Snow Day Thoughts – Libraries & Children’s Books

Today is one of those days you wish would never end. It’s quiet. Peaceful. Many of the things my life often isn’t. There’s snow outside, giving the faint illusion that I could be trapped here forever if I wanted to, and before sitting down to write this post, I made myself a cup of tea.

Ah, tea. The very drink I swore to hate for all eternity. At least my detestation for Root Beer remains strong and untainted.

I’ve missed a couple blog posts the past few weeks. It’s not a bright spot on my radar, but I’m trying very hard (and lowkey failing) to not be too hard on myself. I did that with Smudged Thoughts–miss a week or two or three and feel as though your entire identity as a blogger is fraud. I’m choosing not to live like that anymore. Today, I’m choosing instead to drink my tea and talk about books!


Ever since I was little, I wanted to work among books. It’s a pretty common goal for bibliophiles, I’d have to imagine. Libraries. Book stores. Publishing companies. Any of the above would do, as long as I was working with books. If I could simply exist in a space where I could get lost in the pages of the greats before me, maybe some of that greatness would rub off on me. For as long as I can remember, these spaces–except the publishing company, of course, since I’ve never had the luck to step foot in one–held endless possibilities. So much potential. They unlocked a primal urge inside of me to tell stories and tell them well. They were my safe space. My haven.

And then I got hired at one of them.

I’ve been a librarian for 4 months now–almost 5–and I can honestly say that while the greatness of the… er… greats… hasn’t yet rubbed off on me and given me endless insight into how to craft a book, I can say that this job has been fraught with exponential opportunities of growth and learning.

Okay, okay, but honestly? It’s been incredible. Do I miss my little coffee shop? Absolutely. But I’m pleased to report that the magic I assumed would exist by surrounding oneself daily by books is, indeed, real. And though it’s been feeding my love of literature and learning for the past 4 months, I find my hunger for knowledge and fiction has grown–and is continuing to develop–an ever-increasing appetite.

Not to mention that I also believe there is a ghost living in the walls of the Children’s Department who really, really enjoys my presence. (and who was most disappointed when the Children’s Dept. flooded a few weeks back…)

Oh yeah. Did I mention that my office flooded? Because it absolutely did.

But all that to say… I’ve greatly enjoyed my albeit small time as a Children’s Librarian. Getting to know the patrons, learning the whims of my kids, allowing myself to accept the fact that I’m okay even though it’s different and new and I feel extremely out of my depth at times. I saw a post on Instagram recently that said sometimes you have to fail in order to succeed. I like that. Mostly because I tend to be quite good at the ‘failing’ bit. But every little–or not so little–bump in the road is bringing me to where I someday hope to be, and for now, I think that’s good enough.

Which brings us to the more fun bit of today’s topic: books. Specifically, children’s books. Children’s books which I feel everyone–especially adults–should read at least once before kicking the bucket. Never before have I understood with such clarity Madeleine L’Engle’s quote, if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” So many people think that children’s books are written just for children, and for adults to read to children just for the sake of reading to them.

Let me tell ya right now: if that’s the way you feel, you are completely missing the point of children’s books. Just like with YA and Adult fiction, there are books that were merely written to be published and bought, and then there are books. Books that take you by the heart, wrap you in their pages, and guide you. Just because they are smaller and simply written does not negate the impact they have on the soul. Just because it was written for children does not make it any less worthy of being read and studied.

Below, I have compiled a list of some of my (unfortunately not all, as that would take far too much of all our time) favorite children’s books! From authors of all times and places, with characters all across the map, these are the stories that have touched my life in more ways than one, and they are stories that I hope–if you give them the chance–might become something special to you, as well.

Children’s Books

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

As charming as it is hilarious, this book has brought so much laughter and joy to my life. I’ve read it about a billion times to my cockatiel, and he loves the illustrations just about as much as I love the story. I also read this to not one, not two, but three preschool classes who came to tour our library last year (just shortly after I was hired), and each and every one loved it.

I will never not talk about this book, y’all. Not ever.

Norman Didn’t Do It (Yes, He Did) by Ryan T. Higgins

Don’t tell my coworkers, but I literally sat at my desk and read this book one evening and laughed my head off. Alone. In the Children’s Department. (Shhh, it was for storytime research) I love Norman. I love Mildred. I love the Other Tree. Higgins has a way of capturing childhood innocence–and quite a splat of sarcasm–inside each of his characters. I think that’s what makes him one of my favorite authors.

