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Book Memories

Maurna Rome Halloween costume The Four PuppiesMy first mem­o­ry of falling in love with books takes me way back to the ten­der age of five. The lit­tle “Gold­en Book Gold­en Hours Library Clock House” that I received for Christ­mas that year helped me become the pas­sion­ate read­er I am today. I cher­ished the col­lec­tion of twelve lit­tle books and one in par­tic­u­lar was extra spe­cial; The Four Pup­pies. It’s a sweet sto­ry of grow­ing, learn­ing, chang­ing sea­sons and find­ing some­thing to cel­e­brate along the way. It’s filled with opti­mism, wis­dom, and the love­li­ness of shar­ing life’s ups and downs with oth­ers who care about you. A few years ago I replaced my orig­i­nal Gold­en Book clock house (which was lost long ago) with what is now con­sid­ered a “vin­tage” collector’s item. I even fash­ioned a Hal­loween cos­tume to hon­or the book that first filled my heart with book love.

Gold­en Books Clock House

My first mem­o­ry of dis­cov­er­ing a read­ing com­mu­ni­ty takes me way back to the sum­mer just after my sixth birth­day. I eager­ly wait­ed for the Carnegie Stout Pubic Library book­mo­bile to roll into our mobile home park each week.  For me, it was a mag­i­cal ves­sel on wheels. The library ladies (as I used to call them) who rode along with all those fine books always wait­ed patient­ly for lit­tle girls like me who took longer than most to make their selec­tions from the rows and rows of options. My fond­ness for book­mo­biles will stay with me for­ev­er.

My first mem­o­ry of long­ing for a book takes me way back to sixth grade when the wait­ing list at my school library for Are You There, God? It’s Me, Mar­garet stretched for weeks and weeks. I still remem­ber the thrill of final­ly get­ting my hands on that book. I felt like I had found a friend who strug­gled with the same ques­tions and inse­cu­ri­ties that I was expe­ri­enc­ing, which many 12-year-old girls were expe­ri­enc­ing. Mar­garet would join my list of oth­er “book friends,” Ramona, Pip­pi, and Ency­clo­pe­dia Brown, to name just a few.

As a teacher and a grand­ma, I am intent on try­ing to pro­vide these mem­o­rable expe­ri­ences: falling in love with books at an ear­ly age, dis­cov­er­ing a nur­tur­ing read­ing com­mu­ni­ty, and long­ing for a cer­tain book that brings a new friend into your life. These three sig­nif­i­cant book mem­o­ries help define me as a read­er. They form the foun­da­tion for my life-long love of read­ing and they are three of the rea­sons why I am so pas­sion­ate about lit­er­a­cy. If only all chil­dren could make mem­o­ries of this kind, I am cer­tain the world would be a bet­ter place.

If I win the lot­tery one of these days, you might just see me pulling into your neigh­bor­hood in my very own book­mo­bile. Now that would be the tick­et for cre­at­ing book mem­o­ries far and wide!


Bookstorm™: Princess Posey


Princess Posey Bookmap

Princess Posey and the Crazy, Lazy VacationThere have been many papers writ­ten about why chil­dren, teens, and adults like to read books that are pub­lished as part of a series. From The Bobb­sey Twins to Nan­cy Drew to the Box­car Chil­dren to Ency­lo­pe­dia Brown to Goose­bumps to The Babysit­ters Club to Red­wall to War­riors (draw­ing in a long breath) … okay, you get the idea. These books are pop­u­lar. We like read­ing about char­ac­ters who are famil­iar to us in set­tings that we feel we could walk through. Some­times they’re involved in sto­ries that we might feel are pre­dictable, but that’s been found to be part of the charm.

This month, we are pleased to fea­ture Princess Posey and the Crazy, Lazy Vaca­tion, writ­ten by Stephanie Greene and illus­trat­ed by Stephanie Roth Sis­son. The tenth book in their series, this one fol­lows our favorite first-grad­er, she who wears a pink tutu for con­fi­dence, through spring vaca­tion, a stay­ca­tion replete with unan­tic­i­pat­ed adven­ture. Full of gen­tle humor and sit­u­a­tions your own kids this age will find famil­iar, Posey has good friends, help­ful adults, and a devel­op­ing sense of self to rely on for a sat­is­fy­ing sto­ry in each vol­ume.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Princess Posey and the Crazy, Lazy Vaca­tion, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books for this par­tic­u­lar age group, a lit­tle younger, a lit­tle old­er, but pri­mar­i­ly pic­ture books, easy read­ers, and ear­ly chap­ter books. 





Bicy­cles. Learn­ing to ride a bicy­cle, being afraid of it, and then over­com­ing that fear, is one of the sto­ry­lines for Posey this time around. We’ve sug­gest­ed oth­er books about bicy­cles.

Courage. Try­ing unfa­mil­iar activ­i­ties and foods, meet­ing new peo­ple, all of these take courage. Talk about these books with your fam­i­ly or class­room or sto­ry­time group. Start the con­ver­sa­tion about step­ping out­side our com­fort zones.

Doing Noth­ing. Some­times vaca­tions — and life — are ful­ly pro­grammed. No chance to be bored. We’ve list­ed a few books that rev­el in kick­ing back and let­ting imag­i­na­tion take over.

Ear­ly Read­ers for and About First and Sec­ond Grade. Long sub­ti­tle, but books that are fun to read. We’ve even includ­ed a joke book!

Frogs. Yes, there’s a frog among the char­ac­ters in Posey’s vaca­tion so you’ll find a few more frog books to read out loud.

Miss­ing Mom. Because the series takes place dur­ing first grade, Posey fre­quent­ly exam­ines her feel­ings about miss­ing her moth­er while she’s at school. She has a younger broth­er and a car­ing grand­fa­ther, but it’s that mom con­nec­tion that the Stepha­nies han­dle so well. 

Sleep-Overs. Has your child been on their first sleep-over yet? There’s almost as much anx­i­ety as there is in going to school! An unfa­mil­iar house and stay­ing up past bed­time … here are a few more books to read.

Teeth. How much can hap­pen dur­ing one spring vaca­tion? Well, Posey has a loose tooth. Here are some books about that tooth-los­ing expe­ri­ence, includ­ing one of our favorites, Throw Your Tooth On the Roof.

Tutus. Posey’s pink tutu is one of her trade­marks. When she first sets off for school, she won’t leave home with­out it.

Vaca­tions. What will we do on vaca­tion? Kids can be simul­ta­ne­ous­ly excit­ed and fear­ful about leav­ing home for this length of time, ven­tur­ing to an unknown place. A lit­tle read­ing about oth­er kids’ vaca­tions will help.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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