Lessons From The Library- What can kids books teach adults?

Child reading a book

What can kids books teach adults?

Working in a library, I’ve gotten to know Captain Underpants and Fancy Nancy. Barbie and her sisters. Mr. Putter and Tabby. Pinkalicious.

Some of these books, I read to my boys when they were small, like Arthur and the Berenstain Bears. Some, I read when I was a kid, like Nancy Drew and Ramona the Pest. And some, like Bedtime for Francis and Harry the Dirty Dog, my parents read to me.

Though it seems like the world is shifting from pages to screens, my library’s children’s collection proves readers still like something they can hold in their hands.  Though I’m published digitally, and love the convenience of my Kindle, it’s comforting that books and stories have a loyal following.

Not only that, kids books have lessons for adults. Like what?

Loving again can be scary

Mia can’t get over her pet cat Sandy’s death, and can’t ever imagine replacing him. Over the Christmas holidays, she gets to play with her friend’s cat’s kittens. Then Mia’s parents surprise her by saying she can have the last kitten, Whiskers. But although Mia loves him, she feels guilty about Sandy. Can Mia bring herself to keep the new kitten? 

Pretty much the premise of every second-chance romance out there, it’s hard to give our heart to someone new after we’ve been hurt. There’s guilt and the fear of being vulnerable once again. But then, a special someone comes along who’s worth the risk.

No one is “normal”

Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth, and what follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that dental drama, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.

Face it, sixth grade sucks for everyone. It’s the age when feeling abnormal, is normal. Finding our happy ending isn’t about waiting for the glorious day when our imperfections go away. Chances are, they won’t. It’s about learning to accept ourselves in spite of them. And yes, things get better.

Reading is supposed to be FUN!

Goofy Grampa takes his grandson Wiley to a monster truck show in the middle of an F5 tornado, where they meet Colonel Dracula, whose primo vampire truck feeds on some pretty sinister “gas.”

Sure, its good to expand our mind and learn new things, but reading doesn’t always have to be good for us. The books we love best can also be the ones that make us laugh out loud. Even if we’re laughing at fart jokes and F5 tornadoes.

What are some of your favorite kids books? Why do you love them, and what have they taught you?

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5 thoughts on “Lessons From The Library- What can kids books teach adults?

  1. Colleen says:

    I was lured to your new site by an email you sent and enjoyed scrolling through your blogs. This one was particularly touching (though, I too have experienced THE layoff and am also a lover of figure skating!) because it made me think about the books read to me, the book I discovered, the books I shared with my children and the books they share with me. It’s a full circle and I appreciate you capturing it so well.

  2. Elizabeth Harmon says:

    Thank you so much! Watching kids leave with a bag full of books is one of the best parts of my job, and sparks a lot of memories as well. As the mom of two boys (now grown, or close to it), I know that a book about a monster truck spectacular would have been a big hit. Our older son loved the Arthur series when he was little, and our younger son just read the Harry Potter series at age 19. Better late than never.

  3. Susan Biddle says:

    I love reading with my 6 and 9 year old kiddos. I let them choose their own books, and I read them too, even if they read them on their own. My son absolutely is drawn in by fart jokes, and my daughter has an unofficial book club with her little friends, so they usually read the same things. I do like that books for kids still contain moral lessons, yet am always just happy to see my kids reading, so fart jokes and boyfriend tips are more than welcome in my home!

    • Elizabeth Harmon says:

      Such a great age for kids! They’re still little enough to be fully engaged in family life (more or less- lol), but old enough that their personalities start to make them individual people. I fondly remember those times with my boys, now 20 and 25.

  4. Nicole says:

    Some books from childhood jut really stick with ya- they can bring up feelings and good points that you remember through life!

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