As someone who’s always had an affinity for befriending trees (and not so easily befriending people) this book spoke to me on a whole other level. Norman is such a sweet little guy who wants his friendship to stay the same. But, as we and Norman must eventually learn, sometimes friendships change. And the beauty of it is that it’s okay when they inevitably do.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patti Lovell

I only just remembered this book recently. But looking back, it’s a book that I can now see has literally made me, me.

This story is about a girl who is a little bit different, a little bit weird, and a little bit brave. Molly Lou Melon has helped me grow into my Kenzie-ish-ness time and again–now, I think, more so than ever. She takes the things that make her different and shows the world how these things make her special instead. As far as childhood favorites go, this one absolutely ranks in the top 5.

What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada

This is a relatively new addition to my Children’s Books I Cannot Live Without list, but goodness gracious is it a good one. The illustrations in this book are so simplistic and captivating, and the way the colors start to spread as the Idea takes hold… Oh my goodness, you just really need to read this book for yourself! I cannot even begin to recommend this one enough, especially for all my fellow dreamers and Idea Chasers.

Seriously. Get yourself a copy of this book.

(and much thanks to my Mom and best friend, who gave me my copy after an incredibly chaotic day of work and helped reorient me in my big-idea chasing, dream-crushin’, crazy-fueled existence. XD)

Frindle by Andrew Clements

This book was a gift from a friend, and I will never forget how I felt the first time reading it. There are some emotions that can be expressed in normal conversation, and then there are some things that can only be known through reading. This was a book that took everything I was invisibly feeling and struggling with and spelled it out for me in a perfect, book-shaped package.

I don’t know how that friend knew I needed this book. Maybe there truly is something magical about stories that brings them to their needed readers. But I am forever indebted to them for gifting me with it. It’s helped me in many, many ways, and I hope that if you haven’t yet read this book, you will read it and see for yourself just how much of an impact a story can make.

talk to me, peasants!

What’s your favorite children’s book? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to read–and maybe even review!–it!

23 thoughts on “Snow Day Thoughts – Libraries & Children’s Books

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    1. Dude, I never had any little siblings to read to!!! I wonder if that’s why I love reading to kids so much? It’s me finally making up for the fact that I never had a kid to read to! XD And YES YES YES you should absolutely read these, even if it’s just to yourself! These books are absolute incredibleness and I HIGHLY recommend them!

      (HELLO HI YES I ACTUALLY DESPISE ROOT BEER. It all stems from a very traumatic movie theater experience, though, so at least I have a tragic backstory for my villain montage. XD)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Granted, I’m not sure if I ever actually read to my younger siblings…probably some of them, at least but how am I supposed to remember; it was so long ago!!

        (Ohhhh…do I even wanna know what happened??)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This is a valid point!

        (to be fair to Root Beer, it was rather mild. but basically I was in a movie theater, was given a styrofoam cup of root beer, and decided to jab my straw down into a very thick clump of ice. The straw punctured the foam, and root beer soaked into EVERYTHING I owned. My coat. My jeans. My dignity. I had to sit through the whole movie smelling like root beer, and I don’t think it ever truly came out of my coat…)


  1. I LOVE this post! I haven’t read any children’s books in a long, loooooong time — which is so unfortunate! Reading about these cute books really reawakened that desire in me to read something simple but beautiful, so thank you ❤

    Also, your office flooded???? Oh no! Hopefully everything got sorted out all right!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES!!! This is legit my new goal in life: make people want to read more children’s books. XD And if you end up reading any of the ones I mentioned, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!! I’d love to hear your thoughts on my faves! (and also the validation that my taste in children’s literature is actually not trash would be nice. XD)

      It did. It was terrible and we’re still dealing with the aftermath. BUT! We hopefully know how to fix it now, so I’m hopeful! If the snow could just stop MELTING and then oozing through the walls, that’d be great. XD

      Liked by 1 person

  2. KENZIE. I’m pretty sure I haven’t commented on your new blog before, so can I just say it looks FABULOUS.
    And children’s books!! One of my favorite things!! I can’t remember what it was called, but there was this book I read as a kid about a lady who lived on the top of a hill with an alligator (or a crocodile?) and a yak and a mouse and possibly some other things as well…and there was a flood. That’s all I remember, but I wish I got as much out of adult books as I got out of that book as a kid. I really will have to go find it…
    The Ryan T. Higgins books sound…amazing. I need them.
    Also also, being a Children’s Librarian sounds like a JOY? Would not be averse to stories sometime if you cared to write about them, because I’ve worked with little kids before and I’m SURE you’ve got some wild ones.


