Throughout my childhood, my father and I traveled to the local library with a wagon. He insisted that I fill the wagon as high as we could with books. We went on hundreds of journeys with some of the most special characters in children’s literature. The adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh and friends in The Hundred Acre Wood was and continues to offer exciting adventures.
In the beginning, before I found myself within the pages of a book identifying with this character or that one, I listened to my grandmother read aloud from My Book House while surrounded by my eight siblings. The giant, multi-volume anthology contains poetry from Mother Goose to Shakespeare, selections from the Song of Solomon to Christina Rossetti to Robert Louis Stevenson, folk and fairy tales from around the world, Aesop’s fables, as well as some not-as-old previously published stories like The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.… more
This stack is largely the Self-On-The-Shelf stack of my childhood. There would be stacks of others, as well, you understand. I was surprised how many were missing when I went to pull books for this column, actually. Where were all the Judy Blume books? Where was How To Eat Fried Worms? And, I suppose if I’m really honest, I would need to include a small stack of Guinness Book of World Records from the late seventies…I wore the covers off those books.… more
A few days ago, I scanned my many bookshelves in anticipation of writing this piece. My charge was to assemble a small stack of books that had significance to me. Perhaps, I thought, I’ll write about my love for mysteries. After all, I spent countless hours as a young girl devouring the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries before moving on to Agatha Christie, Tony Hillerman, and Sara Paretsky.… more
What keeps you up at night? The Disney version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I had to sleep in my sister’s room for 6 months after that terrifying cartoon. What’s the first book you remember reading? Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik. I loved Little Bear and his very functional family. Also, I thought it was simply magical that all of the letters spelled out a story.… more
What’s your favorite holiday tradition? I have so many favorites. One of them is the hanging of the Christmas stockings. My aunt made felt and appliqué stockings for my two tiny children in the 1960s. Thirty years later, my daughter made felt and appliqué stockings for her husband, their two children, and me. She designed the appliqué motifs to reflect each family member.… more