Sunday, July 10, 2011
Ten on the Tenth -- Favorite Children's Books
My favorite quote from the movie "You've Got Mail" is when Kathleen, the heroine, says this..."When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does." Don't you love that? If you were a reader as a child, I know that quote rings true with you.
So, in honor of summer reading season, here are the ten books that "became a part of my identity" as a child...
1. "The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh" by A. A. Milne. The illustrations, of course, are beautiful, but my favorite thing about the Winnie the Pooh stories was the way the author used the text on the page to illustrate the blustery days and the floody woods. I absolutely love these stories.
2. "The Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum. Of course, I loved the movie (Who didn't?), but the book was soooo much better! There's so much in the book that didn't make it into the movie....the Quadlings, the china princess, the Hammerheads, etc. I also loved "The Patchwork Girl of Oz."
3. "Misty of Chincoteague" by Marguerite Henry. I loved books about horses, and this one was my favorite. Stunning illustrations and a simply beautiful story. Other books by Henry are good as well, including "Stormy, Misty's Foal" and "Brighty of the Grand Canyon."
4. "Anne of Green Gables" by L. M. Montgomery. A beautifully written story about Ann with an "e", a spirited red-headed girl adopted by an elderly brother and sister who intended to adopt a boy to help out on their farm. As a shy, introverted child myself, I was absolutely enthralled by Anne's adventures.
5. "The Hiding Place" by Corrie ten Boom. I guess this is not typically a children's book, but I read it as a child and loved it. Being of Dutch heritage myself, I was fascinated by the insight into the Dutch culture of that period in the early part of the book, and inspired by Corrie and Betsy's unwavering faith in spite of great suffering in the latter part.
6. "Bambi" by Felix Salten. Yes, there really is such a book, and it predates the Disney movie version by nearly twenty years. And as is usually true, it is sooooo much better than the movie version. I loved it so much that I read it multiple times. (That's actually true of every book on this list, but I think I read this book more times than any other.) I remember checking it out of my elementary school library in Wisconsin over and over. And then a couple of years ago, I ran across it at our school library ... in a stack of books about to be discarded! I snatched it up and am thrilled that it is now part of my own personal library.
7. The "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. All of them. I read them over and over. I wanted to be Laura. I also loved the TV series, but nothing could match the beauty and simplicity of the stories in these books.
8. "Black Beauty" by Anna Sewell. I loved how this book was written from the perspective of the horse. I remember being able to almost feel the bit in my mouth and the blinkers over my eyes as I read this one.
9. "Charlotte's Web" by E. B. White. What's not to love about Charlotte's Web? Wilbur was truly some pig, Templeton was such a nasty beast, and Charlotte A. Cavitica was the perfect heroine. And Fern...well, I wanted to be Fern, too. After all, her pig's life is saved, and then she gets to ride on the ferris wheel with Henry Fussy. What could be cooler than that?
10. "The Lion, The Witch, & the Wardrobe" by C. S. Lewis. I absolutely loved this book as a child, but I never could seem to get into the other books in the series ... until a couple of years ago, that is, when I read the entire series. In fact, I believe I got far more out of the series as an adult than I would ever have gotten out of it as a child.
How about you? What are the books that became a part of you because you read them as a child? I'd love to hear from you on this topic ... just leave a comment below.