Friday, February 24, 2006

grateful friday--the children's book edition

I'm grateful for children's books. After seeing this great meme on Red Shoe Ramblings and this one on More to Me and knowing that this book is one of acumamakiki's favorite children's books I felt the need to list some of the children's books I love.

Books I remember loving as a child:

I'm a child of the 80s and what child of the 80s doesn't have fond memories of Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary. My Blume favorites were the Superfudge series, Are You there God it's me Margaret, and Tales of the 4th Grade Nothing. My Cleary favorites were the Ramona Quinby books. Other childhood favorites included...
~the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series
~the Encyclopedia Brown books
~The Secret of Nihm
~and all the Babar books

Favorite children's books characters:

~like DebR, when it comes to the March sisters I was always fond of Amy...and it's for the same reason...she gets Laurie
~it's me Eloise--I have all the Eloise books (heehee)
~the color-your-own-world antics of Harold
~Anne...with an "e"
~the sassy and mischievous Tink

The first children's book I remember changing my life:

In 5th grade one of my favorite teachers, Mrs. Turner, would read a little bit of Where the Red Fern Grows every afternoon. By the end, when I learned the fate of Big Dan and Little Ann, I was in tears. It was the first story I remember really connecting with. I'll never forget those afternoons, sitting at my desk, entranced by Mrs. Turners voice and the gentle turning of pages.

Favorite children's book memories:

One Christmas my grandparents gave me and my sisters a tape recorder. Included with the tape recorder, we each received a tape on which they had recorded their voices reading stories. My tape contained my grandmother reading Beauty and the Beast and my grandfather reading the story of David and Goliath. To this day I still have the collection of fairy tales my grandmother read from.

In 5th grade our school performance was partially based on the poetry of Shel Silverstein. I tried out for the part of Peggy Ann McKay (I can not go to school today said little Peggy Ann McKay...). Although I didn't get the part to this day I can recite parts of that poem.

I used to love visiting my aunt. Not only did she have a miniature pinball machine and cinnamon graham crackers at her home but she also had every Dr. Seuss book imaginable. She also had an extensive collection of the "I Can Read All By Myself" books including Put Me in the Zoo, A Fish Out of Water, and Ten Apples Up on Top. I would sit on her fake leather couch for hours and read and read and read.

Books I love because the illustrations are just so dang good:

~all the Olivia books...she's just too cute for words
~Toot and Puddle
~If I Were a Lion
~A Children's Garden of Verses

The one children's book I took with me to the hospital when Britton was born:

A Baby Blessing--when Britton was a day old I planned a blessing ceremony for him. My family gathered around him and my grandfather (a Baptist minister) read this book aloud and then led us all in prayer. Needless to say I bawled through the entire thing.

Books I love sharing with Britton:

~Horton Hatches an Egg
~The Sneetches and Other stories
~My Many Colored Days
~My Beautiful Child
~Oh My Baby Little One--I bought this book for Britton right before he started to daycare and I would read it to him every morning before we parted for the day.
~The Best Pet of All
~The Kissing Hand--another great book to read your child if you're a working mother.
~In Every Tiny Grain of Sand--a collection of prayers from all religions

Some of Britton's favorites:

~No, David and David Gets in Trouble--his current obsession
~Tails--his first book obsession at the wee age of 18 months
~Where the Wild Things Are...remember this
~Who's Nose and Toes--I used this book when Britton was very young to teach him about animals, their noises, and the ASL signs for them.
~Click, Clack, Moo
~The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Trey's favorites:

Hank the Cowdog

Children's books I love to give as gifts:

The Velveteen Rabbit
this beautifully illustrated version of Casey at the Bat
Old Turtle
my favorite version of Alice in Wonderland...all about the gorgeous illustrations
The Tale of Despereaux
Green Eggs and favorite Dr. Seuss introductory book

As you can see this family loves children's books. I'm famous for being a book giver. Each birthday Britton, my 3 nieces, and my 3 nephews receive a book along with their toy. I love sharing the gift of reading. But sometimes I'm at a loss. Especially with my oldest nephew. He turned 11 this year and the book giving decision was really hard. Anything I remembered loving at his age was either too "girly" or too mature. And if it was currently popular he had already read it. So please, feel free to share some of your favorites. I always appreciate the recommendations.

And let me end by saying I'm grateful for motherhood because it's one more excuse (if you feel you need one) to purchase children's books and hang out in the children's area at the local B&N.


Blogger megg said...

Hi there!

I had forgotten about 'The Secret of Nimh' I loved that book too. When I was little I was always embaraased because my Mom gave books to people as presents. I loved them but I knew that other kids didn't. Now I am happy to say that I have become my mother in that respect. I have given books to every child I know and I am thrilled to do it. It's the best gift of all (and very good reason to go to the bookstore and sit on the floor and enjoy them myself!!!)

1:55 AM  
Anonymous Janine said...

Oh how I love books too, and so do my children, their books have filled a 6 foot by 4 bookcase and it is threatening to burst at the seems. I remember first being touched by the Lassie novel read to us by our grade 5 teacher. The chapters about Lassie being on the mend and getting restless every afternoon at school dismissal bought on tears that streamed down my face in class. There is nothing better than being able to pass on the love of the written word.

