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Stars have magic bookshelves too September 8, 2008

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.

posted by Janie McQueen, author of The New Magic Bookshelf: Finding Great Books Your Child Will Treasure Forever

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