We are a reading family. We own more than a thousand books (well over, if you're counting), and we read daily. We also listen to a lot of audiobooks, especially when we're in the car.
We've started listening to the Harry Potter series recently which has spurred a new obsession in my children. They now watch Harry Potter YouTube videos and play Harry Potter pretend games and Harry Potter Barbies and Harry Potter Legos and are already begging to be Harry and Hermoine for Halloween.
I like that they get so into their stories, but I don't remember a commitment like this since we read Little House on the Prairie and The Chronicles of Narnia. Those are the only two other series that seemed to captivate their entire lives like Harry and company are now.
When I asked them what their favorite stories were, they both said Harry Potter, but then Grace quickly said she loved The Penderwicks and The Chronicles of Narnia, too, and even The Witches by Roald Dahl. (Which I thought she did NOT like because it was a little too scary for my anxious girl.)
I personally could never choose a favorite children's book. There are so many that I have loved so dearly:
My favorite picture books
- Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
- Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
- Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
- Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
- Julius, the Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes
- Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
- The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
- Pinkalicious by Elizabeth Kann
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendek
My favorite chapter books
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh by A.A. Milne (Lots from this one below)
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
- The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
- Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlin
- The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
I want to go on and on, but I'll spare you. Like I said, we are a reading family, and it all began with my mom sitting on the side of my bottom bunk almost forty years ago, trying to stay awake while she read story after story to my sister and me.
If you're interested in an expanded list of our favorite picture books and chapter books, check out 101 Picture Books to Read Before You Grow Up, 101 Chapter Books to Read Before You Grow Up, and the 40 Best Audiobooks for Kids and Families. They are annotated lists that tell what we loved most about the stories.
So anyway, most of the quotes below happen to be from chapter books because picture books are often more simplistic in their language and thoughts (but not always!).
You can get all 30 images, sized 4 to a page (3.5-inch squares) for easier printing.
30 Best Quotes From Our Favorite Children's Books
This first quote was picked out by my daughter, Gracie, when she was very little. We'd read Pinkalicious for the forty-third time, and she was handing out cupcakes to her little friends, and she said, "You get what you get, and you don't get upset." I was in awe because it was the perfect lesson for the situation, and she remembered it word for word from the book. Pinkalicious is always appropriate.
- You get what you get and you don't get upset. –Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann
- I don't understand it any more than you do, but one thing I've learned is that you don't have to understand things for them to be. –A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
- It's no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then. –Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- Please don't go
We'll eat you up
We love you so! –Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
- Sometimes, I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. –Through the Looking Glass (And What Alice Found There) by Lewis Carroll
- As a chronic tear-hider, I really appreciated this one. When someone is crying, of course, the noble thing to do is to comfort them. But if someone is trying to hide their tears, it may also be noble to pretend you do not notice them. —A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
- You're mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. —Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it. –Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
- If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you. —The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
- "Why did you do all this for me?" he asked. "I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you."
"You have been my friend," replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing." –Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (It's not one of my most favorites, but I really really loved listening to this book with my kids. And also, I bawled like MY best friend died at the end.)
- I wished she'd never stop squeezing me. I wished I could spend the rest of my life as a child, being slightly crushed by someone who loved me. —Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
- How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. –Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
- Do you know the story of I'll Love You Forever? Robert Munsch's wife was pregnant with a baby that ended up being stillborn, their second stillbirth in two pregnancies. He would sing these four simple lines to himself as a means of comfort. They were so precious to him that he didn't even tell his wife, right up until he was performing on stage and the story in the book occurred to him. His performance that day was the first time his wife ever heard the lines that would become his most famous work of all.
As if the book wasn't already sad enough, you needed to hear this, right?
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living,
My baby you'll be. –I'll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
- Today was a difficult day. Tomorrow will be better. –Lily's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
- It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. –Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
- We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy. –Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
- It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends. –Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
- Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light. –Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
- Numbing the pain for a while will only make it feel worse when you finally feel it. –Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
- We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are. —Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
- A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly… If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. –The Twits by Roald Dahl
- I love you right up to the moon - and back. –Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
- It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends. —Snow White by the Brothers Grimm
- Piglet: "How do you spell love?" Pooh: "You don't spell it. You feel it." –Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
- Those who don't believe in magic will never find it. –The Minpins by Roald Dahl
- It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you. –The Witches by Roald Dahl
- Nobody in my family is fancy at all. They never even ask for sprinkles. –Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor
- True courage is in facing danger when you are afraid. –The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
- "Sometimes," said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the biggest room in your heart." –Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
- "You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you," said the Lion. –The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (Part of the Chronicles of Narnia series)
I hope you've enjoyed this simple quotes from my favorite children's literature. I have found that kids' books, much more than grown-up ones, contain so much inspiration and encouragement that they always leave the reader better off than when she started.
I don't think I can say the same thing about some of the grow-up books I've read.
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