2:07 AM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

What a terrific post! I got chills reading through your list....anything with books and I'm all over it. I love the No David books although Ava didn't get into them so much. Another current favorite is a book called The Real Story of the 3 Little Pigs which is a behind the scenes of what really happened. It's like Wicked but for kids. I love the photo of Britton as well. (=

4:34 AM  
Blogger Deb R said...

Oh, I like the addition of the category for first children's book you can remember that changed your life. That's a hard one too, but there must be something about having a teacher read a book aloud over the course of several days that has an impact because I have vivid memories of hearing "Charlotte's Web" that way for the first time and being so caught up in the fate of everyone in the book.

I loved reading your take on this meme, Michelle. The pic of Britton is great, and I'm so glad you linked back to the one of him at Halloween. That's one of my favorite BrittonPics. He looks so adorable in his costume!

5:32 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

My oldest is 10 and he loves any dragon/mystical book. He just finished reading Eragon and Eldest by Christopher Paolini and loved them.

Great list and my favorite March sister was Jo, I wonder if that explains a lot about me, lol.

Great list!

6:12 AM  
Blogger lovegreendog said...

this is fabulous! great selections, i also liked the "first book remembered" addition. this is a meme that could send me down memory lane for days....

6:36 AM  
Anonymous autum said...

I like to give books as gifts too. When my daughter graduated from highschool I gave her Oh the places that you'll go by Dr. Seuss and I'll love you forever. It was one I read to her when she was small. No David cracks me up. David is a handfull isn't he?

6:52 AM  
Blogger Turquoise CRO said...

Britton looks like he is really enJOYing that book! My son, Mario's FAV book of all time was "Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?" by Nancy White Carlstrom, illustrated by Bruce Degan It is one of my Fav too! The pictures are soooooo SWEET and WHIMSICAL! I remember LOVING this really old book from England of Fairy Tales, my Favorite! when I was a lass! I still have it!

9:24 AM  
Blogger carmen said...

No David, was one of my sons favorite as a child as well. He turned 10 today, but still has that book on his shelf.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Frankie said...

This brought up so many happy childhood memories for me!! Like hearing names of friends I haven't seen in years, that sudden rush of love and joy flowing back into my mind and heart. Thanks so much for this! I'll have to start thinking of my own. The Giving Tree is certainly on my list, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, as well as dear sweet Madeline. I'm sure there are tons more, but I'll need time to brainstorm them...Thanks for the GREAT list friend!

1:10 PM  
Blogger Laume said...

Books for an eleven year old boy - I agree, a difficult age. I can tell you what my four boys read at that age, each of them had quite different tastes.

Joshua loved to read and was outgrowing most children's books by that time, and there really wasn't the exploding Young Adult market back then that there was now. He loved Brian Jacques - Redwall series. Also Stephen King.

Joe was all about nature and animals - so he loved anything by Gary Paulsen and Jim Kjelgaard and Jack London. Also Mark Twain.

Sam was a doer, not a reader. He loves Harry Potter, but mostly it was all about text manuals and video games and what not. It was tricky but there are books about nonreading interests out there.

William and I were still reading books together at that age. Harry Potter, Tolkien, L'Engle, Terry Pratchett's young adult stuff (love those!), Artemis Fowl (very funny older kid humor!), we LOVED Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, also Nix's Lireal trilogy (girl protagonist but very dark), The Dark is Rising books, and To Kill a Mockingbird

3:03 PM  
Blogger LiteraryGirl said...

We must be about the same age as all of your favorite's from childhood were mine as well...Judy Bloom, Encylopedia Brown. I also enjoyed the Choose Your Own Adventure books and The Babysitter's Club.

Max Lucado has a great children's book called You Are Special. I love reading it to my kids because it has a great message about judging others and not caring what others think about's a good reminder for me, too!

3:35 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

oh thank you for this trip down memory lane. mrs. piggle wiggle, anne with an e (oh how i love that girl), the secret of nihm.
And where the red fern grows. not too many people seem to know that book. i loved it so much that i read it over and over as a child. and then, i gave it to jon because he had never read it. we started reading it out loud together. i got to about page 20 and just started bawling. he was so confused...imagine me gasping for breath saying "you don't know what is coming." when i was a kid, we didn't have a dog. when jon and i started reading it, i had rescued traveler about a year prior. i just couldn't read it. so it sits on a shelf with my other favorite children's books...and i don't know if i will every be able to read it...but goodness, i love that book. (i think this should have been a post on my blog...sorry for the long-winded-all-about-me comment)

8:57 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

well, I just don't even know where to start here. I was such a voracious reader as a child. and I really grew to love childrens books, even more so as an adult and had aquired quite a collection even before the birth of my first! so reading along with ava and ezra, taking them to the library, to the book store... sharing with them all my favorites as a kid (which I am so lucky that my mom saved for us)... and then discovering new greats with them... it is high up on my list of 'fantastic advantages of being a parent'.

I so loved reading your post here-- you've listed so many classics, many favorites. I may have to bite this idea and do share something similar over at hula seventy. going to have to put it on the list, I think... hope you don't mind...? truly, an inspired post.... :)

6:51 PM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

this is one of my favorite subjects
what a great list

4:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Books for your nephew (11)

Depending on his interest, when my son was that age he was into "series" of books.

Phillip Pullman
Garth Nix
(sabriel, lirael, abhorsen)
Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl)
And of course
Brian Jacques

And as for gifts - all new born baby boys receive a copy of "Love you forever."

Julie in Virginia

5:55 AM  

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