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Children's Books Adults Should Read

With all the craziness in the news these days, I venture to guess I am not eh only one looking for some escapism. It's made me think about some of the books I most loved as a child, books that entertained, but also made me think. Here I have rounded up a few of my favorite children's books, which I think adults will enjoy as much as younger readers. I'd love to know which ones you would add to this list!

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

This was the first series of "long" books I read in English when I moved to the US as a pre-teen, and they remain among my favorite books ever. Beyond transporting me to a magical - if dangerous - world, reading them felt almost like a communal experience, because my new fellow classmates were doing the same. Books can form connections, and this series did that for me and surely for many others, too, no matter the age.

The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

I grew up with these, at times grim (see what I did;) stories, and they have been firmly etched into my memory. The tales were collected by these two brothers and are world famous, resulting in Disney adaptations and book retellings, and generally a part of the cultural psyche of our time and those before us.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Growing up in Germany, I read and was read a lot of Astrid Lindgren books. Even now, I sometimes go back to these familiar, much-loved stories and see things I did not as a child.

Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss

This was Dr. Seuss' last book published during his life, and it is also my favorite. It makes you think of the way life takes you places and even if you stumble along the way, you're not alone and there is always somewhere else, a happier place to go. Such a wonderful sentiment, added to that the fun rhymes make it enjoyable for readers of all ages.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

This is one of my favorite childhood books! It's a retelling of Cinderella (one of my favorite fairy tales), and it is witty, wonderful and at times wise. If you missed out on this as a child, read it now, you won't be disappointed!

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I read this for the first time recently, and though it is short, it is a very memorable little tale. The story follows a young boy, the prince, who leaves his planet to explore the universe. It is philosophical and beautifully, quietly written, and I absolutely recommend it.

The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko

This is a wonderful little book about a princess who learns that appearances aren't everything and that sometimes Prince Charming is anything but. Definitely lessons we can still learn as adults.

Asterix Comics by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo

These were a big part of my childhood reading, but when I thumb through them now, I realize that I missed half the clever jokes as a child. They definitely make enjoyable reading for adults, too!

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

This is a really moving story of a young girl, through whose eyes we see the incredible efforts of the Danish Resistance, who rescued thousands of people by smuggling them to Sweden. It's told by a child, but the story is one that will surely touch readers of all ages.