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  • Further Education Society of Alberta

Rediscover the Magic: Nostalgic Children's Books Recommended by FESA Practicum Students

Person holding children's book


A book that truly brought me joy as a child was The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone, illustrated by Michael Smollin.

Library days were the days I looked forward to the most during elementary school. I loved just having time to browse through books and read at my own pace. Another part I enjoyed was the librarian reading a book for us. 

The story of The Monster at the End of this Book was an absolute delight to have someone read to you. I fondly remember our class telling the librarian to turn the page despite Grover’s pleas and how hilarious it was for me. 

I loved the humour and self-awareness of this book. I think the idea of the character reacting to being in a book is such a cute concept that is sure to provide all sorts of fun interactions for parents and children, just as it did for me. 

Additionally, I found the ending to be quite wholesome. Grover realizing at the end of the book that he was the monster, one that is great and lovable, touched my heart in a way that I couldn’t understand as a kid.

Looking further into the book, I think it shares a valuable message about self-love, acceptance, and having the courage to face the future. We have the power to reach the end of the story at our own pace, and despite how intimidating the ending can be, we will still have ourselves at the end.


picture of The Smartest Giant in Town

My favourite book as a child was “The Smartest Giant in Town”, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. 

I have so many memories of my Mom reading this book to me before bedtime as a child. The book involves many different animals, and I remember my Mom creating voices for each animal to bring the book to life. 

This book taught me about kindness and generosity. George, a scruffy Giant, decides to update his outfit to look smarter. As the story progresses, he comes across many animals that need help. George ends up donating his new outfit to all the animals in order to help them.

Throughout the book, there is a rhyming scheme that makes the book engaging and fun for kids. I remember memorizing the rhyme as a child, so I could repeat the rhyme as my Mom read the story. 

This book still lives happily in my childhood home, and I now get to read it to my younger cousins.


Picture of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Reflecting on my childhood during my time attending a kid's after-school program, I stumbled upon a book adorned with an image of a mouse. Initially hesitant to engage due to my inability to read, one of the workers there kindly offered to read it with me. However, I declined, feeling disheartened by my small amount of literacy. Little did I know, this book would become my beacon of inspiration.

Determined to unravel its contents, I embarked on a journey to learn how to read. It was through the whimsical adventures of that persistent mouse that I discovered the magic of storytelling and the power of words, igniting within me a lifelong passion for literature.

“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff not only taught me how to read, but also

instilled in me a profound appreciation for the transformative ability that books have. It is a

classic children's book that follows a circular chain of events triggered by a small action. The

central message of the book revolves around the concept of cause and effect, demonstrating

how one action can lead to a series of unexpected consequences.

It also emphasizes the importance of responsibility and the idea that even small actions can have significant outcomes. To this day, I will always remember this book to be the spark that set my love for reading ablaze, and it will continue to hold a special place in my heart.


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