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Ten Kids Classics That Adults Will Love to Read Too

April 28, 2011
by Cindy Hudson

As much as your kids may love it when you read Dr. Seuss or other children's books aloud, at some point you'll probably grow tired of plowing through "The Cat in the Hat" for the hundredth time.

Instead of giving up reading to your children then, you may want to pick up a more challenging classic that can be as delightful for you as it is for the younger set. What makes these books interesting for adults too?

First, many classic authors are recognized as masterful storytellers, and a good story well told has appeal for all ages. Also, the best books for children often have an inside joke or two-something parents get but kids don't pick up on.

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Why read books to your kids that they can't get through on their own? For one thing, it's a great way to expose your children to new words. As you go along you can also ask things like, "Do you understand what that means?" This may spur separate conversations that touch on common themes such as friendship, family and historical events. Stories aimed at kids are often funny too, and your kids will love it if you end up rolling on the floor laughing with them.

To find a good title for children beginning at age four or five, you may want to start with the list below. Add your own childhood favorites for even more books to choose from.

"The BFG" by Roald Dahl-Who can resist this softhearted giant who wants to save children from being eaten?

"Charlotte's Web" by E. B. White-A spider, a pig, one great friendship.

"The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett-It's creepy, it's mysterious, and it's a story of courage and person triumph.

"Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle" by Betty MacDonald-You'll laugh out loud at the cures Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle prescribes for common childhood ailments.

"Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein-Poetry, songs, riddles, and drawings, too.

"Pippi Longstocking" by Astrid Lindgren-There's almost nothing this positive-thinking spunky kid can't do when she makes up her mind about it.

"The Mouse and the Motorcycle" by Beverly Cleary-This mouse can really ride.

"Little House on the Prairie" by Laura Ingalls Wilder-Tales of a very low-tech past.

"Bed-Knob and Broomstick" by Mary Norton-Travel through space and time with the help of a magical bed-knob.

"The Neverending Story "by Michael Ende-Bastian is on a quest to save the fantastical creatures that populate the world of Fantastica.

Cindy Hudson is the author of "Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs" (Seal Press, October 2009). She is the founder of two long-running mother-daughter book clubs, and she lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two daughters. Visit her online at



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