We will all grow old, but we never seem to outgrow our favorite children’s novels. Some of these tales of fantasy, adventure, and life lessons have survived the changing times, passed on from generation to generation. For children they are about whimsy and escape and drama, for adults, nostalgia. And many of them stories have jumped off the page figuratively and literally. Their characters have been immortalized in public art and their famed settings can be visited—they don’t have to reside in the imagination.
Outside the birthplace of P.L. Travers is a bronze statue not of the Australian-British author, but of her most famous creation, Mary Poppins, her distinctive umbrella in tow. The adventures of the magical nanny began in 1934 and spanned eight books, as well as the famed 1964 film version. In Kneippen, Sweden, resides the colorful home of another fictional character, Pippy Longstocking. Based on author Astrid Lindgren’s own daughter, Pippy had red hair, freckles, and superhuman strength. The home was used as the filming location for several modern Longstocking movies, and is open for visitors to step into the stories. From the toys that inspired the lovable Winnie the Pooh to the various statues that pay homage to Alice and her trip through the looking glass, these are some of our favorite places to rediscover the magic of children’s literature.