19 September 2005

This post is inspired by Elizabeth's blog. Many things about her blog could inspire someone—her gorgeous photos, great writing and beautiful children. With the recent change of her blog header to a photo of books on her bookshelf, I was transported back to when books were most magical.

I recall my favorite books from childhood with overwhelming fondness. I'm always eager to recommend the titles, hoping to foster enchantment like I experienced reading. Sometimes I want to have kids just to be able to expose them to my favorite books. Because that's nowhere in the near future, I'm going to indulge myself by listing some of my favorites here.

Richard Scarry's Busy Town

Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books: Hilary Knight's drawings alone shine in these books, but the stories of lovable spinster Mrs. Piggle Wiggle curing the neighborhood kids' various deficiencies of manners are delightful.

The Boxcar Children: I only ever (repeatedly) read the original—in its hardback, black silhouette illustrations—and I'm glad. I reveled in the orphans' resourcefulness, wishing I could eke out a life sleeping on pine needles and reusing bent nails.

No Flying in the House: I will forever associate this book with my childhood best friend Leslie, who lent it to me and who fueled my interest in the mystical. Among her yarns were tales of seeing ET walk by her window, jewels buried in her yard and ghosts in the house. This book told the story of a little girl who was part fairy, and I'm just guessing Leslie at one point told me she was half-fairy, too.

Ellen Tebbits: Of course I loved the Ramona books, but I particularly enjoyed this book by Beverly Cleary. I was enamored of the name of Ellen's friend Austine.

Baby Island: It's a wonder I'm a feminist by some of the books I used to read. In this book, two pre-teen girls care for a bunch of children who all get shipwrecked. To my credit, I think I liked, again, the resourcefulness of the characters.

The Anastasia Krupnik books: About a rather nerdy girl with brown hair and glasses. Of course I liked these books!

Starring Sally J Freedman as Herself: I liked all Judy Blume books but this one in particular. It was set in 1945 America and introduced me to some of my first knowledge of Jews, like a character got impregnanted by a goy. That was bad.

I'm leaving out The Babysitter's Club, Sleepover Friends and Sweet Valley Twins/High books that were ubiquitous in my youth. Just like I pretend I don't read US Weekly.

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