The Best Children’s Book Quotes For Adults

It’s funny that, despite being some of the simplest stories, children’s books often carry the most poignant messages of them all.

I remember the first time I cried at a kid’s book: Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. I read it a lot to Elfie after she was in the hospital, but could never get all the way through. I tried again when she was older but still failed miserably: it’s a bit of an anti-climax to read a book to a three year old and have them ask what’s wrong with your leaking face.

The main refrain is what always gets me hard in the feels. The story recounts a mother’s growing relationship with a new baby – the good times and the bad ones – but always ends with a night time lullaby: 

I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.

Because, well, it’s just true isn’t it? And once I found out it was a rhyme the author had written for two stillborn babies his wife had given birth to… it was all over. To date the book has sold something like 15 million copies (context – this is the population of Cambodia) and I can see why.

Dr Seuss

Then there’s Dr Seuss. Wonderful Dr Seuss! I bought Oh the Places You’ll Go for Elfie’s sixth birthday, and even though she reads herself it’s a story she loves reading together.

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in 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.

What I love about this book is how it’s the story of a child’s journey written in the absolute abstract of a dreamland; I read this to Elf and relish in the lovely metaphor of it all. She reads it and asks me, “am I actually going to fly, though?”

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will indeed!
(98 and ¾ per cent guaranteed)

(I have to admit: that bit gives me a well-needed boost if I’m having a hard day sometimes).

Piglet and Pooh

We haven’t read much Winnie the Pooh in this house yet (though we do like the audiobooks), but as an adult the wisdom of Piglet and co always makes me smile. I mean, there’s truly a nugget for every occasion:

About being proactive:
Pooh: You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.

About forever:
Pooh: If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.

About simplicity (and lunch):
Pooh: It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?’

About self-belief:
Christopher Robin: Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. (Cheating a bit – this one’s from the movie and not the books)

About loss:
Pooh: How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

About patience:
Pooh: If the person you are talking to does not appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in this ear.

About perspective (and breakfast):
“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.

the twits

And of course, finally, the inimitable Roald Dahl, whose books I bought for Elfie at Christmas before promptly pinching them. Here’s that old favourite from The Twits:

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will always shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

Give me your favourite kids book quotes! They truly are among the best.

For more feels see ‘B’ by Sarah Key. Amazing. 




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  1. Karlyn wrote:

    Just finished reading with the biggest smile on my face, thank you, I love this xx

    Posted 8.31.16 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      I think we all need a bit of abstract advice from fictional characters sometimes! x

      Posted 8.31.16 Reply
  2. Lucylish wrote:

    Love this post Alice! And you’ve included some of my absolutely favourites, Oh the places you’ll go is brilliant and always makes me smile and that quote from the Twits is just one of the best sentences ever written. Littlelish and I were talking about it in the car today. What makes someone beautiful or ugly? I was so proud of her when she said beautiful people just have a good heart and it shines through!

    Posted 8.31.16 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      Oh that is such a gorgeous (and right!) answer! I will ask Elfie the same and see what she thinks (Hux will just say “Green Power Ranger”) x

      Posted 8.31.16 Reply
  3. Susan wrote:

    Lovely post Alice,

    “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.” Winnie the Pooh”

    Posted 8.31.16 Reply
  4. Pen wrote:

    It is no wonder that children are so wise. Do we lose this wisdom as we grow older? Thanks for the reminders. Pen x

    Posted 9.2.16 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      I think we must lose it in our old age!

      Posted 9.6.16 Reply
  5. Polly wrote:

    Great quotes Alice – didn’t know that first one was written for their stillborn babies. Sobbing even more now

    Posted 9.4.16 Reply
  6. Lauranne wrote:

    I know that Love You Forever quote – wasn’t it featured in Friends? (showing how uncultured I really am!)

    Posted 9.5.16 Reply
  7. Gail wrote:

    What a lovely post! I love kids book quotes too, I’m welling up just reading a few of these! We bought The Complete Winnie the Pooh a couple of years ago and it was definitely my favourite one to read the kids:) I also used to love reading them ‘No Matter What’ by Debi Gliori, a beautiful story about unconditional love. My voice always used to crack at the line ‘love, like starlight, never dies’. x

    Posted 9.22.16 Reply