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3 brilliant children’s books you should revisit in 2018

Posted by
Gemma Cairney
Published

Take a trip back to your childhood by picking up a copy of these well-loved books. 

Truth be told, I need to get better at sitting down with a book. The problem is that my brain is constantly darting around the place. And my fingers are used to replying to WhatsApp messages rather than leafing through pages. But I do love words and stories. And I do love books (when I get around to reading them). 

In short: books are my escapism and my chance to dive head first into another world. Which is why I reject book shop categories when it comes to texts you’re ‘supposed to have read at a certain age’. I always go back to children’s literature as I find it comforting. 

Here are my three so-called ‘children’s books’ that I think should be revisited or read for the first time by all – regardless of age.

The Moomins by Tove Jansson

The Moomin collection is so incredibly mystical it can be quite psychedelic at points. But as you follow this family of made-up woodland creatures through their moral conundrums and tales of triumph and strife, you start to love them like they’re you’re own family. 

Most importantly, you learn from the inherit wisdom of Moomin philosophy. They get ever so grumpy sometimes and have tantrums but they love each other. All things I can relate too, even though I don’t live in Moomin Valley and hibernate every winter (though I wish I did).

The Moomins, £4.99, Waterstones

The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

I talk about this series, written in the Forties by Enid Blyton, a lot. It’s the book that sparked my insatiable imagination in the first place. It’s about a rebellious group of friends who escape up a magical tree on a regular basis and find a new ‘land’ up there each time. Sometimes it’s terrifying, sometimes it’s ridiculous or hilarious, like the Land Of Topsy Turvy. 

Magic Farraway Tree, £4.49, Amazon 

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou (picture book illustrated by Jean Michel Basquait)

I find all of Maya Angelou’s work extraordinary, especially the way in which she uses her gift to lift other souls from misery. When I’m down, I reach for this picture book which is an illustrated book with the words of her poem Life Doesn’t Frighten Me. Both the poem and pictures seem to resonate with some of the heaviness of modern life, but it reminds us to keep our head up and be brave.

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me, £9.30, Amazon

Tip: If you’re looking for alternative children’s titles to read to your little ones, I highly recommend keeping an eye on the @thisisbooklove_ it is an exciting initiative set up to source, sell, encourage, self-publish and promote beautiful British multicultural children’s books that celebrate diversity – particularly children and families of Caribbean/African descent. 

Images: Courtesy of publishers / Unsplash