Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Childhood Books

Now that I have my very own young mind to corrupt... I mean educate.... I am suddenly obsessed with children's books. Especially the books that I loved when I was little. At this point, I'm mainly interested in picture books; the books-without-pictures will come later. As I mentioned on Fractal Metamorphosis, I've been treasure-hunting in thrift shops for "vintage" children's books, with some success.

What were your favorites as a child, or for those of you who have any experience reading books to youngsters, what are your favorites to read to little ones?

So far, most of my attempts to read to Annika have not met with much enthusiasm, but 2 days ago I did manage to catch her in just the right mood. I put her on our bed, and laid down next to her, and held a book above her while I read it. She was actually very enthusiastic - paying attention to the pictures, and cooing a lot while I read. It was such a success that I read "At the Zoo" twice, "Happy Baby Alphabet" once, and "A Color of His Own" once before she finally got bored and started fussing.


Jennifer said...

I have fond memories of the books "Little Bear" and "Frog and Toad are Friends", as they were the first books I actually could read. I actually remember them as the books that reading started to make sense for me.

As I mentioned on your blog, I have fond memories of my mom reading "The Little Engine That Could" to me and my brother. We had a nightly ritual, whoever was ready for bed first got read to first. This was good motivation to get to ready for bed, as I often fell asleep before my mom was done reading to my brother.

Beth said...

I'll check our children's book section when I get home for all the correct titles - but what age do you want? very wee, or a higher level like Frog and Toad. I think Harry Potter, or LOTR would be good but I think she might be a little young for that. Harold and the purple crayon, Pat the Bunny (the first book I read by myself), and Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs are all fun.

Jennifer said...

Oh - and of course the Dr. Seuss Books.

I remember reading the Seuss Alphabet book to my sister when she was a baby.

"Big A, Little A, What begins with A? Aunt Annie's Alligator, A. A. A."

As an adult, I have found those very fun to read outloud.

Sparkling Squirrel said...

The Lorax, Mr. Pine's Mixed-up Signs, The Velveteen Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, The Big Orange Splot, Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No-good Very Bad Day and The Very Hungry Caterpillar were all childhood favorites.

My nieces are really into the Ophelia books (and who can't love a dancing pig with imagination?) and liked Good Night Moon when they were younger.

Sally's sister said...

Agh - frog and toad scared me, esp. the one of frog having a nightmare. I don't think my parents read to me. But being an only child that's the main thing I did growing up - car trips, summer vacation. Does anyone remember the moose story where this moose starts letting all his friends live in his antlers, and it becomes a burden, but then he sheds them.

Irene said...

Oooh yeah, see, now I've remembered a few more that I need to go find - Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and that story about the moose and his antlers, what the heck was it called??

Sally's sister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sally's sister said...

Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose
This classic Seuss title stars a happy-looking quadruped from the shores of Lake Winna-Bango who has the most amazing antlers and the kindest disposition. Alas! Everyone, but everyone, takes advantage of his generosity, and before long he has three-quarters of the animal kingdom nesting in the convenient perches atop his head. ("They asked in a fox, who jumped in from the trees, / They asked in some mice and they asked in some fleas.") You might think someone would take pity, but nobody seems to like an oddball, and all Thidwick gets for his trouble is complaints and contempt. Unable to cross the lake when winter threatens, he looks all set to starve--and then things get even worse. He is saved from certain death just in time, swims the lake, and joins the herd again. One reason this Seuss is so good: it has a moral, but the moral isn't pressed too far and the exuberant linguistic fun isn't subservient to it. (Ages 4 to 8) --Richard Farr

Molly said...

I remember really liking books by Diane Wolkstein, especially the ones illustrated by Ed Young: White Wave: A Chinese Tale, and Red Lion: A Tale of Ancient Persia. Those were the two that we had as kids, but looking on Amazon I see that she has lots of books about different cultures. Hopefully the others are a gorgeously illustrated as the two I mentioned.