Written by Erin Lobner. Media by Courtney Murphy.
One of the perks of being an education major is getting to read children’s books all the time. One of the downsides is realizing that the books of our childhood are no longer considered cool to many kids. But how is that possible? Those books we loved to read 20 years ago are still great. When we hear their titles, we can remember the words. When we see their covers, we can recall the amazing adventures they took us on. The books from our childhood are still greatly appreciated today, and not just by nostalgic 90’s kids. Here’s a list of 10 amazing books and series that appeal to modern kids just as much as they did to us.
1. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle
Although it was originally published in 1969, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” was still popular in the 90s. The book details a lone caterpillar’s journey as he eats his way through various foods. Eventually, he grew into a “big, fat caterpillar,” formed a cocoon, and reemerged as a beautiful butterfly.
- “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” by Bill Martin, Jr.
Also published in the 1960s, this book is still commonly found in school settings. The repetitive nature is great for kids who are just learning language skills. Because of the repetitive language pattern, the book is easy to remember years later, which makes it a fun book to reread.
- “The Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister
“The Rainbow Fish” is a colorful lesson on sharing. All the other fish wanted to have Rainbow Fish’s glittery scales. At first, he swims away, but eventually he starts giving them away and finds he is even happier -definitely still a relevant lesson.
- “The Berenstain Bears” by Stan and Jan Berenstain
The series of picture books uses touching stories or adventures to teach life lessons. One of the best parts is getting to watch the characters in the books grow up as you do.
- “Franklin the Turtle” by Paulette Bourgeois
Franklin certainly had a way of turning some of the biggest events of childhood–such as riding a bike and going to camp–into adventures. The series definitely inspired kids to overcome their fears and make good choices.
“The Magic School Bus” by Joanna Cole
Most of us are familiar with Ms. Frizzle’s students, Magic School Bus, and lizard (Liz). Now we know the books are a great way to teach science, but back in the day, we just thought they were fun.
- “Goosebumps” by R.L. Stine
The “Goosebumps” series was recently revamped by the movie starring Jack Black. The movie certainly put a funny twist on some of the classic monsters who haunted our childhoods.
- “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg
This creative yet simple tale puts another spin on Christmas as children board The Polar Express and go on a midnight adventure to the North Pole. This book was also made into a movie, which really brings the experience to life.
- “The Baby-Sitters Club” by Anne M. Martin
This series really appealed to the ladies as they grew up and got their first babysitting jobs. Although, they probably didn’t experience quite the same situations as the girls in the books! The stories included mystery and drama, but also themes such as friendship and self-acceptance.
- “Sweet Valley High” by Francine Pascal
Over the course of 20 years, Pascal wrote more than 150 books about twin sisters Jessica and Elizabeth. The series started with the characters in high school but expanded to included stories about their childhood and college years.
Hopefully, some of these books took you back to a carefree childhood. Of course, this is a small selection from a time filled with great literature. Leave a comment with any books you would add to the list!