A child’s mind is full of vibrant creativity, magical fantasies, and the possibility of the impossible. We encourage this by reading to our children books that foster the growth of their imaginations; and it’s a good thing we do: One study found that reading to children helps activate the part of their brains that lets them understand the meaning of language.

While your reading preferences are likely very different as an adult, don’t let yourself forget where it all started. Remember these heartwarming pages of your youth?

1. The Berenstain Bears

I remember the time those rascal cubs ate too much junk food; and I remember the time they had to go see the dentist. I remember all the times my mother and I sat down with these books; and to this day, I’d gladly spend a few hours with those friendly, furry faces.

2. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Our teachers read this to us in school all the time, and we all loved it because it was fun to say. And if your singing voice is as beautiful as mine (kidding), you can also partake in the musical version of everyone’s favorite alphabet song.

3. The Rainbow Fish

This story once taught all of us a very important lesson on kindness and sharing; and boy that book was sparkly. In case you can’t get your hands on a hard copy (it’s seriously dazzling), here’s the story of The Rainbow Fish, as told by Ernest Borgnine.

4. Amelia Bedelia

Who could forget the lovable but confused housekeeper? Amelia, while always well-intentioned, manages to mess up just about everything her employer tells her to do, because she takes everything literally. In the end, however, things always work out.

5. Pippi Longstocking

Growing up, Pippi was our favorite freckle-faced redhead. Having led a life at sea aboard her father’s ship, she was never taught proper manners or how to behave like a lady. Pippi was never afraid to speak her mind and seemed to possess superhuman strength, demonstrated by her ability to lift a horse with one hand!

What was your favorite book growing up?