Friday, February 17, 2006

Children's Books

This is a meme I've thinking about responding to all week, from Jen at Bayou Quilts. And after mulling it over here is what I'd like to say about children's books.

I was a rather obsessive reader (still am) as a child, got the bookworm award from my favorite fourth grade teacher Mrs. Blankenship. We each got a bookworm face at the start of the year, and then got to put up a circle representing a worm section for each book we read that year. My bookworm took up a LOT of room at year end, and I was really proud of that.
I knew the school librarian really well and even gave her a birthday card. She knew when I was getting bored and helped point out new types of books for me to read and encouraged me so much. I felt really safe in the library.
My parents read to me, and bought me a lot of books, everytime we got one of the book order forms from school, they never said no when I wanted a new pile of books. I try to do the same with my kids. I grew up amidst books, relishing devouring consuming books, I still do the same, I'm in book overload-land, close to addicted to buying books, I have a books expense category in Quicken, every room in the house (except the bathrooms) has at least one bookshelf.

So books are important to me, have shaped my life, and are a permanent part of my future. I could go anywhere and be happy in the library or a used bookstore or any bookstore or any comfy chair with a good book.

In answering this I'm defining it as the books I read as a child (10 and under). So Nancy Drew, Madeleine L'engle,etc. wouldn't be on this list. That would be the pre-teen list, and then there would be the teen list, college list, post college list, young mom list, middle age list,.....

1. Name your 3 favorite children's series.

Pippi Longstockings by Astrid Lindgren What an inspiring character for a young girl, W.W.P.D.? , what would pippi do? would be a great motto for a girls' t-shirt!, someone steal this idea!

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald with the great illustrator Hilary Knight(he did Eloise). I really wanted Mrs. Piggle Wiggle to come visit me at home or at school. She had such great solutions to everything that ever could go wrong in a kid's life.

Andrew Lang's Fairy Tales
These books have all the original fairy tales (ie, NON-Disneyfied) from all around the world with amazing color and line drawing illustrations, I didn't have the whole series which were reprinted by Dover in the 60's but I had about 6 of them that I read and re-read.

2. Name your 3 favorite non-series children's books.

James & The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl The characters, the adventure, the story, the sweetness of the peach.

Eloise at Christmastime by Kay Thompson, illustrated by Hilary Knight
I remember getting this at a garage sale or used somehow, and it was so unlike anything else I'd read, it just was so satisfying.

Modern Tales and Fables" published by Paul Hamlyn in 1967, illustrated by Vaclav Sivko, and written by various Czechoslovakian authors. This book isn't on Amazon or anywhere else I can find so far :( , but I made a quilt inspired by it, and maybe I'll share some images from it later if I can find it in the kid's room (they loved this book too!)...

3. Name 3 favorite children's books characters.

Pippi Longstockings, I soooo wanted to be her (except for the orphan part). She could do anything, go anywhere all by herself, she could wear anything she wanted, she was silly, smart, independent, fierce, capable, no one could get the better of her. Girls today could do pretty well emulating her. I read these stories to my boys, they liked them, but didn't connect as much as I did (that gender thing I guess).

Eloise! She was rich, outrageous, bratty, funny and had kewl pets.

Dorothy Gale because she got to wear those amazing shoes and have adventures and come home safely.

Ok, that's enough time spent on this for now. It was certainly fun tripping back in time...


jenclair said...

Thanks for playing, Julie. i swear, I don't know how people exist without books!

Hilary Knight's illustrations are wonderful, and those for Eloise are among my all-time favorites.

-llm. said...

Laugh. I have most of my books stored IN my bathroom. It just works well that way. But, I have books in every other room in the house too.

Jen Robinson said...

What a wonderful list, Julie. I think that we would have been friends as children. I adored Pippi, and wanted to be her (though I'm afraid I was really more of an Annika). You can see an article that I wrote about myself as a book-loving child here. I also had Pippi as one of my favorite characters in my response to the children's book meme. I still cherish 3 books that the children's librarian from my elementary school gave me. Isn't it cool how things spread around the internet? Thanks for a neat article!