The greatest inspirational quotes from children's books

Hidden beneath the bright covers of children’s books are philosophical quotes from which we can all learn. Take a look at some of our favourites, from Winnie the Pooh to Where the Wild Things Are

You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

– AA Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

– Dr Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

The Cat in the Hat
Dr Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat certainly knew what he was on about! Illustration: Everett/REX Shutterstock

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

– Antoine de Saint-Expuéry, The Little Prince

The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.

– JM Barrie, Peter Pan

The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.

– Shiamin Kwa, Mulan

Learn from Mulan. Photograph: Allstar/DISNEY

The more he gave away, the more delighted he became.

– Marcus Pfister, The Rainbow Fish

You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing.

– EB White, Charlotte’s Web

Numbing the pain for a while will only make it feel worse when you finally feel it.

– JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson faced adversity in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson faced adversity in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Photograph: Murray Close

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly… if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

– Roald Dahl, The Twits

You can’t ever be really free if you admire somebody too much.

– Tove Jansson, Tales from Moominvalley

The Moomins
Those wise Moomins... Photograph: Publicity image

Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.

– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Let the wild rumpus start!

– Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

What are your most inspirational quotes to live by? Tell us on Twitter @GdnChildrensBks or by email to and we’ll add them to this list.


Dania Arafeh

The GuardianTramp

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