Whether you’re a devoted bibliophile or not, there are some books from your childhood that are ingrained in your mind forever. From being tucked in and falling asleep to your favorite fairy tale to sitting on that cozy rug in your kindergarten classroom during storytime, every kid loves a good melodic rhyme scheme and crudely drawn anthropomorphic animals. Not only did these books keep our rowdy young minds entertained, but deep down, they were the building blocks that introduced children to vital human emotions such as empathy, compassion, altruism and playfulness.
While the passing down of children's fables has existed for centuries, it was in the 1920s that children’s picture books were mass produced in color. In the years that followed, countless classic stories have made their way into the hearts of our youth and continue to resonate with every subsequent generation. Beyond this, they’ve built the foundation for the modern children’s books today, allowing kids to read about things like mental health, embracing differences, friend and familial relationships, and so much more. Even if you haven’t read these stories in years, the emotional imprint of them surely lives on. Why not pay a tribute to your inner child by adding your most treasured children’s book character to your inked collection?
Few children’s stories capture the importance of helping friends in trouble quite like E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web.”
The Giving Tree
Even with age, “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein still hits home with its sentiments about loyalty, devotion and reverence for nature.
Winnie The Pooh
A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” might be one of the most quintessential representations of unconditional friendship that we know.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
“Alice's Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll is a timeless lesson of how sometimes, we just need to become one with the madness.
We all need to channel a bit of Roald Dahl’s reckless “Matilda” energy in our lives sometimes.
The Rainbow Fish
Marcus Pfister’s “The Rainbow Fish” taught us how trying to be the center of attention can backfire, and why being good to others should always come first.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
There was no better way to learn about the butterfly life cycle than through the eyes of Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
Margaret Wise Brown’s “Goodnight, Moon” is perhaps the coziest bedtime story to date.
The Cat in the Hat
We have Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the Hat” to thank for teaching us how to read even the silliest of sentences.
Anyone who grew up with a teddy bear as their best friend can definitely relate to the message behind Don Freeman’s “Corduroy.”
Margret and H.A. Rey’s “Curious George” reminds us to never stop asking questions and wondering how things work.
Ludwig Bemelmans’ whimsical storytelling and lovable illustrations cement “Madeline” as a staple comfort character from our childhood.
Thomas the Train Engine
Persistence, optimism and self-esteem definitely shine through in each expedition of Christopher Awdry’s “Thomas the Train Engine.”
The chaotic absurdism of Peggy Parish’s “Amelia Bedelia” series can never be forgotten.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
As “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff warned us—if you give a millennial a tattoo, they’ll ask for 50 more.