Today, April 2nd, marks Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, which has been recognized as International Children’s Book Day since 1967. The day is celebrated in countries across the globe with the aim to foster a love of reading in the younger generations and also to call attention to children’s books both new and classic.
In honor of this day we take a look back at beloved quotes from seven books that started it all, and solidified us as perennial readers and book lovers.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss:
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling:
Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White:
Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever quite took her place in his heart. She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry:
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie:
The moment where you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever being able to do it.
Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne:
You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll:
I knew who I was this morning but I’ve changed a few times since then.
Iconic quotes like the ones above echo the sentiment that children’s books are one of the primary ways that our cultural and moral values are passed down to our youngest generations, and leave us with gifts that we carry on even into our adulthood.
As the day comes to a close, think of some of your favorite books. How many of them were books you read when you were younger? Out of your list, are some of the books that have had the most impact on you books that you read when you were younger? You may not remember the first book you read, but lines like the ones above take on even deeper meanings as the years go by.