December 11, 2008

To Become a Well-Adjusted Adult

I’ve got some sad news. Remember my first Weekly Geeks post where I promised to try and do a post once a month? Well, it turns out that the blog author, Dewey (nickname), of The Hidden Side of the Leaf had a terminal illness, and she passed away. I guess it came as a shock to her readers because she didn’t discuss her personal life on the blog. Unfortunately, I had only recently discovered her blog, so I didn’t get a chance to get to know her. Her husband posted to the blog and explained that her passing was expected, and that he is happy that she’s not in pain anymore although she will be missed. So, in honor of Dewey, I thought I’d go ahead and still try to post a Weekly Geek once a month from her archive. Here is Weekly Geek #3

In this Weekly Geek, you are supposed to write about the books that you read as a child and why you liked them. I thought that sounded like a lot of fun! I love children’s lit. So, without further ado, here is a list of some of my favorite books as a kid.

Harry the Dirty Dog
by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Blov Graham

This book is about Harry, a little dog that is white with black spots. He gets into a lot of dirt and becomes a black dog with white spots, and his family doesn’t recognize him. It’s a fun little book of little scraps Harry gets into. Honestly, I still haven’t figured out why we loved this book so much. (Both my older sister and I searched relentlessly until we found copies of our own from bookstores. It’s wasn’t always in print, although I think its popularity is making a comeback.)

The Monster at the End of this Book
by Jon Stone, illustrated by Michael Smollin

I adored this book! It’s narrated by Sesame Street’s lovable Grover. He keeps trying to think of ways to convince you to stop turning pages because he’s heard a rumor that there is a monster at the end of the book. When you turn the page, his latest attempt comes crashing down on him. (Think, plywood, ropes, brick walls, etc.) There’s something great and powerful about watching Grover freak out.

The Digging-est Dog
by Al Perkins, illustrated by Eric Gurney

Another dog book; we loved dog books at our house since we didn’t have a dog. It was like living vicariously. This book is about a dog that lived a long time in the pet store when he finally gets taken home by a young boy. In the pet store, he never got a chance to dig, and once he discovers it, a little digging turns into a lot, as the title suggests. And soon, he finds himself in the “doghouse,” so to speak (haha), because of his habit!

Book of Fairy Tales

Growing up, we had one huge book of fairy tales, and we all loved reading the stories out of it. I wonder whatever happened to it. I tried looking around on Amazon for it, but I really don’t remember anything about its title or publishing information. I would really like to find it one day though, because the writing was so good, and the illustrations were also excellent. Most of the time, it’s hard for young kids to listen attentively to stories with lots of words and not as many pictures, but that was never a problem with this version of the fairy tales. My favorites were Puss in Boots, The Frog Prince, and Rapunzel.

Peter Rabbit
by Beatrix Potter

We all know the story of Peter Rabbit, so I won’t repeat it. I’m not sure why I liked this book so well as a child either, except that I just liked the idea of being a bunny. I even named my pet rabbit, “Floppsey” years later.

Caps for Sale
by Esphyr Slobodkina

I loved this book! Especially when my older brother would read it to me because he would do funny voices. “Oh you monkeys, you give me back my caps!” It’s about a cap peddler, who puts all of his different colored caps on his head in one big stack to sell them. As he walks by, monkeys in the trees start taking them off, one by one, until they are all gone. Then the peddler gets mad and yells at the monkeys who are all wearing different colored caps. Great book; not sure why, but I really loved it!

Strega Nona
by Tomie De Paola

Strega Nona is also a bit of a classic so I won’t go over the storyline. I’m pretty sure I was first exposed to it at school. I loved how the spaghetti takes over the whole town! Such a fun book.

Then, here are some that I wish I’d read as a child because I think I would have liked them.

Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak

I was not exposed to this book until later in life, and I think I really would have enjoyed it as a child. It’s a great book to get the imagination flowing!

Green Eggs and Ham
by Dr. Seuss

We did read Dr. Seuss at our house, but for some reason Green Eggs and Ham never made it into the collection. Definitely a classic though—a must have.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
by Laura Joffe Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond

I think this book came into popularity too late for me, but I’m not sure. I discovered it because it was one of my babysitting kids’ favorites. It’s a really cute book, and the author has done others like If You Give a Moose a Muffin, which I’m sure are also good.

Charlotte’s Web
by E.B. White

I have to admit it, I never read Charlotte’s Web as a child. I know, blasphemy! I really wish I had. I think I just watched the movie—you know, the cartoon one—and I lost interest in reading the book. But, I’ve got a nice copy waiting for my kids, so they won’t make that mistake. =)

There you have it! What are some of your favorites? And remember, just because you are an adult now doesn’t mean you can’t discover, or rediscover, kid’s books!


Erin_C said...

My all-time favorite is Roxaboxen, about kids who make a little town in the desert out of rocks and boxes. Its a classic.

I also loved Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs where the weather came down in various forms of food.

Love children's books. Good post.

Gini+Eric said...

I had an amazing book of fairy tales too, and I've never been able to find it anywhere. All I remember of it is that is was tall with wonderful, full-page illustrations... and that there was no cover (illegally sold!--ha). So looking on Amazon sucks because sometimes I can't look inside to see if the illustrations match. I read stories in that book I never found anywhere else! :(

Cam said...

Isn't that sad when you can't find the same book again? I hate that.

Dan and Margo said...

I love Harry the Dirty Dog! I had forgotten about that one but remember it now! My most recent fav is Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman.

luke and briton alo said...

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. I still have the copy my mom read us and it is drawn in and the spine is long gone. I read it to Noa and we both love it!