Stories about ordinary children having incredible adventures are all well and good, but sometimes what we really need are stories about the crazy things a tugboat might do, or a teddy bear, or a piece of string. It's the appeal of literature—a good book shows us the world from a different perspective, sometimes even a shocking one, and what's more different than a toy or a pickup who can talk and think?
For a kid, maybe not much. So much is new and surprising to the young that animals or chairs with personality doesn't seem strange, at least no more strange than many other things adults find more common. Which is precisely why children should be allowed to read personification stories (stories about non-human beings or objects with human qualities).
If you want your progeny to have vivid imaginations, why not offer them the kind of reading that will promote creativity and curiosity? But we don't want them retreating into a fantasy world of their own creation, you may object. No caring parent does—but everyone should want their kids to be interested in the people and world around them. A fresh view can lead to a lifetime of investigation.
Not that toaster ovens really get up and leave the junkyard, but the possibility is what enthralls kids (and, often enough, adults). We've tried to select only the best personification stories, particularly those that actually have something to impart to readers besides entertainment value. For older readers, most of the really good personification stories are animal fantasy, another category we suggest for your enjoyment.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.