his horses have been used.”

    “I wish there were more gentlemen like you, sir,” said Jerry, “for they are wanted badly enough in this city.”

  • Little Women

    “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” - Amy

  • James and the Giant Peach

    “My dear young fellow,” the Old-Green-Grasshopper said gently, “there are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven't started wondering about yet.”

  • Oliver Twist

    “Such is the influence which the condition of our own thoughts, exercises, even over the appearance of external objects. Men who look on nature, and their fellow-men, and cry that all is dark and gloomy, are in the right; but the sombre colours are reflections from their own jaundiced eyes and hearts. The real hues are delicate, and need a clearer vision.”

  • The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

    “All shall be done,” said Aslan. “But it may be harder than you think.”

  • Watership Down

    “You know how you let yourself think that everything will be all right if you can only get to a certain place or do a certain thing. But when you get there you find it's not that simple.” 

  • The BFG

    “The matter with human beans,” the BFG went on, “is that they is absolutely refusing to believe in anything unless they is actually seeing it right in front of their own schnozzles”.

  • The Velveteen Rabbit

    “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.”

  • Harriet the Spy

    “Sometimes you have to lie. But to yourself you must always tell the truth.”

  • The Lion & The Mouse

    “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

  • The Hobbit

    “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” - Thorin to Bilbo, just before he dies

  • A Wrinkle in Time

    “Don’t try to comprehend with your mind. Your minds are very limited. Use your intuition.”

  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

    “It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. My mom says some days are like that. Even in Australia.”

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha

Sejal Kapadia Pocha covers stories about everything from women’s issues to cult foods. She describes herself as a balance between Hermione and Luna Lovegood.

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