I still love children’s books. Give me a book by David Macaulay to pore over or a chance to revisit my favorite Berenstain Bears books and I’ll be quite content—provided cookies and a snuggly blanket are also factored into the equation. Because, hey, a girl’s got to eat. Also, snuggle. Apparently.
The books we read as kids helped form the readers we grew up to be, and while it’s fun to flip back through their pages as an adult, we’ve all got to admit that the books don’t always hold the same magic that they used to. To that end, I’ve put together a list of 8 kids’ classics that deserve to be reimagined for our adult selves. With a few tweaks, I think you’ll find the old magic restored. Uh. Kind of.
Harold & The Purple Crayon
Wouldn’t you love to see this classic tale of a boy and his purple crayon rewritten for the adult set? In my mind, it’s the morning after Harold’s 21st birthday, and he’s got nothing but the path of his purple crayon to help him remember the events of the night before. It’s like The Hangover meets Dude, Where’s My Car? meets utter and absolute garbage.
This time, we hear things from George’s perspective. This sweet children’s story will be turned on its head when we learn about George’s abject horror at life with the Man in the Yellow Hat. “George swallowed past the lump in his throat. ‘Put on the damn pajamas, you filthy animal.’ George bit back tears and did as he was told.” Perfect for fans of Emma Donoghue’s Room.
Green Eggs and Ham
This clever rhyming tale is presented to adults as a fast-paced thrill ride, not unlike the popular Catch Me If You Can. The rights will promptly be sold to Will Ferrell and Leonardo DiCaprio. You guys, I feel like I just predicted the future.
Clifford The Big Red Dog
In this elaborate, metaphysical novel, the “big red dog,” Clifford, is actually humble mailman Cliff Reddog, whose all-encompassing social anxiety makes him feel monstrously out of place.
In The Night Kitchen
A college freshman with an unrelenting gluten allergy chronicles his hazing at the hands of three debauched upper classmen. In the penultimate scene, he must walk through the entire dining hall naked, after eating his way out of a box made of bread. It’s a coming-of-age story. Also, it is terrible.
Make Way For Ducklings
A depressed, childless woman becomes obsessed with a family of ducks in the park. She gives up her job, her apartment, and eventually her friendships to keep constant vigil over the creatures. But because this is chick lit, when one of the ducks get sick, she takes it to a handsome vet—and they fall in love! Aw, I would read this! SOMEONE WRITE IT. More like make way for my heart, amiright?
Sideways Stories From Wayside School
The graduates of Wayside School start an advertising agency. They live fast, live hard, and are the best—if most surreal—agency on the market. Got something to sell and you need to generate buzz? Bring it to Wayside Advertising. Just avoid the 13th floor, and the aged receptionist, Mrs. Gorf. They tried firing her. Eight times. It just wouldn’t take.
The Light Princess
This one should be rewritten as a self-help book: The Light Princess: How the Ability to Fly Might Be Keeping You From Meeting Your Man. One copy will sell to a guy who’s buying it for his roommate, Jeff, as a joke.