Anita Silvey
My Works
Everything I Need to Know
I Learned from a Children's Book

“What children's book changed the way you see the world?”

Anita Silvey asked this question to more than one hundred of our most respected and admired leaders in society, and she learned about the books that shaped financiers, actors, singers, athletes, activists, artists, comic book creators, novelists, illustrators, teachers ...

The lessons they recall are inspiring, instructive, and illuminating. And the books they remember resonate as influential reading choices for families. This book, with its full color excerpts of beloved children's books, is a treasury and a guide: a collection of fascinating essays and an excellent gift choice for families.

This book is ideal for family discussions, book clubs, and One Community Reads programs. All ages of readers will enjoy talking about the book that has most influenced their lives ... even six-year-olds!


Silvey’s book includes mini-essays and interviews with more than 100 accomplished Americans, from businessmen and politicians to artists, athletes, and actors. Writers like Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume are also included, showing how a love of reading is handed down from one generation to the next.

Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Children’s Book [is] a delightful nostalgic exercise in which prominent people reflect on the children’s stories that shaped them.”

This handsome compendium is dense and delightful. And the longish title is a perfect catalyst for more conversation, in classrooms and at the dinner table. What children's book taught you something valuable? Discuss.

Create[s] a moving patchwork message about the transformative powers of reading.

Place a book in a child’s hands and you never know what will happen. In Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book, Anita Silvey gathers the reminiscences of adults about the works that influenced them as children and the lessons that still resonate.

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book
Roaring Brook Press, 2009
ISBN 978-1-59643-395-3
One Community,
One Book
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