November 2011

Best Children's Books of the '90s

A magical mystery tour.

I like to think of my 90’s childhood as marking a renaissance in the realm of children’s books. I’m sure it’s just nostalgia, but some of the titles that we were offered seem like they were a lot better than the smiley-and-glittery titles offered to kids and teens today. I can certainly say that the books that we were reading were more whimsical, perhaps a bit more magical, and were definitely spiked with more adult themes than we’re letting our kids read today. Unless, of course, those themes are sexy times, themes that they are certainly getting and we thankfully did not.

Here is a list of some of my favorite childhood book titles:  

The Cat in the Hat


The Cat in the Hat, written by Dr. Seuss, was created in an attempt to improve literacy among children in the United States. The book was published by Random House on March 12, 1957. The Cat in the Hat was a huge success, and is still a book children enjoy reading today, more than 50 years later. The book can even be purchased in 12 different languages.

The Tripod Series

Post-apocalyptic fiction for kids.

I loved The Tripods children's series when I was a kid. I was a big sci-fi and kid horror aficinado when I was a kid, so this series--first written in the 1960's--was right up my alley. Books set in the future can be really readable for future generations because they haven't happened yet. This series begins in 2100, so we still have plenty of time to fear that we may one day be ruled by Tripods!

Love You Forever: A True Classic

"Parents who enjoy the book Love You Forever will be excited to know that Robert N. Munsch offers an audio version of the book for free"

My daughter received the book Love You Forever written by Robert N. Munsch and illustrated by Sheila McGraw for her birthday when she turned three years old. Since it was first published in 1986, Love You Forever has become a favorite among parents. The story captures the circle of life so well that it left me in tears when I read it to my daughter the very first time. Although my daughter didn’t understand the meaning of the book at the time, I consider this book a true classic.

The Kids’ Family Tree Book

When my daughter and I picked out a few books for Family History Month in October, I never expected the gem that I found in The Kids’ Family Tree Book. The book is huge, and not meant to be read straight through; instead, Caroline Leavitt’s book is a child’s guide to genealogy, and covers every topic from creating your own family tree to searching online for your family past, setting up family reunions and family traditions, and so much more. The entire book is a wonderful how-to guide for children who are interested in searching into their family history and learning more about where they came from.