In a way, books are like this. The world of fiction is a big smorgasbord with a volume to suit every taste. There are books that stretch your mind and cause you to think deeply. If you want to travel into the future or journey into the past, there's a book for that. There are even books that reveal the dark side of human nature and the power of redemption. But at times, I want to read a nice book. Nothing profound. Nothing angst-y. Just nice. So I go back to my choice of comfort books - children's literature.
I rediscovered children's books while I was in graduate school thanks to a snowstorm. The semester had just started when classes were cancelled, so I had very little studying to do. Since I was bored, I bundled up and walked to the public library in search of something to read. Due to the ice, the only working entrance was through the children's department. I happened upon the fiction shelves and rediscovered a treasure trove. I found the Little House books, the complete Anne series, A Little Princess, The Cricket in Times Square, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and the "Shoe" stories by Noel Streatfeild. I was like a kid in a candy store and never made it to the adult section. Needless to say, my snow days were well spent in a reunion with long-lost friends.
I'm afraid I am rather out-dated in my choice of children's stories. I would rather go boating with Mole and Rat or take a drive with Milo and Tock than fight zombies or pine after sparkly vampires. But these comfort books have endured the test of time by capturing the imagination of boys and girls for decades. My "friends" may be old, but they are worth keeping.
A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.
So what are your favorite comfort books?