Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Classic Canon

When I asked my friends, young adults who do not spend anywhere near as much time in the children's section of the library as me, for children's literature recommendations the interaction went something like this...

Me: Hey guys, give me a good book to recommend on my blog?
Young Adult 1: What about Good Night Moon?
Me: That's far too common, everyone knows that book.
Young Adult 2: But it's such a good book.
Young Adult 1: It's like one of the best books ever.
Young Adult 2: Yea, you should talk about Good Night Moon.

I could blog about Good Night Moon. I could talk about the repetition, the soothing muted colors, the use of the toys in the book that are often transition objects converting the book into a transition object. I could talk about Good Night Moon for a while because it is one of those books with layers, and identification, and a whole mixed bag of psychological uses for children, as are many of the best books from the classic canon of children's literature. So, this is my tribute to my top five favorite books from the classic canon of children's literature. They are probably books you have read, and books that your children still snuggle up with at night.

1. Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
2. In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
3. Whistle For Willie by Ezra Jack Keats
4. A Hole is to Dig by Ruth Krauss (illustrations by Sendak)
5. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

(ps this list was way harder to make than I thought it would be because in my mind old books are from the 1980s apparently, and then I realized that was probably not old enough at all to truly be in the classic canon of children's literature)

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