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You Don't Have to be a Kid to Enjoy Children's Literature

Shel Horowitz's Monthly Frugal Fun Tip for November, 2000, Vol. 4, No. 7

One of the many great pleasures about being a parent was getting to discover so much wonderful children's literature--stuff that either hadn't been written yet when I was growing up or that somehow escaped my voracious eyes back then. (I was--and still am--an avid reader. I remember one beautiful Saturday where I went outside and sat in a comfortable spot, and proceeded to read eight entire books in a row!).

Some of this stuff is so good that when we were reading out loud to my kids, whichever parent whose turn it was could expect the other parent to find some chore that could be done in earshot.

Whether or not you have kids, don't overlook these books. Even consider reading them aloud with a spouse, partner, or friend--they're just as much fun as reading a Shakespeare play together (which I also highly recommend). Most of these should be easy to find in libraries, too.

Some of my favorites (this list tends toward humorous books):
* Roald Dahl, and especially Matilda and a short one called The Giraffe, The Pelly, and Me.
* Lois Lowry: The Sam and Anastasia books are deliciously funny, and she can also help children grapple with heavy issues in books like The Giver and Number the Stars.
* The Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White. I had read and loved Charlotte's Web as a child and this one is even better.
* Judy Blume, and especially the Fudge books.
* J.K. Rowling: Read the Harry Potter books in order--and don't attempt to judge them by the prologue to the first book. That chapter makes much more sense after the rest of the book. They are simply the best children's books I've ever read, actually deserving of all the hype. (But not for everyone--my mom didn't care for them at all.)

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