Happy 100th Children’s Book Week!

Check out some of our childhood favorites that have stayed with us into adulthood

By Anjali Shastry

Here at the museum, we see how much joy reading can give kids and their families, and we believe books have the power to change lives and the world. Children’s Book Week is a literacy initiative to celebrate the books that shape lifelong readers. So this week, we’re sharing some of our childhood favorites that have stayed with us into adulthood.

“Pat the Bunny” by Dorothy Kunhardt

“My mom and I read many books together when I was a child, and ‘Pat the Bunny’ was one of my favorites. I think what excited me most about this book was that even though I couldn’t actually read, I still felt like I was relating to the book through my senses. I remember her reading the story aloud and I was able to touch, feel and even smell the book. I love the interactive aspect of ‘Pat the Bunny’ and it made me that much more excited to learn how to read on my own!” — Kylie Smith, Birthday Party Coordinator

“The Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister

“I love ‘The Rainbow Fish’ because it is the first book (that I remember) that launched me into an undersea world. I remember I wanted to learn more about the different kinds of marine organisms after reading this book. I love the color and the way it was drawn. I recommend this book because it has beautiful artwork that all ages will enjoy and it teaches us about sharing.” — Maria Luisa Ponce de Leon, BioSITE Educator

“The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter

“I have fond memories of reading the ‘Tale of Peter Rabbit & Friends’ series by Beatrix Potter as a child with my mother. Spending time together reading was my favorite part of going to bed. The set we had was one that my grandmother read to my mom when she was a child. This book reminds me of home, family, and the start of my love of reading. Also, these books are classics! My set has been handed down from my grandmother to my mother to me, and I intend to read them one day to my children. They cultivate a child’s sense of wonder and imagination.” — Morgan Leach, Events Supervisor

“Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf

“I have fond memories of reading ‘Ferdinand’ in a small nook in my 3rd grade classroom while other children in my class played different types of games. Ferdinand as a character made the shy, quiet child I was feel validated and understood. In many ways, as an adult, ‘Ferdinand’ still reaches a soft spot in my heart when I feel like I need a break from interacting with others and would instead like to enjoy a quiet moment alone — most often in a beautiful outdoor space, just like Ferdinand.” — Eliana Zacarias, Youth Programs Developer

“If” by Sarah Perry

“As a kid, the line between real and imaginary is fuzzy. ‘If…’ captures that childhood uncertainty of what is possible versus what isn’t, and the whimsical illustrations of how the world would look “if leaves were fish” or “if music could be held” inspired me to think outside of the box, and has stuck with me as an adult.” — Anna Dagum, BioSITE Educator

“Sideways Stories from Wayside School” by Louis Sachar

“Wayside School’s many mysteries, silly tales, dozens of main characters and multi-layered jokes introduced a whole new way of reading — at least for me. What I truly love about the series is that while some of the stories within are content to make you smile, most manage to say something interesting about the unpredictable way children’s minds work and the challenges of changing one’s own perspective. As the author, Louis Sachar, writes in the books introduction: ‘It has been said that these stories are strange and silly. That is probably true. However, when I told stories about you to the children at Wayside, they thought you were strange and silly. That is probably also true.’” — Bridget Moore, Exhibits and Graphic Designer

“The BFG” by Roald Dahl

“When I was young, I loved all Roald Dahl’s stories, but ‘The BFG’ always stood out to me as a favorite. It was the perfect mix of absolute silliness with some scary moments sprinkled in too. It’s also one of the books I remember my mom reading to my sister and me as we got a little older. It’s a scrumdiddlyumptious read for kids and adults both!” — Christine Thalls, Urban Ecology Program Developer