By Aleksandra Vayntraub // SWNS
NEWS COPY WITH VIDEO + INFOGRAPHICS
More than half (54%) of Americans say they return to their childhood by reading the books they loved as children, including 62% of people over 77.
A new survey asked 2,000 American adults about their favorite childhood picture books and found Stan Berenstain’s “The Berenstain Bears” books came out on top with 31%.
Other popular picks include Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree” (30%), Beatrix Potter’s “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” (30%) and Margaret Wise Brown’s “Goodnight Moon” (29%).
In the area of books with chapters, respondents cited “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll (24%), “Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder (23%) and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl (22%).
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of ThriftBooks, the survey also found that half (50%) say they still remember every line of their favorite children’s book, with millennials most likely to say so (56%) .
When asked which children’s books they picked up as adults, people named “Beauty and the Beast,” JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss and “Charlotte’s Web” by EB White, among others.
Relatable characters that stuck with readers included Encyclopedia Brown, Harry Potter, Peter Pan, Frodo Baggins, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking.
“Adventurous” (52%) and “kind” (50%) were the character traits of the books people most identified with. Men were more likely than women to identify with generous characters (42% versus 32%). Meanwhile, millennials were much more likely than Gen Xers to identify as courageous (52% vs. 38%), generous (45% vs. 29%) and loyal (47% vs. 33%) characters.
A third said they identified most with children’s book characters who looked like them.
What did people love most about reading books when they were kids? Imagining the fictional characters and worlds were real (42%), getting lost in the story (35%) and looking at the artwork (35%).
The books have also taught many people a valuable life lesson. According to respondents, the most important of these were to ‘always be friendly’, that ‘every living thing has feelings’, ‘laugh at your mistakes’ and ‘to be true to yourself and not allow yourself to be influenced by social pressure”.
“Literature can be both an escape and a powerful educational tool,” said a ThriftBooks spokesperson. “Our results show that books are often the first place people learned about concepts such as kindness (38%), honesty (34%), sharing (33%), cooperation (30%) and bullying (24%). More than seven in 10 (73%) said their parents read to them every night when they were kids, with the average respondent listening to five books a night.
And according to 69%, reading books as a child helped them learn to appreciate literature better as adults.
“Books clearly play an important role during the childhood years and have a lasting effect into adulthood. As summer approaches, it’s important for children to find fun incentives to keep reading. reading challenges can include incentives for students and adults to buy more books during the summer months,” the spokesperson added. “Adults can also keep the reading fun going by exploring new versions of classics. familiar.”
BEST MOMS IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Ma Ingalls from “Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder – 33%
Marmee from “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott – 29%
Molly Weasley from JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series – 29%
Charlotte from “Charlotte’s Web” by EB White – 29%
Dr. Kate Murry from “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle – 28%
Raksha from “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling – 28%
Ms. Quimby from Beverly Cleary’s “Ramona” – 28%
THE WORST MOMS IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
The Evil Queen from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” – 40%
Lady Tremaine aka the wicked stepmother from “Cinderella” – 37%
Petunia Dursley from JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series – 35%
The mother-in-law of “Hansel and Gretel” – 35%
The other mother of “Coraline” by Neil Gaiman – 33%
Mrs. Wormwood from “Matilda” by Roald Dahl – 32%
The Witch from “Rapunzel” – 27%