Gretchen Rubin, author of the widely popular book The Happiness Project posted the question on her Facebook page: "What's your favorite line from a children's picture book?" I don't usually comment on her posts but as a former children's librarian and lover of this genre I couldn't resist.
Before posting, I scrolled through the comments already listed and noticed some of my favorites: "The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another..." and "A person's a person no matter how small." and "Some days are like that, even in Australia." (If you don't know what books these are from, come to the Library and we will help you find them!) As I read through the list, I marveled at the wisdom contained in these simple lines from children's literature. There were many quotes from Dr. Seuss who is so well-known for his life lessons, profound even though, or maybe because, they contain made-up words, his books are often given as graduation gifts. I don't know if children always grasp the lessons these tomes are trying to impart, but as adults reading them often brings back warm, nostaligic feelings from childhood. I know I've become teary on more than one occasion while reading a poignant sentence to one of my children such as "I love you right up to the moon - and back" from Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney.
As a librarian I am often asked what my favorite book of all time is. Usually this would be like asking a mother to choose a favorite child but in my case the answer has been clear for a long time: The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. As a child I adored this book for the magic and possibility of loving a stuffed animal, of which I had close to 100, so much that it could come to life. I can still remember really, really loving a stuffed white pony in the hopes of bringing forth the actual animal. Now as an adult I recognize the book's real message of the power of love to overcome crisis, see beauty instead of ugliness, and create miracles. So the quote I listed on Gretchen's page was:
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
I now invite you dear readers to list in the comments your favorite lines from a children's book. What has touched your heart, made you laugh or brought a simple yet profound wisdom to your life? "Let the Wild Rumpus start!"