We Asked Adults The Top 10 Children’s Books That Changed Their Lives

The other day, I asked my friends on Facebook which children’s books made the biggest impact in their lives, and I was surprised with the number of responses the post received. A lot of people started sharing their favorite books growing up, and I found myself giggling and smiling while reading through the comments section. It was a trip down memory lane—beautiful, nostalgic, and familiar.

With this, we decided to create a list of ten unforgettable books that shaped our childhood, because admit it: our outlook on life was somehow influenced by the books we grew up reading.

Isn’t it funny how the books of our childhood contained so much wisdom, and we didn’t realize this until we’ve gotten older?

We can find enlightenment in the simple truths we discover in our favorite children’s stories. And whenever life punches us in the face, we can use those nuggets of wisdom to hit it right back.

(READ—The Book Project Manila: Sharing Your Books With Other Readers In Manila)

10. The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss (1954)

Dr. Seuss has been a huge part of our childhood, don’t you agree?

As a kid, I remember being so fond of The Sneetches. It wasn’t until just last week when I realized that this book was about racial discrimination and capitalism (thanks to my friends for pointing this out!).


Photo from seussblog.wordpress.com

Favorite lines from the book:

“Sneetches are Sneetches.

And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.

That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether

They had one, or not, upon thars.”

9. Sandosenang Sapatos ni Luis P. Gatmaitan, M.D. (2002)

I love that Filipino books made it to this list! Sandosenang Sapatos is a heartwarming story on a father’s love for his daughter with disability.


Photo from gmanetwork.com

Favorite lines from the book:

“Ang tiyak ko lang, hindi perpekto ang buhay na ito. Gaya ng hindi perpekto ang pagkakalikha sa kapatid ko. Pero may mga perpektong sandali. Gaya ng mga sandaling nilikha ni Tatay ang pinakamagagarang sapatos para kay Susie.”

8. Ang Pambihirang Buhok ni Raquel ni Luis P. Gatmaitan, M.D. (1999)

The illustrations in this book are beautiful! Ang Pambihirang Buhok ni Raquel is about a girl whose courage had helped her overcome her illness.


Photo from adarna.com.ph

Favorite line from the book

“Higit sa pambihirang buhok, taglay niya ay pambihirang tapang.”

 7. Hope For the Flowers by Trina Paulus (1972)

Ahh. A classic! Hope For the Flowers is a story about two caterpillars finding their destiny. It talks of life and death, of goals and anxieties, and of experiencing failure and discovering life’s purpose. It is a beautiful, moving tale on becoming.


Photo from pinterest.com

Favorite line from the book:

“How does one become a butterfly? They have to want to learn to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

7. The Giving Tree by Shel Silversten

This classic picture book is an all-time favorite. It talks about love—the unconditional kind— and self-sacrifice.


Photo from fictionvision.com

Favorite lines from the book:

“I wish that I could give you something… but I have nothing left. I am an old stump. I am sorry…”

“I don’t need very much now,” said the boy, “just a quiet place to sit and rest. I am very tired.”

“Well,” said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could,

“well, an old stump is a good for sitting and resting. Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.”

And the boy did.

And the tree was happy.”

6. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (1986)

Love You Forever is a classic story about a mother’s undying love for her son. Warning: THIS. WILL. MAKE. YOU. CRY.


Photo from popsugar.com

Favorite line from the book:

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

 4. Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss (1990)

This inspirational story talks about embarking a new journey on your own. Tip: this is the perfect book to give to a fresh grad, or to someone who’s off to a new phase in his or her life!


Favorite lines from the book:

“You have brains 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 guy who’ll decide where to go.”

3. Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (1992)

This beautiful tale is about a stuffed rabbit and his desire to become real.

childrens-boooks-5Photo from wondrousink.com

Favorite lines from the book:

‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

2. The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein

I didn’t quite understand the moral of this story until I’ve gotten older. This is a beautiful picture book about an unhappy circle looking for its missing piece.


Photo from goodreads.com

Favorite line from the book:

“I can be someone’s and still be my own.”

1. The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint- Exupery (1943)

And finally, we bring ourselves to top 1 on the list. The Little Prince is a classic well-loved by children and adults all over the world. This is a philosophical story that tackles on social criticism and the strange world of adulthood.


Photo from imagineforest.com

Favorite line from the book:

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Did we miss anything on this list? Share with us which children’s books made an impact on your life!