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Name a Children’s Book Every Child Should Read

This post idea is from Plinky.com, fwiw.

Name one chil­dren’s book every child should read.  This is tough.  I grew up being read to.  I grew up read­ing.  Our kids get books read to them every night.  Our old­est reads him­self to sleep every night after we read to him.  I’ve been steal­ing our fam­i­ly’s old chil­dren’s books from my moth­er’s shelves for years now (usu­al­ly with her per­mis­sion).  I love books.  I love board books and easy read­ers, chap­ter books and young adult nov­els.  I can name, off the top of my head, prob­a­bly a hun­dred chil­dren’s books I like.  So the most dif­fi­cult part of answer­ing this ques­tion is pick­ing just one book.

And that’s the fun of it, too.

My choice is The Tale of Cus­tard the Drag­on, by Ogden Nash, in the edi­tion illus­trat­ed by Lynn Mun­singer.

Cover of The Tale of Custard the Dragon

Here is why.  The sto­ry has a drag­on in it.  That’s prob­a­bly enough, for me, but I also like that the drag­on is owned by a lit­tle girl, Belin­da.  I like that the book is about courage in the face of dan­ger, but also accept­ing your true self.  It has sym­pa­thet­ic char­ac­ters that are still flawed (Ink, Blink, and Mus­tard are kind of mean, but still part of the fam­i­ly).  I like that Nash rhymes “win­dow” with “Belin­da” (as in “win­dah”).  That he rhymes “pirate” with “gyrate.”  That the poet­ry flows eas­i­ly when read aloud.  That the pic­tures are delight­ful­ly detailed and whim­si­cal.  Every child needs a lit­tle adven­ture, and a lit­tle whim­sy, and an under­dog to root for.

I give this book as a gift when­ev­er I can.

Here it is in prose form Here it is at Ama­zon (for just $7.00!)

What one book would you choose?

By Danny

My name is Danny, and I grew up living overseas, but have settled in Kansas, where it turns out some of my family started, back when. I am helping to raise my own family, and hoping to be proud of what I've done when it's all over.