And Now For Children’s Books, OR, An Exercise in Procrastinonsense

Ok, so remember that big life change that I lamely pretended excused my failure to hold up my end of the book club bargain? Well, it involved me getting a job teaching preschool, which means, among other things, that I get to foist my favorite picture books on the unsuspecting little tykes.

I doubt I’m the only one who still feels a bit territorial about a certain corner window seat at her local library, haunted by her curled up eight year old self.

To this day, nothing makes a co-conspirator out of me faster than a discovery of  shared fondness for Princess Cimorene.

So, of course, I made a Pinterest board.

Yeah yeah, I know, I make fun of Pinterest all the time. Or at least I do in my head. Whoops. But it actually is a useful way of organizing all the fun marginalia of life, especially for someone who once had to ask for a ten minute extension because she’d forgotten in what folder she’d saved her presentation.

If Hazel’s Amazing Mother must needs be shared with the toddling horde, why not with everyone? And what about everyone else’s favorites, the ones I missed but my T.H. need not? And why stop at picture books? What about Madeleine L’Engle?

Basically, this is a community bulletin board of favorite children’s books, loosely defined–a lot of them would probably be classified by the more discerning as Young Adult. So far it’s a smattering of everything I read from preschool till that moment, around age 13, when Jane Austen finally accomplished what she’d been threatening for years, and crowded Tamora Pierce right off my bookshelf. (I’m serious. I didn’t get suddenly snobby, there was just no more room.)

These are not officially approved, laboratory tested, ritually pure children’s classics. Some of them are quite problematic. They’re just books I loved when I was kind of tiny and wore overalls and was fairly sure I was queen of the world–books I wouldn’t mind reading again, or sharing.

I think it would be fun to collect people’s tastes on this, because these were the books we read when we had no taste, or at were least were forming it from a rudimentary nugget into the guiding structure, that, if more worthwhile, is less fun to talk about. After all, everyone knows roughly the same classics. That’s why we have the idea of the classic. Beloved and bizarre and often gossamer-thin children’s stories? Not so much.

If you want to contribute to this collective dust-cover library, (especially books for very young children) email us with your Pinterest handle and I’ll add you as a pinner for the board.

Also, speaking of nostalgia, does anyone remember how awesome this show was?



We almost never had a television growing up, so we would go to our friends’ houses and make them watch cartoons with us for hours on end, ignoring the wretchedly wholesome whelps’ pleas to go outside. We were rotten. Also, Ducktales?


3 thoughts on “And Now For Children’s Books, OR, An Exercise in Procrastinonsense

  1. I’d love to be a part of this! It pretty much pushed me over the edge and made me join Pinterest. How could I NOT have access to a visual list of the most amazing children’s books ever (I keep gasping in delight. Mara! And Ella Enchanted! And the True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (I so wanted to be her)!) I’d love to pin some books!

  2. Princess Cimorene is awesome! And as much as I find Pinterest visually overwhelming, I did see your affection for The Princess and the Goblin, one of my middle-school favorites.

    One thing I loved about babysitting as a teenager was the chance to watch lots of cartoons without feeling guilty, and two of my charges LOVED DuckTales.

  3. Pingback: Lands End | Babes in Babylon

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