This week’s theme is going to be really fun because the children’s books I once enjoyed are numerous. Of course, I won’t be able to recall even half of them — just the most influential or the ones that have a memorable story behind them. Here goes:
Preschool & Early Elementary
1. 1st book – Green Eggs & Ham. How I loved that Sam I Am! I was about 3 or so and would sit on my potty chair yelling it out so that my poor beleagured mother could hear and exclaim about my oratory and readatory talent.
2. Favorite Dr. Seuss “I Can Read” book – Go Dog Go! I loved the greenish-bluish and pinkish colors in the illustrations. I also liked the picture of dogs playing in one of the bluish trees.
3. Favorite Poetry Book – When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne. I read it over and over again until I knew all the poems by heart.
4. Millions of Cats – I was into cats big time. This one had great illustrations.
5. Edith, the Lonely Doll books– I still like to read these now.
6. Madeline series – Made me want to be a French schoolgirl.
Grades 3 & 4
1. The Boxcar Children – I think I read every one of these several times.
2. The Wizard of Oz Series – They were given to me by my aunt, and I have them stashed away in a special place.
3. Roald Dahl – I probably read all of them. My favorites were Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Witches.
4. Winnie the Pooh – My favorite kid’s books of all time, and my favorite characters of all time. I’m a major Piglet fan, and Eeyore’s really cool too!
5. Harriet the Spy – This needs no explanation.
6. Walkabout – A really cool book about some English kids going “walkabout” with an aborigine kid. It has always stuck in my mind.
7. Don Robertson’s Morris Bird books — My Dad found them in a used bookstore. They moved me so much that they got me started on my 5th & 6th grade “sad book” phase. It looks like The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread has been reissued. Woot! The other two in the trilogy are: The Sum and Total of Now and The Greatest Thing That Almost Happened.
Grades 5 & 6
1. The Lord Of the Rings – I read these over and over again until I knew several passages by heart. I remain absolutely certain that I’ve got Elvish blood in me!
2. Robert Heinlein – I read so many of his books that I can’t even remember them all. My favorite is Citizen of the Galaxy.
3. John Christopher’s “Tripods Trilogy,” The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead and The Pool of Fire. I reread these several years ago and was still quite impressed.
4. Lord of the Flies – I read this in the 5th grade and was enthralled. This led me into my coming-of-age phase where I read I Am the Cheese, The Chocolate War, A Separate Peace, The Outsiders, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and, of course, The Catcher in the Rye. I haven’t outgrown this phase yet!