  3. This post gave me ALL the happy, cozy feels. I loved every single thing about this. I am sad I’ve not read one book you suggested though. I MUST REMEDY THIS. Children’s books truly are magical things. Back when I worked at a secondhand bookstore I’d totally sometimes just read books from the children’s section when things were slow. They just make me happy. SO YES. I need to check these out. They all sound utterly delightful.

    Thank you for sharing this goodness. It brought a smile to my face today. ❤

    (Also, you are not alone in your hatred of root beer. I, too, cannot stand the stuff.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GIRL, I SO DO THIS! When I’m shelving and find a particularly enchanting looking book, I kinda just…um…definitely don’t stop what I’m doing to read the picture book… Definitely not. I’m absolutely focused on my work and don’t read on the job at ALL. XD And EEP, I’m so so glad you liked the post! If you end up reading any of these books, please let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts on them!!

      (OH MY GOODNESS, YAY!! I knew we were kindred spirits for a reason! XD)


  4. I’m so glad you’re enjoying your job as a book fairy… er… children’s librarian.

    I am sad to say that I have not read any of these books you recommended, though I do still read children’s books on a regular basis (and would even if I didn’t have kids). We own Frindle though, and I LOOOOOVE “The School Story” by the same author, so I should definitely pick up that one and read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BOOK FAIRY!!!! I will no longer respond to the term librarian. This is the only phrase that I will agree with. XD

      OHHHHHHHH! I shall have to read The School Story… I feel like I’ve seen that floating around somewhere… And YES! You’re so lucky that you have kids to read to! I read to Durachi, and sometimes he stares at me like I’m crazy. XD He really loves the Very Hungry Caterpillar, though. So that’s a plus, lol!


  5. I still think it is SO COOL that you’re a children’s librarian now! (You’re living the dream, girl. 😉 Although I’m sure there are days where it doesn’t feel like that.)

    Childrens books are AMAZING, and I love a bunch of the ones you listed!

    “We Don’t Eat Our Classmates” is FANTASTIC (and can confirm, preschoolers love it).

    And Frindle was one of the first books I remember checking out the library–many excellent memories!

    Have you come across “The Seven Silly Eaters” yet? Or “The Book With No Pictures”? Or “Robert The Rose Horse”? Those are three of my other favorite children’s books. 🙂 Of them all, I’d say “Seven Silly Eaters” is the best, but “Book With No Pictures” is a hoot, ESPECIALLY the first time it’s read, and “Robert The Rose Horse” was my favorite as a kid–especially as a kid with allergies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As with all dreams, there are some nightmares attached, lol! But yes! I absolutely love my job and have felt my Kenzie-ish-ness (slowly, but surely) returning over the past few months! It’s been incredibly healing for my heart. And the kids honest to goodness make my whole day. XD

      YES!!! Preschoolers LOVE that one. XD Norman was another hit. I read that one on Tuesday and I had a giggler. It was great. XD

      Dude, I have not read any of these! But rest assured I’m writing them down and finding them for storytime!! Thank you for the recommendations!!! (Also I feel like Robert The Rose Horse would be perfect for our March lineup of storytimes, so I’m absolutely getting that one, too!)


  6. Kenzie! Absolutely loved this post. When I worked in a library, I’d get distracted and read the children’s books all the time.

    I actually have a kiddo at home, so I’ve stored these titles in the back of my mind for the future. ❤

    Hope you're having a fantastic day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dude, yes!!! It’s so difficult not to read them all while shelving! I must resist for the sake of productivity, but goodness knows I come home with quite a chunk every now and then!

      Awwww!! I’m SO glad! I hope you both enjoy them as much as I did! They certainly helped shape me into who I am today!

      Thank you so much for this sweet comment! I hope you’re having a fantastic day, as well!


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