Book Lists

Top 5 Evergreen Children's Books

One of my favorite things about reading is being able to escape into a world that isn’t my own. An added positive is to learn something new or gain a new perspective on life while flipping the pages. That’s where children’s books come in. Before you angrily close your window at my suggestion to read a children’s book in your early adulthood, hear me out. Children’s books teach important lessons about friendship, family, learning, and pursuing your dreams — lessons that are applicable at any age.  I’ve got a list of five children’s books I think are evergreen and can be learned from at any stage in life.

Let’s get started!

children's books
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1. “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster
I read Norton Juster’s classic, “The Phantom Tollbooth,” when I was about nine years old, but I don’t think I really appreciated it for everything it had to offer at the time. Juster writes about a young boy named Milo who travels through a magical tollbooth one afternoon to find a land filled with puns and wordplay. Throughout his journey to restore peace in the kingdom of Wisdom, Milo discovers the true meaning or friendship and comes to appreciate learning on a new level. My best friend lists “The Phantom Tollbooth” as his favorite book, and I might have joined the ranks after rereading it last weekend. It teaches valuable lessons about seeking out knowledge and attempting the impossible that any kid, or adult, can learn from.

children's books
Image from Amazon

2. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
I recently read the entire series for the first time, and I think I learned more from it at 21 than I ever would have at 6 or 7. I have a very vivid memory of my mother reading “The Magician’s Nephew” to me when I was a kid, but I didn’t show much interest in it, so we skipped reading the rest of the series. I knew it was a classic, so I finally picked it up again during a week-long vacation from college at home, and couldn’t put them down. If you don’t know, C.S. Lewis wrote seven books about a land called Narnia — the most famous being “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” that follows four children on their first journey to the magical land. The book is mainly a religious allegory, but it also teaches lessons relating to family and friendship, the power of belief, and bravery.

children's books
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3. “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White
I read “Charlotte’s Web” when I was a young kid, but it wasn’t until I was in middle school that I saw the movie and promptly quit eating meat for two years. Other than vastly influencing my dietary habits, E.B. White’s children’s novel has a plethora of other important lessons between its pages. It features an unlikely friendship between a spider, a pig, and a young girl. Like most children’s books, it teaches readers about love and friendship.

The Giving Tree
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4. “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein
Who wouldn’t love this classic? Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree” tells the tale of a “friendship” between a boy and a tree. After giving the boy everything it had to give, the tree is left as a stump. It’s unhappy that it cannot give the boy (now an old man) everything that it used to be able to give him, to which the man says he just wants a quiet place to sit. He then sits upon the stump, and the tree is happy it can still provide for his best friend. People have interpreted this book in many ways, all of which hold merit. I think each time you read “The Giving Tree,” you learn something new about friendship and support.

children's books
Image from Amazon

5. “Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A. Milne
It’s cute that you didn’t think this would be included. If you didn’t know, I grew up loving Winnie-the-Pooh, and still have the original stuffed Pooh I grew up with in my adult bedroom along with a newer stuffed Pooh named Gerald (it’s a long story) given to me by my best friend. I think Winnie-the-Pooh stories are some of the most influential books one can read to learn about friendship, acceptance, understanding, and adventure.

There you have it! Five books to read at any age to learn a little more about life. Let me know your favorite children’s books in the comments below.

Happy reading,


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