“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
― Madeleine L'Engle
“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” ― C.S. Lewis
“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
― C.S. Lewis
“We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
“Fairy tale does not deny the existence of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance. It denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat...giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy; Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
In the Trailing Clouds of Glory: Spiritual Values in Chldren's Literature (1985) Madeleine L'Engle writes "Books written for children are usually affirmative; no one looks at the stars and yawns; there is passionate concern for the broken, the lost the hurt." The children's books we have on display are not only affirmative, but formative. Many of us grew up returning to favorite titles again again for not only both truth and comfort, but also intrigue and adventure. We hope you find a title or two that was a favorite to you as a child. Let us remember that, as L'Engle writes, "the word about God can be built up of many simple things; it doesn't need to be pompous or pretentious; it is a way of looking at life and asking questions and finding stories."
Most of the books in this exhibit were lent to us by professor of education and children's literature, Dr. Andrew Mullen, from his own private collection. Thank you Dr. Mullen!
Books about Children's Literature
What was your favorite children's book?
Submit the title of your favorite children's book by typing the title in the descriptions field and/or link to an Amazon record of the book.