We’re pleased to turn today’s post over to our Senior Editor, Amy Gash. Read below as she talks about how she dreamed up the idea for What the Dormouse Said!
I love quotations. I collect them. I share them with friends. I leave them on the desk of my 17-year-old son, Nick, when I think he needs some words of wisdom but not necessarily directly from me. When I was a stay-at-home mother—this was before I worked at Algonquin—reading stories to a then-young Nick, I was surprised to notice that there were lines of great beauty in a many of these children’s books. I would stick the best ones up on the fridge and, when it was pretty much covered in quotations, I realized there were enough to fill a book.
Since What the Dormouse Said: Lessons for Grown-ups from Children’s Books was published, I’ve heard from so many adults who passionately remember their favorite books from childhood. Some of us even continue to read children’s books—and not only to our kids! Reading children’s books as an adult is a different experience; I’m always struck by how much relevance these books can have to my grown-up life. It might be true that everything we need to know we could have learned in kindergarten, right there in the books we were reading, but I was slow and didn’t realize it until 30 years later!
We’d love to know some of your favorite children’s books. You might be interested in taking a look back and see if any particular lines resonate with you. If they do, please share them for an Algonquin compendium. I’ll start us off with a few of my absolute favorite quotations, well worth heeding at any age.
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”—The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.”—The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
“You don’t need tickets/To listen to crickets”—Insectlopedia, Douglas Florian.
“If you go around thinking you’re being cheated, life becomes very unpleasant.”—Bambi’s Children, Felix Salten