Such a fun topic because, as all bookworms know, the next best thing to reading a favorite book is reminiscing about a favorite book.
Like many bookworms, my love for books and reading began at a very early age. In fact, I reckon the bookworm trait must be encoded in my DNA. Of course, my mother did read to me constantly so a lot of nurture in the mix as well... but if I had been raised by wolves I would still be a bookworm... at least, once I returned to civilization and learned to read. ;o)
My Top Ten Picks cover my earliest book memories from age three/four through elementary school.
Like Jillian, these precious little storybooks were a huge part of my toddler and childhood years. Even after I outgrew them, I was still reading them to Little Brother #1 and Little Brother #2.
My mother, angel that she is, kept them all safe and sound. Most are still at her house but I've brought a few home to Oklahoma to read to my little boy. He loves them too.
Wonder Books... I wonder what ever happened to Wonder Books. I found practically no mention of them in a google search other than folks collecting or selling.
Do any of you... ahem....'older' bookworms remember Wonder Books?
A few of my well loved and well read Little Golden Books. I distinctly remember cuddling next to my mother at age three and four while she read So Big and The Little Book to me.... over and over and over. I still remember the thrill of knowing what was coming next in the story and the anticipation I felt as each page was turned. Yep, definitely born a bookworm.
Actually, the Tootle and Love Bug may be Little Brother #1's books... he is five years younger... but I remember reading them for myself. All these Little Golden books cost thiry-nine to forty-nine cents. Hard to believe, isn't it.
Some of Little Brother #2's collection. He is thirteen years younger so these were purchased in the early 80s and cost eighty-nine cents.
2. Dr. Seuss
I may have been born a bookworm but I wasn't born a reader so I give credit to Dr. Seuss where credit is due.
I vividly remember being boggled by everything in first grade especially reading. Quite nerve wracking, really, when you are expected to perform and it all looks like Greek. I spent most of the year in the Pug reader, the lowest reading group... while gazingly longingly over at the Blue Dilly Dilly group. Yes, I'm still peeved.
After speaking with the teacher, my mother enrolled me in the Dr. Seuss bookclub. Lots of practice reading went on during the summer between first and second grade.
At the beginning of second grade, the teacher called each student to her desk to read aloud to determine which reader they should start in. While waiting nervously for my turn, I whispered my page over and over... each word seemed to make sense... but I lacked confidence. My turn finally arrived and I read the whole page fluently! I was in the top reading group from then on... Whoot Whoot! Take that, Pug!!
Thank you, Mama and Dr. Seuss!
By the way, the books in the photo are my thirty seven year old copies. Apparently, my brothers and I were hard on books.
3. Danny and the Dinosaur
This book was a favorite picture book of many students so was rarely available to check out at the school library. The idea of a museum dinosaur coming to life, befriending a little boy and exploring the city was absolutely enthralling.
4. The Funny Little Woman
5. Little House in the Big Woods
This book was my first beloved chapter book. I read it and the sequels over and over from the end of second grade through middle school. The later books fall more in the YA category.
I loved reading about perky Laura and her family's adventures as they moved farther and farther West in search of a better life.
6. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
Isn't Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle the cutest little lady? This series of books kept me laughing during third and fourth grade. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lives in an upside down house and carries a big bag full of all kind of cures for children's misbehavior and bad habits. She is a parent's dream. If your child has 'gobbley-monia' or 'won't go to bed-itis', just call Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.
7. Beverly Cleary Books
Oh, how I loved Henry, Ribsy, Beezus and Ramona. I read every Cleary book in my school library. I owned a copy of Ramona The Brave and read it so many times.
8. Bobbsey Twins and Boxcar Children
Yes, I know, different authors, but I just realised this is number eight so must lump some together. These are more favorites that I read from third grade to fifth grade. I loved immersing myself in the adventures of other children and families.
9. Lois Lenski books
Around age nine or ten, I discovered Lois Lenski's regional books at the public library. Strawberry Girl, the best known, is about two girls from feuding families in the early 20th century South becoming friends.
Being from the South, I loved reading Lenski's books. I especially loved that the dialogue was written in various Southern dialects. To this day, I thrill when an author accurately captures a dialect on the written page.
10. Andrew Lang's Colored Fairy Books
Another public library discovery around age nine. Oh, how I loved these fairytales. My library didn't have the whole collection but I remember avidly reading the green, red, blue, yellow, and brown fairy books.
11. Alfred Hitchcock and The Three Investigators
I found this series at the public library too and read it from fourth grade through middle school. These are such deliciously shivery mysteries. The Secret of Terror Castle is the first in the series and I've never forgotten it. Isn't it funny how the covers changed over the years.
Do you know this series? I'll be blogging about The Three Investigators Series in a future Tuesday Treasures post so stay tuned.
Drat, I didn't mention A Little Princess and Heidi...