Name a children’s book every child should read.
Alright, so maybe the dictionary isn’t a children’s book. There are some pretty adult words and themes in there. And, other than the few insane people like my grandmother and I who used to read the dictionary together from time to time until she died, most people don’t read the dictionary per se. The plot is incomprehensible, the narrative is too prolix and discursive, there are too many vignette characters and it doesn’t have a happy ending. People might skim through it or use it to look up a particular word, but most people don’t actually read it.
Then there’s the fact that I don’t have children nor do I spend a great deal of time around them, like, ever, if at all possible, so I have absolutely no idea what the kids are into these days. I could tell you a story about some books that made an impression on me as a wee lass, but they’d just be trifling and soporific anecdotes, and the world certainly does not need more trifling and soporific anecdotes.
Because I spend so little time with children, I haven’t the slightest idea what makes them tick. I haven’t the foggiest as to what book might inspire a young miss or master towards illustrious, future deeds. I am completely out of touch with modern children’s literature. The last children’s book that I leafed through was Everyone Poops, and while that book certainly does have some important lessons to impart, I wouldn’t exactly designate it as something that inspires imagination in the mind of a child. I am not qualified to recommend a children’s book to anyone, let alone to a child, so I chose the book with which everyone should be acquainted: the dictionary.
At the very least, children should familiarize themselves with this mighty and potent book. It took countless people many generations of research and refinement to bring you this awesome compendium that is the sum total of the English Language. Contained within its bindings (or website, if you prefer) is the entirety of the English experience, from archaic to modern lexicon. Starting with Noah Webster, many people gave their lives (or at least sacrificed untold hours), toiling late at night by candlelight (or desk lamp), poring over countless articles, nouns, verbs, adverbs and the like, so that future generations might have a better vocabulary. Their work is for the benefit all mankind (or at least those members of mankind that speak the English language). Their great sacrifice should not go unnoticed. I can think of no more important work of English nonfiction than the dictionary. ¡Viva el diccionario!