Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Future Classics for Children

This month's topic for the Children's Classics carnival at 5 Minutes for Books is future classics.

At first, I was thinking of children's books. The books which first came to mind, is The Penderwicks* by Jeanne Birdsall (please click through to read my review). I love that book. It was one of the first children's chapter books that I read alongside Amanda, but that I enjoyed just for its own sake.

I'm not sure that it's the most popular book in the world, and with the fickle nature of book publishing (or rather perhaps book buying), I can't guarantee that it will be still be in print in twenty or thirty years, but I sure hope so. I love this book, and everyone to whom I've recommended it has ended up loving it too.

What makes is classic for me is that it's timeless. It has a contemporary setting, but it's also completely timeless. Even Amanda (my ten-year-old daughter) noticed and appreciated that. I like realistic fiction, but I think that the best escape books sometimes let us suspend reality for a bit and revel in the world as it should be, or might be, or never could be.

But then I got to thinking of picture books, because those are books that seem to endure, and seem a bit more timeless to begin with. I just wrote last month about Melanie Watt's Scaredy Squirrel series, and I definitely believe that those books will still be around for me to share with my grandchildren.

I can just imagine Kyle and Amanda laughing as hard as they do now when we read it, and telling their offspring that they remember when they waited with anticipation for the next Scaredy Squirrel book to come out, which was their favorite, etc. etc. (well honestly, I can't imagine them as adults with children of their own, but I digress).

This is such a fun topic! Please check out the other predictions (or wishes) about future Children's Classics at 5 Minutes for Books.

*The Penderwicks review is also linked to a page about my "Family Book Club." I wrote some detailed discussion questions for that novel. It might be something you want to try this summer.


stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

We (I) loved the Penderwick book and I can't wait to read it with the girls! Great choice!

mountainsofbooks said...

Timeless, I think, is the best way to describe The Penderwicks. I definitely enjoyed it!

Shelley said...

My daughter and I both loved The Penderwicks!

Elizabeth said...

My ten-year old bought the Penderwicks at the book fair and loved it. I still haven't read it, but I think I will so we can talk through it together this summer. We don't do that nearly enough during the school year!

morninglight mama said...

I have never read The Penderwicks, but it seems to be quite popular! I'll have to check it out.

Amy said...

Great minds things alike, huh? : )

Childlife said...

We love The Penderwicks too but Scardey Squirrel is new to us -- Looking forward to making his aquaintence ;)

~Michelle @

In The Life of a Child

Jen Robinson said...

Two excellent choices, Jennifer. I completely agree with both. I'd add A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker for picture books.

Z-Kids said...

I keep seeing Penderwicks talked about over and over. Okay. I'm going to have to check it out now.