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What Children's Books Are Really Trying To Tell You

Shel Silverstein: The Giving TreeBooks for children are rarely subtle. Points are made clearly, obviously, and over and over again. You may also experience a certain amount of repetition when it comes to the reading of these books, as children are sometimes known to request the same book more than once (or more than a hundred times).

In the process, you are likely to develop a deep understanding of the message the author was trying to convey. Sometimes so deep that you feel the point of the story has etched marks on the inside of your skull. If you’re an impatient and easily bored parent like me, you might find yourself wishing the books were just a little bit… shorter.

In which case you will appreciate the work of Dan Wilbur, who has compiled a collection of the world’s greatest books, distilled down to their very essences. As in: a newly revised title, meant to encapsulate the entire message of the book.

See, for example, his take on Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, at left.

See more kids’ favorites after the jump. 

The Better Book Titles blog covers a wide range of material, much of it hilariously. As Dan describes it: “This blog is for people who do not have thousands of hours to read book reviews or blurbs or first sentences. I will cut through all the cryptic crap, and give you the meat of the story in one condensed image. Now you can read the greatest literary works of all time in mere seconds!”

Warning: Use with caution at bedtime. Child’s progression to sleep will not be similarly abbreviated.

Reader Submission: Title and Redesign by Jeremy Cutler. Dr. Seuss: The Lorax
Dr. Seuss: The Lorax

Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: The Little Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: The Little Prince

Eric Carle: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Lorax Title and Redesign by Jeremy Cutler.
All Other Titles/Images by Dan Wilbur.

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