T5W: Children’s Books to Read as an Adult

Hi guys! Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam@Thoughts on Tomes over on Goodreads. This week’s theme is: Children’s Books to Read as an Adult. Reading books with my mom was a big part of my childhood and I love revisiting those books as an adult, so I love this week’s theme. But picking only five books was much harder than I thought it would be. There are so many amazing children’s book out there, so I just had to sneak in a few honorable mentions: Winnie-the-Pooh is the perfect cozy, comfort read, The Witches still give me the creeps, Ronja and Pippi Longstocking were my first feminist heroines, The Hobbit is a grand adventure and Harry Potter will always be my most favorite favorite. But here are the top 5 children’s book I think adults will enjoy reading:


5. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente


I can’t have a Top 5 Wednesday without a Catherynne M. Valente novel on my list, that would be too dreadful. This one is the first book in her Fairyland series and the first book of hers I read. It tells the story of a girl called September, who’s invited on an adventure by the Green Wind. She accepts, of course, and the Green Wind brings her to the strange and magical Fairyland where a terrible, new Marquess rules. Nothing I say can do Valente’s prose or imagination justice – just read this. It’ll be an adventure.



4. Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson


Technically this is the second book in the series about The Moomins, but the first book always felt more like a prologue to me, less developed and much shorter than the other books in the series. In this book a comet is headed for Moominland, so Moomintroll and his friend Sniff travel to the Observatory on the Lonely Mountains to consult the Professors. Tove Jansson is one my favorite writers and her Moomin books have a special place in my heart. She’s created a charming, little world populated with odd, little creatures who’s adventures are always a joy to read about.



3. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie


Reading this book always puts a smile on my face and it’s not all nostalgia. Even if this hadn’t been one of my favorite childhood tales, I would’ve been just as spellbound by the magic of the story as an adult. Most of that is down to J.M Barrie’s wonderful prose, there’s something  so utterly charming and timeless about it, which never fails to delight me. Half of my favorite quotes are from this book.




2. The Orchard Book of Stories from the Ballet by Geraldine McCaughrean, Angela Barrett


My mom gave this book when I was 5 years old and it was one of my most treasured possessions as a child, with it’s gorgeous illustrations and spell-binding tales, from Swan Lake to The Nutcracker. I’ve reread it more than once as an adult and it’s just as enchanting now. Angela Barret’s illustrations are truly works of art and the stories themselves are hauntingly beautiful, full of magic, romance and tragedy.



1. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman


The first book in this trilogy follows Lyra Belacqua on her perilous journey to save her friend, Roger, from a mysterious organisation responsible for the disappearance of many children. Her journey will take her to the far North, where she’ll meet ethereal witches and great, white armored bears. The world and characters Philip Pullman has created in this series are so richly imagined and complex, there’s plenty of layers here for adult readers to explore. I’ve read the series twice and I’m sure there’s still more for me to discover.



Have your read any of these books? What children’s books do you think adult would  also love?

25 thoughts on “T5W: Children’s Books to Read as an Adult

  1. Hi there! 🙂 Although I have not read any of these books, I do know their plot and I believe you made a great selection. I would also add to the list The Little Prince and Alice in Wonderland, as I truly believe there is a whole side to them that as a child you can’t understand. Great work :)!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I adore Pullmans series and can’t believe I’ve still not read Book of Dust! I would also add to this – Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book; and pretty much ANYTHING by Patrick Ness. They’re marketed as children’s books but I absolutely adored them

    Liked by 1 person

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