I ran across a very exciting-to-me list the other day, a reminder that celebrities — whether from the film industry, TV, news, sports, or politics — were once real children too, former kids who still instantly recall their favorite childhood books.
The National Education Association surveyed a host of famous people, asking about their favorite children’s book, and their favorite teenage/adult book. Their list is a virtual who’s who among the best in juvenile literature. If you could fill a child’s bookshelf with just these titles, he or she would have a heck of start to a Magic Bookshelf.
Some of the standouts:
Laila Ali, boxer — The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Tim Allen, actor — Curious George by Margret and H.A. Rey
Dave Barry, writer — Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
Ann Landers, advice columnist — Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
Keith Lockhardt, conductor — The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Bette Midler, entertainer — The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (and Bette’s got true taste — her favorite advanced title is Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll)
Paul Newman, actor — Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Haley Joel Osment, actor — The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Annie Potts, actor — The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Warren Sapp, football player — The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Jane Seymour, actor — Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield
Barbara Walters, journalist — The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
All of these titles, and many more, can be found right here.
The overwhelming favorite author to the stars? Dr. Seuss.