there are few things i love more than beautiful children's books. there's something about the simplicity that a children's book forces. no matter how profound the idea, or how big the lesson, authors and illustrators have to get to the core of it in order to convey it in a way kids will understand. the result, i think, is that they often convey big lessons in a beautiful, timeless, minimalist, special way. combine that with the fact that they *havetohave* illustration and it's always a recipe for inspiration.
maria popova (who i've mentioned before as an amazing resource for all things smart and pretty) compiled a while back some of her favorite lessons from classic children's books. i love the quotes she picked so much i thought i'd share them with you and add some of my favorite related illustrations.
THE LITTLE PRINCE:
“here is my secret. it is very simple: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” (illustration by so ri yoon)
WINNIE THE 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.” (illustration is an original ink and watercolor drawing by pooh author ernest h. shepard)
THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS:
“now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. if you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” (illustration by brigitte bryan)
“someday you’ll find a man, a good man, and you’ll love him, and marry him, and live and die for him. and i’ll be hanged if i stand by and watch.” (book cover by anna bond)
THE WIZARD OF OZ:
“you have plenty of courage, i am sure,” answered oz. “all you need is confidence in yourself. there is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. the true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.” (illustration by lisbeth zwerger)