Believe In the World

Wisdom for Grown-Ups from Children's Books


By Amy Gash

By Elise Howard

Foreword by R.J. Palacio

Formats and Prices




$32.00 CAD



  1. Hardcover $25.00 $32.00 CAD
  2. ebook $12.99 $16.99 CAD

An inspiring and delightful illustrated collection of quotations from a diverse range of our most beloved children's books that will help teach all of us how to live in the world today, perfect for gift season and for readers of books like The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse and How to Love the World.

Everything we need to know as adults can be found in the brilliant, imaginative, diverse world of children's books. That is the simple yet powerful promise that Believe In the World offers. This illustrated, gifty collection, with witty and inspirational quotations organized in chapters such as "How to Believe in the World" and "How to Have Fun in the World," reminds us not to lose sight of the values we learned as kids—to be courageous, to do good deeds, to respect our imaginations, and maybe even to break a few rules every once in a while. Some quotations will bring readers back to old favorites like The Little Prince or Ramona Forever while others will lead to new discoveries inspired by the exciting new variety of children’s books being published today. And all provide a roadmap to doing and being good in the world.

As one reviewer wrote about Believe In the World's predecessor, What the Dormouse Said, published by Algonquin in 1999, “Whether you’re looking for wisdom about goodness or sadness or even more practical matters, you will surely find it in this delightful collection.”

Believe In the World lands in the sweet spot of nostalgic and entertaining; fresh and enlightening. And at the same time, it reminds us of the exhilaration of being a reader, young at heart, venturing forth into the world of storybooks and unforgettable characters and confirming that we are never too old to recapture the lessons, pleasures, and exuberance of childhood. 


  • "What a joy it is to read this book! It’s a treasure trove of beautiful, thought-provoking quotations. These pages inspired me to re-read many of my favorite books, and I’ve added dozens of new titles to my to-be-read pile."
    Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Life in Five Senses
  • “I can’t imagine any reader not being inspired by the wisdom from children’s books of the past and present that Gash and Howard have collected. Reading through it not only gave me much to think about (for example In Achingly Alice, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor tells us that “Happiness is wanting what you have.”), but these quotes also brought back so many lovely memories of books that I’d read as a kid or when I worked as a children’s librarian. And Eleanor Davis’s illustrations are a perfect complement to the text."
    Nancy Pearl, author of Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason
  • Believe in the World lets the voices that have been calling out to us since childhood be heard—voices that have been largely drowned out in our noisy, distracted adult lives. Gash and Howard have given us a way to recall a time in our lives when being human meant aspiring to be kind, finding ways to be brave, showing gratitude, holding community and family close, and seeking friendship above all else. It's not that we've wholly forgotten the lessons from the books of our youth, it's just that too many of us have stopped listening.”
    Nick Higgins, Chief Librarian, Brooklyn Public Library
  • "As a librarian who reads and recommends books to children, so many of those books touch me as powerfully as they touch the kids. This diverse collection is filled with wisdom, whimsy, and joy and will make a lasting impact.”
    Heather Grace, TikTok Librarian @thecontouredlibrarian
  • Praise for What the Dormouse Said

    "Charming. By turns touching, funny, scary, nostalgic.”
    The New York Times

    “By turns humorous, perverse, nonsensical and insightful, the words will jog more than a few memories.”
    Publishers Weekly

    “A nice little gift book.”

On Sale
Aug 20, 2024
Page Count
176 pages
Algonquin Books

Amy Gash

Amy Gash

About the Author

Amy Gash is an executive editor at Algonquin Books, where she acquires and edits narrative nonfiction and fiction for adults. Her first collection of quotations from children’s books was What the Dormouse Said. She lives in New Jersey.

Elise Howard has worked for many years as a publisher and editor of children’s books and is now a literary agent. She once toured the stacks of the Library of Congress with Beverly Cleary, where they found a mis-shelved copy of Ramona and Her Father. She divides her time among the children’s literature capitals of New York, Paris, and coastal Maine.

Learn more about this author