There are books from my childhood that still give me a warm feeling inside when I think about them. I remember being so excited about reading them again and again. They weren’t complex really at all, they were simple books, but there was something about these books that helped me discover a love of reading. Back then I wasn’t a huge fan of reading mainly because it seemed more like a task. If anyone remembers AR (Accelerated Reading) then you’ll know that you had to read a certain amount of books based on your reading skill level and take tests to earn points. That seemed like work to me. However, the books I’m about to get all nostalgic on gave me genuine joy. Considering this was 15+ years ago, they clearly made an impression on me. Here’s my list of the top children’s books from the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

dinosaurs before dark book cover

Magic Tree House

When I first read the Magic Tree House series, I felt like I was inside the books I was reading. I could transport myself into the story easily and it was incredible. I felt like I was on adventures with Jack and Annie going wherever the Magic Tree House took them. Each time they went into the tree house, they magically teleported back into the past where they encountered dinosaurs, pirates, wooly mammoths, cowboys, and so much more. I was mainly intrigued by how much is out there that I didn’t already know about. As a kid, I was curious (I still am), and was so excited to go exploring! This was my way of adventuring beyond my bedroom. These books educated me about history and culture, but I probably didn’t realize it at the time because it was more of a fun getaway experience rather than a lesson.

Falling Up

This was the first book that introduced me to poetry. The book is compiled of 100+ poems with silly illustrations for most. Each poem is roughly no more than a page long and every poem unique. Some rhymed, some didn’t. Some were merely a few lines while others took up the whole page. I think I fell in love with this book because it introduced me to a writing style I hadn’t been exposed to yet. I didn’t know what poetry was, but I discovered that writing didn’t have to be in long boring book form (that’s AR Reading me talking there). They were just beautifully written words that were simple, yet still told a story and had meaning. Most of them were goofy poems too, and those made me laugh so hard. I could just sit and read without my brain feeling like it was working.

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie

Well, what does happen if you give a mouse a cookie? This book essentially takes you around in a big circle from asking for one thing to the next to the next until you’re back at the beginning. I think I related to this book when I was a child because I was always asking questions like “what if” or “then what” and just wanting more. I could totally see myself being the mouse and going from asking for a cookie to wanting to have milk to needing a straw for my milk and on and on.

Amelia Bedelia

I remember thinking these books were hilarious as a child! Amelia Bedelia served as a maid and always seemed to mess up the tasks given to her because she would take things way too literally. The things she did were completely ridiculous. It wasn’t just a one-time thing, either. It happened EVERY SINGLE TIME. I loved how it was just part of her personality. It was a clever use of wordplay and I could see how someone could potentially mistake the instructions as she did. She always meant well, but just did things her own Amelia Bedelia way, which I appreciated.

Do any of these children’s books bring back memories for you too? Check out your Bookmans’ children’s section for copies and take a blast back to the past.