Mount St. Joseph University

Wisdom from Children’s Literature We Need as Adults

Dateline: student newspaper

By: Brittany Hein

File Under: dateline

We may outgrow the clothes we wore and the toys we played with as children, but within the simplicity of children’s literature lies wisdom that resonates more meaningfully when read as an adult. Perhaps these quotes will prompt you to return to old favorites and take a few minutes to reminisce. Starting with quotes from picture books, I work upward to juvenile literature.

  • “’How can we feel so different and be so much alike?’” wondered Pip. ‘I think this is quite a mystery,’ Flap chirped. ‘I agree,’ said Stellaluna. ‘But we’re friends. And that’s a fact.’” —Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
  •  “The more he gave away, the more delighted he became.” —The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
  • “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” —The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • “Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.” —The House on Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
  • “How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ‘em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ‘em.” —A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  • “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked chin and stick out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” —The Twits by Roald Dahl
  • “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” —The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” —Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” —The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • “You can’t pick out the pieces you like and leave the rest. Being part of the whole thing, that’s the blessing.” —Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit