Surprisingly, some of life’s most valuable lessons derive from children’s literature - something we ironically fail to fully appreciate until our childhoods over.
Check out my list of the nostalgic and poignant quotes from children’s fiction and the meaning behind them:
1. "Roads go ever ever on" - The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
Published in 1937, The Hobbit has remained a classic in children’s literature; following the adventure of reserved, home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins as he embarks on a journey with dwarven leader Thorin Oakenshield and company to reclaim their kingdom under the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon.
“Roads go ever on” in all our lives, with many roads we travel leading us to places we never thought we would see. Some places and situations we would prefer to avoid, but hopefully, they will enable us to grow as a person; meaning we should face our problems head on instead of ignoring them, for the roads will continue regardless.
2. "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the light" - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling
Having sold more than 450 million copies worldwide, the Harry Potter heptalogy has become the best-selling book series in history. The novels account the life of young wizard Harry Potter and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. However, the return of dark wizard Lord Voldemort and his followers threatens the livelihood of wizards and muggles; meaning Harry has to defeat the dark lord once again before both worlds are subjugated under his power.
Even in the darkest of times, where we feel nothing will negate our sadness, we have to keep our faith in the notion that happiness still exists in our lives, and that the dark season which we are currently experiencing will soon pass. We all have it within us to find hope in the midst of despair.
3. "Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality" - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Easily the oldest book on the list (first published in 1865), the withstanding popularity of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is somewhat remarkable, for it is still labelled one of the best examples from the literary nonsense genre. The tale tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy word populated by unusual, anthropomorphic creatures.
Imagination is the counter balance to reality. It's the only thing that can never be "robbed" from our minds and remains a personal solitude when conventional logic fails to spark our interests.
4. "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think" - Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne
Acting as the first volume of stories, Winnie-the-Pooh focuses on the adventures of beloved yellow bear Pooh and his friends Piglet, Rabbit, Owl and Eeyore. The book follows an interesting format, for the chapters in the book can be read independently as the plot does not carry on from one chapter to the next.
Sadly, we often give ourselves less credit than deserved. We become timid, more afraid of what we have to lose than what we might gain, subservient, forgetting our inner strength and we become habit-bound, forgetting our intelligence and our resourcefulness. This quote certainly reminds us to recognise our full potential.
5. "All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it" - The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
Despite only being published in French initially, The Little Prince has been translated into more than 250 languages and has sold over 140 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling books every published. The story follows a pilot stranded in the desert, where he meets a young prince who fell to Earth from a tiny asteroid (B-612), it is accompanied with watercolour illustrations by author Antoine De Saint-Exupery.
Everyone once had the innocence and imagination of a child, but most adults focus moves onto daily practical concerns (money, what job you have etc.); leaving behind that spirit of playfulness and curiosity. Only an adult who remembers can see the wisdom in children.
We can learn a lot from those in the book business. Maybe we all should read a little more.