Finding Friends in Children’s Books

Today is a guest post from one of my very best friends, Sam! 

When in life, besides childhood and mom-hood, is it a good time to dive into children’s books?

Short answer: always.

My current life situation answer: right now.

My husband and I just recently moved across the country. Last year it was normal to run into friends and family at Walmart and now we find ourselves in the suburb of a bustling big city where we know no one.

With big moves and big life changes come new, exciting adventures. But it can also be lonely to be surrounded by so many unfamiliar things, new situations, and no one that really knows you (or that has loved you through your awkward stages).

My advice: Go back to your old friends. Pick up those books you grew up with – not self-help or academic material – but books with familiar journeys and adventures.  These are characters you know well; people who were there with you through every embarrassing moment in your early years…like that tragic time you first sat next to a person of the opposite gender in class because of assigned seating or faced the struggle of being left alone at recess. With our recent move, I’ve felt those old familiar emotions all over again. Whether it’s starting a new job, a recent move, or even your third trip to the DMV, the feeling is very close to how we all felt during recess –awkward and alone.

Who were your friends back then?  Why not invite them along now?

Let me introduce you to some of my favorite friends in children’s books,  along with some advice on how you can feel more a part of their world to help make a new situation feel less lonely and much more like home.

Anne and Diana, Anne of Green Gables

Pair with:

  • A Pear and Mint candle. You will appreciate it even more when Marilla and Anne sit on the porch and can smell the mint from their garden.
  • Wrapping up in a familiar quilt

Mary and Dickon, The Secret Garden

Read with:

  • Fresh air — read outside and every time it mentions the English moor, breathe in deeply
  • Flowers nearby, particularly rose bushes

Aslan, Mr. Tumnus, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, Lucy, Susan, Peter, and eventually Edmund, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Pairs nicely with:

Hagrid, Harry, Hermoine, and the Weasleys, Harry Potter series

Nancy, Nancy Drew Mysteries

  • Scour used bookstores for copies that were published in the 1930s.  My favorite: The Hidden Staircase.  The musty smell and old, hardcover design will transport you back into the early 20th century.
  • Sleuth around for a copy of The Nancy Drew Cookbook by Carolyn Keene.  Use one of the recipes to make some yummy food.  As you read, every time Nancy stumbles upon a clue, help yourself to some more of that edible goodness.

Bonus: To further enhance your experience, feel free to join any of these characters for tea. Pick out a cute mug, pour your favorite brew, and enjoy!

So go back and re-read your favorite stories.  If you haven’t met my friends, I encourage you to do so.  I promise they’ll help make you feel right at home.

Who are some of your fictional childhood friends?

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