Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Childhood Books

As seen at True-Blue Semi-Crunchy Mama

Earliest book you remember (read to you or by you)

Richard Scarry's Best Storybook Ever. This book was the first one I read on my own. Not the whole thing, of course -- it's huge. But I recall the exhilaration I felt after successfully reading a page-long story for the first time by myself. There is some controversy in my family over the exact age at which this occurred -- my sister Beth, who taught me to read, says I was 3; my mom says 4. Regardless, I recently paged through this book, and it was like stepping in the Way-Back Machine. The illustrations, and the stories that I concocted around them even before I could read, must be burned into my cerebral cortex. I've noticed that one story that's in my edition (circa 1970) but not in the current edition is the one about a family of bears who go seal hunting. Even as a child I was kind of horrified by the image of the mama bear sewing winter coats out of seal skin.

Picture book you would like to climb into

The Water Hole by Graeme Base. A gorgeous, intricately illustrated book.

Favorite series of books (then or now)

From my childhood: The Little House series, Pippi Longstocking, Nancy Drew, Chronicles of Narnia. Current favorite: Harry Potter.

Character you would most like to meet

Just one? No, can't limit myself. Jo from Little Women, Laura from Little House, Cat Toven from The Runaway's Diary, Harriet the Spy.

Last childhood book you re-read (for yourself or to someone)

I recently found one of my favorite childhood books, Be Nice to Spiders, at a library sale. Sean seems to like it, and every time we read it he prefaces it by saying "You read this book when YOU were little!" I also recently re-read The Runaway's Diary, a favorite of mine around age 11. Still quite a powerful book (it's the actual diary of a girl who ran away from home in the late sixties. She was struck and killed by a car on her way back home, and somone found her diary by the side of the road. With her parents' permission, the diary was published.)