This summer’s Christopher Robin features 47-year-old Ewan McGregor in the titular role. The young boy from A. A. Milne’s classic book is long gone. In his place is that same beloved character, only with decades of life behind him and an ever-waning imagination ahead of him. It’s a fun concept, but it really got us thinking about other favorite literary characters from our childhood – characters whose adult selves we would love to meet.
Matilda from Matilda by Roald Dahl
When Matilda came out in 1988, the titular character was five years old, devouring entire shelves of library books and basking in the joy of school and Miss Honey. If we allow our imaginations to stretch this far – and we should! – Matilda is 35 years old today, rolling her eyes at every incorrect usage of the word “Millennial” and reading as voraciously as ever. In our fictional present day, she’s working as a librarian in a small town in England, treating every child who comes her way with love, care, and respect. You never know when the next precocious bookworm will show up at the reference desk.
Madeline from Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
When Madeline was published in 1939, our protagonist was seven years old, the youngest of “twelve little girls in two straight lines.” After living in that vine-covered Paris boarding school for her entire childhood, we like to think Madeline is tired of that Eiffel Tower view. At 86 years old, we hope she’s living out a wonderful life in the French countryside – retired and far away from yellow hats and dresses. Maybe even with a glass of wine by her side.
Claudia Kishi from The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin
When the first installment of The Baby-Sitters Club (Kristy’s Great Idea, natch) was published in 1986, Claudia Kishi was twelve years old and living in Stonybrook, Connecticut with her own phone line and a nosy older sister. And while babysitting was a great way to make some extra money, it wasn’t her passion. Fashion was always her number one. In fact, she prided herself on never repeating an outfit, switching out an accessory or a different hairstyle if she ever ventured too close. Claudia Kisihi, now 44 years old, is definitely a designer and fashion mogul in our fictional present day. She’s left Stonybrook behind, but she’ll never forget her roots. In fact, her line’s first retail store is in nearby Stamford.
Harriet from Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
When Harriet the Spy was published in 1964, our intrepid lead was eleven years old. And, as it turns out, her entire life was a training ground for her career. At 65 years old, we imagine present day Harriet as a CIA agent, preferably working undercover, whose work has been instrumental to our country. She’s planning to retire in a couple of years and the one thing she won’t miss is the gentle ribbing she receives whenever her coworkers bring up her childhood spy antics.
Amelia from Amelia’s Notebook by Marissa Moss
When Amelia’s Notebook was published in 1996, Amelia was celebrating her ninth birthday by documenting every part of her day in the beloved notebook her mom bought for her. She’s come a long way since those marbled wide ruled days. At 32 years old, she’s a lifestyle blogger with over 140,000 followers on Instagram and a daily blog with lots of sponsored content and pictures of her dog. When Amelia and her husband start their family, they’ve promised her readers first look at the birth story.