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7 Books That'll Give You ALL The Childhood Feels

These books made you laugh, cry, wish you could talk to animals, and believe in the better things in life. After reading this list, you'll wish you were five years old again with no worries in the world (except that Tuesday is your day to bring in snacks.)

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1. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Chris Van Allsburg / Via ala.org

Awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1986, it goes without saying that this may be the most epic children's book of all time. The illustrations and the story work together, painting the most fantastical pictures in your mind that are still there today (hiding underneath those years of Algebra factoids and the best mac n cheese you've ever eaten). There are probably 1 billion children's books about Christmas but this one really takes the cake. As a half Jewish kid, secretly terrified I wouldn't make the cut on the Polar Express, rereading this book filled me with a strange feeling of anxiety/joy I only feel these days while watching an elimination round on Chopped. Not only did this book bring back the childhood feels but it also reminded me why winter isn't all that bad (read: Santa). While the movie version was honestly pretty great, it really doesn't get much better than this timeless book.

2. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Peggy Rathmann / Via speakingofkids.blogspot.com

This hilarious board book is a classic staple of your childhood you'll be glad to read over and over again. Our good ol' mischievous gorilla wrecks havoc at the zoo, stealing the oblivious zookeeper's keys and letting out all of his animal friends. This book will not only leave you laughing but will also leave you with some important questions, such as: what are the qualifications for being a zookeeper? (Because this man should probably not be employed) Is our beloved zookeeper simply blissfully unaware or is he on some sort of mind altering drugs? Is any of this real or is this all a figment of the zookeeper's imagination?

Okay, maybe those are just questions I have. Either way, this standard in children's literature is definitely worth reading again.

3. No, David! By David Shannon

David Shannon / Via mbird.com

No, David! is a brilliant book that won a Caldecott Honor award in 1998. What makes this book so memorable is the bright and unique illustrations paired with the simple yet nutty story that showcases a wild child named David who does just about everything wrong. I remember reading this as a child with total admiration for David; this rebel who ran around without pants on and blatantly broke or destroyed everything within his reach. This book may speak to the lifelong trouble makers who want their voices heard in children's literature. For those of you who occasionally made the babysitter's life a hot mess (and you know who you are), this book will hit you right in the feels.

4. Guess How Much I Love You written by Sam McBratney & illustrated by Anita Jarem

Anita Jeram / Via onlinebooksforchildren.com

This iconic book shows the love between a mother and son in a way that only adorable rabbits could. The simple yet iconic watercolor illustrations will warm your cynical heart; the story is so familiar, you may find yourself remembering all the words. We see, in its purest form, the infinite curiosity of a young child matched with the ever-patient and loving parent's willingness to listen. This guarantees a late night phone call to mom thanking her for "you know… everything?"

5. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein / Via brainpickings.org

When it comes to the childhood feels, there is no book quite like The Giving Tree. Silverstein's ability to connect with both children and adults (and everyone in between) is masterful. From the simple yet deliberate illustrations to the somber yet hopeful story, the Giving Tree leaves you questioning EVERYTHING about your life. Am I a good person?? Do I just keep taking instead of giving? Am I the freaking ungrateful kid who never sees how much other people do for me?? I really have to call my grandma back. I still have to write,like, 10 thank you notes from my high school graduation party… Without exaggeration, those were some of the first thoughts I had upon rereading this book. Children's Lit is some heavy stuff.

6. Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Robert McCloskey / Via best-childrens-books.com

Make Way For Ducklings, The 1942 Caldecott Medal Winner, is a book from your youth that you should probably have on hand at all times for a good (private) cry sesh. It tells the story of a dedicated couple (Mr. and Mrs. Mallard) who want nothing more than to find a good home for their baby ducklings. They fly all over Boston searching until they find a suitable spot. The real kicker is the moment when a police officer, who the family has (obviously) become friends with, stops traffic entirely for Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings as they cross the busy streets of Boston, searching for Mr. Mallard. The illustrations in conjunction with the sweet, simple, and touching story will leave you wanting to befriend the local duck family in the park. DO NOT let these childhood feels guide your decision making skills; real life ducks are not interested in becoming friends or living in harmony (tragic but true).

7. Corduroy by Don Freeman

Don Freeman / Via kidsource.com

This BOOK though. There is nothing cuter than a little bear wearing overalls, lost in a department store, searching for his missing button. Corduroy just wants to be loved and find a forever home but he overhears a little girl's mother say that his overalls are broken and he's not worth buying. Don't worry; this crushing blow does not end our friend Corduroy. The next day, the same little girl with the heartless mother comes in with her own piggy bank and buys Corduroy. Granted, maybe I've been reading a little too much children's literature, but I think that this may be the most beautiful love story of all time. Sure, we're all a little broken and imperfect. Maybe your overalls are messed up or maybe you'd prefer to sleep 16 out of 24 hours of the day ( this is actually all about me) BUT there is probably someone out there who will see past that and love you anyway. And if that thought doesn't give you the feels, I don't know what will.

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