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  1. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    South Australia
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    1,013
    Quote Originally Posted by ottilie View Post
    My parents started reading "real" books to me and my sister when we were very little, so my definition of what appropriate children's literarure might be a bit weird. I hope I'll be like that, I want my children to read proper books from a young age, I might not let them read very adult literature when they're as young as I was when I opened Lady Chatterley's Lover for the first time, but I will start reading the books below when they're three I guess. Roald Dahl is a good author to introduce, he's so funny and weird and charming, and his books are filled with amazing drawings.

    Some of my favourites:
    A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Saw There by Lewis Carroll
    Ballet Shoes (and Skating Shoes and all the other Shoes I guess) by Noel Streatfeild
    Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Danny Champion of the World, Matilda, Witches (and so on...) by Roald Dahl
    Collected Works by Beatrix Potter
    Coraline, Stardust by Neil Gaiman
    Emma, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
    His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (this will become a classic!)
    Hugo & Josephine, Agnes Cecilia, Skuggan Över Stenbänken by Maria Gripe
    I Capture the Castle, One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith
    Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
    Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
    Madicken, Ronja the Robber's Daughter, Mio My Son, The Brother's Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren
    Peter Pan, Peter in Kensington Park, Peter & Wendy by J.M. Barrie
    The Borrowers by Mary Norton
    The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
    The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
    The Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
    The Moomin Books by Tove Jansson
    The Pooh Books by A.A. Milne
    The Princess Bride by William Goldman
    The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
    The Secret Garden, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson-Burnett
    The Wind in the Willow by Kenneth Grahame
    Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pierce
    I completely agree Ottilie! My parents were the same, but there were a few they managed to miss. I would love to be the same when I have children. Thank you for your extensive list! I think Peter Pan is the one I am a bit iffy about when to introduce, just because of the violence mainly.
    Last edited by sodallas3; September 17th, 2013 at 07:37 AM.

    'Jess' Jessica Emily Faith
    Living down under...
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  2. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    672
    My mother and father both read aloud to all of us kids. We would all sit together as a family and listen. All of us kids loved it. My mother read us the Little House on the Prairie series three times over (once for each child) and my father read us The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series. There were many of the above mentioned as well.

    I remember really liking when books felt "real" as a small child. I read once that fairy tales help children make sense out of a very dark and often nonsensical world. I think that is true. As with anything, I think it's important to stop and discuss what you are reading. When scary things happen, it's good to work through them with your children rather than leaving them to wonder. That is not to say that they need to watch the nightly news with us or that we shouldn't shield them from the world of adults.

  3. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    491
    I also think violence in books is quite different than in films. Reading a description of a fist fight is really different than seeing footage of someone getting hit, reading about a gun going off is much different than hearing a gunshot, etc.

    I don't think I'll avoid many children's books with my daughter because of themes. Unless a particular theme or story seems to bother her. If a child appears disturbed or fearful or begins obsessing over the theme, it's definitely best to wait until they're older.

    I also took a course on fairy tales, and learned many old stories, such as Little Red Riding Hood, were designed in order to scare children, and basically terrify them out of talking to strangers, venturing into the woods, etc.

    That's why many of the tales are so dark and disturbing, and scaring young children was the goal behind that.
    Lillian Elizabeth 6.16.13

  4. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Munchkinland
    Posts
    1,631
    I think it depends on your child as to when you introduce them. I'm planning on reading classic novels to my daughter as soon as she's old enough to be interested. I think all of those books are appropriate for school aged children. I'm not too worried about the fact that there are "mature" or "dark" themes in some books (unless she becomes fearful, of course). For one thing, kids don't necessarily pick up on all the themes in a story. There have been many books, movies, and television shows that I reread/watched as an adult and went, "Wait, that's what this story was about?!" I had no clue when I was kid. Also, I just don't believe every story needs to be happy. In fact, you don't even have a story without some sort of conflict. Letting kids experience sadness, disappointment, frustration, etc. through a character in a story is healthy, I think. We can't shelter our kids from all the "bad" things in life, so giving them an opportunity to hear about different types of situations and how someone might work through them can help them when "bad" things inevitably happen in their life. It's a good way to open up a dialogue about difficult subjects like that. I mean, I understand people's desire to shelter their kids and "keep them innocent", but I just don't think it's wise to try to hide from them things that are facts of life. They're going to face them one day, it's our job as parents to prepare them. I've known parents who didn't want their child to hear Charlotte's Web because of the death theme. And parents who don't want their child exposed to certain books/movies because the characters' actions might encourage disobedience or mischief. I think that's totally absurd.
    Mommy to...Maura Lucille and Baby #2 due April 8th!

    I had a baby today, I would name him/her...
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  5. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    2,035
    I was also read "real" books as a child, even if they go completely over the little one's head now, it's just fun to hear a parent read aloud and will certainly make them want to revisit classics later on!

    Some overlap, but some I remember reading very early...
    Little House on the Prairie (all except Farmer Boy, I wasn't at all interested in Farmer Boy)
    Little Women (I don't know how she did it without my noticing, but my mother skipped the whole Beth dying part)
    The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle series
    The Wizard of Oz
    Stuart Little
    The Cricket in Times Square
    Sarah, Plain and Tall
    Misty of Chincoteague

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