Monday, 30 May 2016

Everything I Needed To Know, I Learned From Children's Literature

Obviously, this is a bit of an exaggeration. But I truly have learned a huge amount of useful, sometimes practical, sometimes just fascinating pieces of life wisdom from children's literature. Here is a completely non-exhaustive list:

  • If there's a fire coming towards you, you can save yourself by making a firebreak. So you literally can fight fire with fire Little House On The Prairie
  • How to make a toasted cheese sandwich using an iron and some silver foil (As many people can attest, i used this piece of information extensively during my university days) Divorce Express
  • So, so many 'lead pencil games' and progressive games and other ways to keep a bunch of children (or adults) entertained with pencils and paper (this has been useful in more settings than you would think) Chalet School books and What Katy did At School
  • That you could shrink your jeans by sitting in a hot bath in them (Ok, i never actually tried this out) Sweet Valley High
  • How to make patterns (visual signs) when you follow a new path, so that you can find your way back again (and so that other people can find you if you've been kidnapped and marched away). The Famous Five 
  • How to tack a boat against the wind (Also never actually used that one, but I'm sure it will come in useful one day) Swallows & Amazons
  • When you hike, you should bend your knees a little with every step so that your shins won't ache Chalet School books
  • Granny knots are for grannies; the only proper knot to tie in everday situations is a reef knot. Or a clove hitch when you really need something to stay Swallows & Amazons
  • Likewise, never cut a piece of string. You never know when you might need it Swallows & Amazons
  • How to start a fire using someone's glasses Lord of the Flies
  • Rabbits have a rich myth-based culture (Alright, I'm joking) Watership Down
  • How to wake yourself up at the time you want to wake up, by hitting your head on the pillow the right number of times according to which hour you want to wake up at (I can't remember which book this was in, but i used it a lot when i was a kid)
  • Always, always, always bring spare batteries Almost every single Famous Five book. you'd think they would learn
  • What phospherecence is I also forgot which book that is in, but i remember the descriptions of a cave shining with phospheresence v well
  • Hot milk will help you fall asleep Every single school story
  • Pine trees attract mosquitoes The Chalet School

I'm sure there are more things, which will come to mind bit by bit over time. Tell me your pieces of life wisdom that you learned from children's literature, too!

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