Honoring Children’s Literature

Well we survived Christmas, and now we have to survive the rest of the year! It shouldn’t be too difficult – one week to go!

Last week I was gathering some books to give a friend going through a difficult time. I went to our local independent book shop, Tecolote, which is my absolute favorite. I asked for the inspirational section and one of the store’s employees recommended, What the Dormouse Said: Lessons for Grown-Ups From Children’s’ Books Collected by Amy Gash.

Initially, the title did not grab me, but as I flipped through the 146 page book which could be held in one hand, I found it to be a gem. I fell in love not only with the layout, but with the quotes Amy Gash chose to put in the book. It’s neat revisiting some of these books and some of the values and virtues we were taught as kids through children’s literature.

As a mother of three, I know I’ve read dozens of  kids books, some in which the moral of the story is easier to ascertain than others. What is nice about this book is that Amy spent a great deal of time gathering the essentials in some very prominent children’s books, including: The Little Prince, The Secret Garden Aesop’s Fables, Charlotte’s Web, Good Night Moon, 101 Dalmatians and many more of our favorites!

What a treat it was revisiting books I hadn’t picked up in almost twenty years! They also sparked some writing and journaling ideas –which is always welcome during those times of drought!

  • “Nothing is always” – The Girl Who Loved In The Wind
  • You can’t expect two starts to drop in the same field in one lifetime.” – Mary Poppins
  • “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” – Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • “There’s nothing as cozy as a piece of candy and a book.” – Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic

  • I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” – The Little Engine That Could
  • “It is such a secret place, the land of tears.” – The Little Prince


And the one most appropriate for this time of year:

  • “To him it was not the gift that mattered, but the giver.” – The Turnip
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3 Responses to “Honoring Children’s Literature”


  1. 1 Darlyn Finch December 28, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Thank you, dearest. You reminded me to turn to my oldest friends – the books I read growing up, during these hard times of stress. Love you!

  2. 2 Lindsey December 28, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    This book sounds marvelous. I just ordered it from amazon. I think there is great wisdom, often, in the simplest stories, and I look forward to this meditation on that.
    Thank you!

  3. 3 loren london December 28, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    I have saved all of the books that I read over and over to my kids, many of which were classics that I adored from my own childhood. So many of the simple quotes of yesteryear live on and seem to gently fit into our understanding of adult life. And Winnie the Pooh was one of my favorites!


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"A writer uses a journal to try out the new step in front of the mirror."

~Mary Gordon

About Me


I am a memoirist, essayist, poet and teacher whose passion is keeping a notebook. My notebook is my muse and my alter ego. It contains personal snippets of my life and observations from the world around me. Diarist Anaïs Nin has been a great source of inspiration for me. My hobbies include writing, writing and more writing, but when I have extra time, I enjoy reading, walking, hiking, yoga, working out, cooking and hanging out with my family and Maltese Poodle, Spunky. In order not to become ensconced by the glare of my computer screen, I also teach in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and in various conferences and festivals around the country. My pleasure comes from sharing my joy of journaling with professional writers and anyone interested in writing.

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