The Best Selling Children’s Books Kids Should Read For a Healthy Mind
The best selling children’s books are those pieces of literature that have survived the test of time and retained their popularity among young readers. It was in the nineteenth century when a number of European writers created some legendary classic compositions for children. The tradition has been carried forward by the 20th century children’s writers successfully.
The beginning of the 20th century saw the publishing of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It made the author L. Frank Baum popular across the continents. It is rated among the most popular children’s books of all times. This book’s massive popularity led to a series of reprint and adaptation into drama and films. The Winnie-the-Pooh series of A. A. Milne got similar kind of success in the 1920s and 1930s. The children’s books 1940s include tales of mystery and adventure such as ‘Call It Courage’ by Armstrong Sperry.
No discussion on the best selling kid’s books can be complete without mentioning The Chronicles of Narnia. This fantasy series written by stalwart British writer C. S. Lewis is an adventure series with allegorical undertones. The 7 volume series has been adapted in movies and stage plays several times after its publication in the 1950s.
The children’s books from the 1960s and later years show a growing trend of stressing on disturbing, serious and socially relevant issues. The children’s books published after this period contain elements like drugs, death, sex, discrimination, urban crisis and environment. ‘I Am the Cheese’ by Robert Cormier and ‘The Outsiders’ by S. E. Hinton depict the sordid aspects of maturing in contemporarily times.
In the 1970s, parents buy children’s books containing information on social studies and scientific topics gained prominence. In this period several volumes of poetry were published as well. However, a handful of writers continued writing allegorical works for kids while others concentrated on realistic and socially relevant themes. ‘The Wicked City’ written by Isaac Bashevis Singer stands as an example of this trend. The tendency to experiment and explore unraveled territories of children’s literature continued even in children’s books 1980s.
The imaginative picture books of Maurice Sendak became popular with the adults and kids alike. He is considered as an author-artist with unparallel talent and provocative mindset. The children fantasies of the 1980s that won accolades include The Polar Express and Jumanji, both written by Van Allsburg. The latter was made into a film afterwards.
The early 1970s saw the emergence and growing popularity of the paperback books for kids. The developments in technology resulted in Children’s literature being produced in other formats than books. The best selling children’s books still deal with traditional subjects but also look at the realities of life from a child’s perspective.