Sometimes I wonder if kids today still get the same stories that we grew up on. Remember Velveteen Rabbit? That was always my favorite. Or The Little Engine that Could, Babar the Elephant, The Giving Tree? Are those still around? Do kids even know what Aesop’s Fables are anymore, or is it just that Mama Llama book every day?
That is maybe the only thing I miss about not having kids of my own–sharing my stories. I have nieces and nephews, but it’s not quite the same when you aren’t there to read to them every night.
The Prince and the Pauper is one of those stories I remember hearing at some point. Or maybe it was just seeing the Mickey Mouse version. But I know that story by heart, and as I was reading Mark Twain’s book, I kept wondering if my littles would ever hear this one.
Another thought I had while reading it–I never realized before that this was a legend of Henry VIII’s son. As much as I love his court, I didn’t make the connection. This was apparently Mark Twain’s first attempt at historical fiction, and it’s such a silly little tale, but I quite enjoyed reading the full version. I will say that it is much more…vivid…than the Disney version! Not such a kid’s story, this one.
If you are as in love with Henry’s court as I am, this is worth the read. Mark Twain is so much more than Huck Finn. Who knew?
What are your top five favourite picture books?
I don’t remember very many picture books, to be honest, so this took some serious thinking. I remember being read to, and I remember going to the library, but most of the books I remember from my childhood start in the chapter book section: American Girls, Babysitter’s Club, Boxcar Children. I know there were some picture books at some point, but I started reading on my own really early, so I didn’t hang on to most of them for long.
Here are the ones I do remember:
- Barenstain Bears
- Little Bear (I must have had a thing for bears!)
- Babar the Elephant
- I Love You Forever
There’s also some vague ones that I can remember the characters, but I don’t know their titles–something about Mrs. Rude Girl, those multi colored shapes that taught a lesson–someone has to remember what I’m talking about. There was also one about too many cooks in the kitchen, and an old grandmother making soup. It had crudely drawn people with really big noses and scraggly hair. Awesome description, I know.
And then, of course, I was a huge fan of fairy tales and fables–I still am.
It’s probably good I’m not a parent. I’d be reading the poor kid Game of Thrones and Dorian Gray!
I am thrilled that fairy tales are making such a reappearance lately. I was raised on the Disney versions, along with constant rereads of Grimm and Aesop’s Fables. So now that I’m an adult, there’s nothing that I love more than to see my favorite characters getting revamped on TV and in what is essentially fanfiction that is popping up all over the place.
Rump by Liesl Shurtliff is the latest of these that I’ve found–a YA version of Rumpelstiltskin. Other than being a character in Once Upon a Time, Rumpelstiltskin isn’t a character who has gotten a lot of viewership over the years. When we hear about him as children, he’s a villain–the creepy hermit who bargained away the queen’s baby for gold.
Shurtliff spins a whole different story. This is very much a fable–and the moral at the end of this is one of self discovery. Rump is a quick read–I got through it in a few hours, but I enjoyed it. The characters are magical, and I wanted very much for Rump to succeed in his quest.
I would say kids as young as 2nd or 3rd grade could easily pick this up. My only warning is that they do use words like “pee” and “butt.” No real cuss words, just things younger children might go “ooooooooo, you shouldn’t say that!” The message is fantastic, though, especially for kids who need a boost of self confidence.