I’ve been thinking a little bit this week about what makes us fall in love with books as children. Is it the story? The characters? The illustrations? Or do we somehow just feel an instant connection with certain books? I also wondered if there was a particular book that seemed to be commonly loved among my peers (whose first memories of books would have been somewhere around the late 80s/early 90s). So, I asked a few friends to helped me out and tell me about their favourite book as a child and why. Here are their answers:
Clifford the Big Red Dog! It was because he was a big red dog. I remember, my mom even got me a stuffed toy which apparently was hard to find at the time…a really long time ago. And I loved dogs.
I LOVED The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I think what attracted me most is the colours (i’m not kidding you) and the big, simple pictures of the things he ate. The words weren’t complicated either. Best damn book!!
I really liked a book called The Busy Garage – the first book I ever read. It’s about a family on their way to the fair when their car breaks down and they have to take it to the mechanic (ahhh, the story of my life). My brother spent days (hours? minutes? It’s hard to measure time when you’re a kid) teaching me how to read it.
One of my favourite books when I was younger was Red is Best by Kathy Stinson. I think mostly I was jealous that she had red rain boots and I always wanted a pair like that…but, I think I just really thought she was such a cool kid – who could put together wicked outfits, and who understood that parents just didn’t get it.
My favourite book was Summer by Alice Low. The book’s home was my grandmother’s cottage and she would read it to me, my sister, and my cousins every summer. The illustrations are awesome and it talked about everything we did at the cottage – from eating watermelon and s’mores to to cooling off in the water and having water fights. I was the lucky member of the family to swipe this book when the cottage was sold. The cover has fallen off and it is taped together but I will still keep it to read to my children every summer.
My favourite book was Rosie’s Babies by Martin Waddell. I liked it because my Mom used to read it to me every night! Plus she got it for me because I looked like Rosie!
My favourite book as a young child was Alligator Pie by Dennis Lee (who also happens to be one of the founders of House of Anansi). It’s a book of absurd poems, and I loved it because it was just so much fun. I remember being young enough to not really understand the concept of alligator pie and why it was so strange, but the way Lee strung together language so playfully made me love it regardless.
Though my little poll is by no means scientific, I think it does say something about the books we love. They’re all different–and we love them for different reasons–but they still manage to stick with us for years after we outgrow bedtime stories.
What about you? What was your favourite book when you were younger? Do you remember why you fell in love with it? Leave a comment and share your memories!