Readers' Favorite

July 20, 2011

Childhood Book Memories

Recently, Mom was going through the children books at her house and sorting out the ones that my niece and nephew no longer read. She had decided to give them away (she doesn't expect there to be any more young children in the family), but she wanted me and my sister to go through them in case there were any we wanted to keep. While there was a box full of childhood reading memories the above pictured ones were my fondest memories. (I'm a bit of a pack rat so I really tried hard to not keep the entire box of books).

Books were always a part of my life. I can remember sitting on my Mom's lap and reading together. I still remember the first book I "read" - really I had just memorized the words, which was evident when I skipped a page and kept right on with the story. That book isn't pictured; it wasn't in the box. Mom thought my nephew may still have it. I can't remember that exact title but it was something like I'm Not Afraid of the Dark. Another book that I memorized because of the repetition of the story was Twenty Four Robbers. I can remember pretending to make the soup when I played kitchen.

The red book in the picture - Day in and Day out - it was printed in 1937. I kept it partly for that reason, but also I remember it was always the first book I read when I finished school each summer. I think it was my own way of gauging how much I had improved in reading. If I could finish in less days than the summer before then I must be a better reader. I think even then, though, I thought characters in books were my friends and I felt a need to check in with them each year. I don't know when I stopped reading it.

I have two Bernstein Bears books. I loved the Bernstein Bears, but most were checked out of the library. My absolute favorite was Messy Room. I so wanted my bedroom to look like the one at the end of the story, particularly the labeled boxes. I almost have it in two closets in my house - my linen closet just doesn't have labels. And the guest room has boxes with my niece and nephew's toys, but it still needs work to be on the level of the Bernstein Bears' room.

The Egg Tree was a gift from a teacher, I think. It made me want to blow eggs one Easter. My older sister was good at it, but I was not. I have 2 older sisters which is probably why I liked The Icky Picky Sister so much. I think I might have to read The Horse Who Liked Sandwiches again to see why I enjoyed it so much. I can't really bring up a specific memory for it, but know it was read a bunch. In addition to the Dark book, also missing is No Baths for Tabitha. I LOVED that story, though, I enjoyed baths (I loved water and wondered if I was part mermaid or dolphin when I was younger). I know that my nephew still has that book on his desk.

Neither my niece or nephew really seemed to latch on to my childhood favorites. They are more into Skippy Jon Jones and Fly Guy. I guess childhood books are as unique as each person's childhood. What were some your favorite books growing up? When you see a certain title, does it bring back a particular memory for you? I would love to hear your memories, please leave a comment.


  1. I also loved the Bernstein Bears. My girls are just starting to get into them, buying a new Bernstein Bears book at the grocery store was our one weekly indulgence! I also have a fully collection of Disney Rhyming Readers that my oldest daughter absolutely loves - we read 2 a day without fail!

  2. One of my earliest memories is of books. I was 4 or 5, and I still have some of the books, though they are not in the best of conditions. My mum left me and my brother in the linving room, and went into the kitchen. We apparently went really quiet, and when she came through to check on us, I was busy trying to teach our fish how to read. By putting our entire beatrix potter collection into the fish tank. She wasn't best pleased, but we did manage to save some of them, and I still have them today :)

  3. One of my favourite stories when I was little, was "The Selfish Giant" by Oscar Wilde (1888). It didn't matter how many times I heard it, I just loved it:

    I also liked the Amelia Jane stories by Enid Blyton, and Br'er Rabbit.

  4. Goodness. Seeing the B. Bears brought back memories. My daughter had them all growing up. Thanks for commenting on my blog. I would love to hear what you thought of the PTA Mafia. I thought it was a great book Donna

  5. Great post! I STILL re-read WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE a couple of times a year. A few years ago a friend found a copy of my favorite book of all time HORSE OF TWO COLORS on ebay and gave it to me....a gift that moved me to tears.