#openbook What is your favorite childhood book?
Ugh. It is so hard to name a favorite anything, especially for something like childhood, which involves an expanse of time and stages of development. My favorite thing to read when I was in fourth grade was not the same as in kindergarten. Just like shoe sizes, my favorite reads grew along with me.
It is difficult for me to scour my memory and pinpoint one favorite book. I was surrounded by them as a child. We had so many books that I would set them up in a circle in the middle of our living room and read them one by one. I carried them with me whenever possible and always had a healthy stack next to my bed. So, I won’t be naming one favorite book.
Instead, I will list a few books from my childhood that I read to my children. These books left an impression on me when I was younger. So, I plucked them from the library shelves or searched for them on Amazon to share with my kids.
The Snow Day by Ezra Keats
There are a lot more books featuring Black characters now than when I was a child. Most of the books in my little library centered White characters. There wasn’t even one Black Disney princess. When I first read Keats’ book, I remember flipping through the pages over and over. I loved seeing the little Black boy make his way through the snow.
I made sure my little ones read this book, adding it to their library at home.
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
This was one of those books that I would rush to in the school library during reading time. When I came across it at a second-hand store (we buy a lot of used books), I grabbed it for my daughters.
Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber
Ira’s problem reminded me of my older sister, who had a doll that she brought with her EVERYWHERE. I also had a cousin who kept a baby blanket for so long that she used to wrap the last little strip left of it around her neck before going to sleep. She was eighteen. It’s a pretty cool book about when a child is ready to let go of something.
The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde H. Swift
I just found this book while rearranging the house. It is my husband’s copy from when he was a child. While I didn’t have the chance to keep much due to my transient childhood, he got to keep a lot.
His mother gave this to me after our oldest was born. He loved the book because he and his younger brother saw the real Jeffrey’s Hook Light (Little Red Lighthouse) and the George Washington Bridge (the Great Gray Bridge) whenever they visited his grandmother, who lived in Washington Heights.
My kids read newer books as well. They have the opportunity to engage in more diverse reading, with characters representing an array of backgrounds. But I still like to have them connect with the stories my husband and I read as children.