Children’s Books That Changed Our Lives as Adults

Do your friends bring back porcelain pig souvenirs for you from their family vacations? Is your curio cabinet full of replica pigs of every size and dimension? Did you ever wonder to yourself why the sight of those little pink hairless pigs with squiggly tails just make your heart melt?

The answer might just be because as a child you read and loved the children’s book Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. Charlotte’s Web is named for the motherly spider, but the book is really about the hapless adventures of Wilbur, a naive, loving, and lovable orphan pig who finds himself in the company of a mélange of strange farm animals. The fact that your adult self loves pigs may be because your first encounter with one on the pages of this classic book was so positive.

Our likes and dislikes – the ones that seemingly have no origin in practicality are often the result of unconscious associations formed at a very young age. Consider the fact that so many young girls love horses. It’s possible that some of them – not all – fell in love early on with a horse named Black Beauty. Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell, is simply the story of a horse and his various owners. But it’s really a tale of abuse, renewal, and unconditional love. Nary an eye was dry after the last pages of Black Beauty were turned. They were bittersweet tears over the happy ending. And chances are, this is a book you have placed on your baby’s bookshelf, hoping one day to share the emotions of it with your children.

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