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
The first map I remember was flashed briefly on TV, part of a commercial for Story Book Land. It aired on “Captain Tugg,” a local kiddie program. I adored Captain Tugg, so anything he endorsed must be gold. Like the home-movie type kid shows of the 50s and 60s, Story Book Land was a family-owned amusement park. And for my ninth birthday, I was going to Story Book Land!… more
Lately I’ve been asking groups about their favorite books — as a get-to-know-you activity of sorts. You know: “My name is Melanie…and one of my favorite books is Anne of Green Gables.” That sort of thing. I’ve asked groups that include children and groups with only adults. (I ask groups of kids this a lot — great marketing research.)… more