We went to a friend’s baby’s first birthday over the weekend, and aside from the overwhelming cuteness of a gaggle of one year olds, the most fun for me was shopping on Friday for books. When their son was born a year ago, JAMAL’s friends asked for our favorite childhood books to start his library. I had the hardest time narrowing it down to an acceptable number. I love books. I love that my parents insisted upon flooding me with good books as a kid, and that we read together every night before bed. I had a library card at age 4, and though they limited the number of books kids could check out at one time, the librarian let me have as many as I wanted because I explained in detail the plot of the book I wanted and the author when I couldn’t remember the title (it was “Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile”), standing on my tip-toes to see over the counter. Books were more important than anything in our house. That’s the most important thing I hope to pass on to my own future kid one day.
After perusing Barnes & Noble on Friday and saying, “Aw! I remember this one!” a million times, I decided it would be great to do a round up of my favorite books from childhood. Only it spiralled wildly out of control quickly. At first I thought I could do a top ten. And then once I started looking for titles, I realized I had to include a lot more than I originally thought. These are all books I love dearly, that I could recite from memory to this day. Most of these I still have in a box in my mom’s basement, on stand-by for when I need them, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t seriously consider buying all of these last night JUST TO BE PREPARED.
1. “The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush” / 2. “Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile” / 3. “Miss Nelson is Missing” / 4. “Porcellus the Flying Pig” / 5. “Strega Nona” / 6. “Doctor Desoto” / 7. “George and Martha” / 8. “The Amazing Bone” / 9. “Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” / 10. “Hey, Al” / 11. “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” / 12. “Nimby” / 13. “The Berenstain Bears” / 14. “The Garden of Abdul Gasazi” / 15. “The Art Lesson” / 16. “Wacky Wednesday” / 17. “Madeline” / 18. “The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau” / 19. “Amelie Bedelia” / 20. “Ira Sleeps Over” / 21. “The Lorax” / 22. “Something from Nothing” / 23. “The Return of Freddy Legrand” / 24. “Gorky Rises” / 25. “Babar’s Travels” / 26. “Where the Sidewalk Ends” / 27. “A Light in the Attic”
Wow. And this is just a small sampling of the books that were stacked in my room growing up. These are my absolute favorites, but I’m terrified that tomorrow I’ll realize I forgot about 30 more. It’s not super insane to start a library for a child that isn’t even close to being conceived yet, is it? I’ve done crazier.
Are any of these familiar to you? Either from your own childhood or your kids?