Favorite Children's Books, Then and Now
I accept that there are contemporary trends that have left me behind. I don’t know the latest musical artists, and don’t follow the current clothing fads, but I never considered that I’d be eating dust when it came to children’s literature.
That was always “my area” in our lives when we raised our children. David could be counted on to play with the them and teach them about classic movies and fabulous music, and I would expose them to fine children’s literature. I loved reading to the kids, and did so a lot. When they were little, I had the liberty of selecting the books and choose favorites from my own childhood, including:
“Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey
“Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak
“The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein
“Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Suess
“How Fletcher Was Hatched” by Wende and Harry Devlin
When our children were older and became readers, they chose books by Roald Dahl, the Goosebumps series by R. L. Stine and J. Lussier, the Animorphs series by K.A. Applegate and Michael Grant, and Choose Your Own Adventure books by Edward Packard.
On occasion, I would read novels to them, of which my favorite was “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” from the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis, and “Cold Sassy Tree” by Olive Ann Burns. I cringe to admit that I read “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck to my 8-year-old son, which we both felt was maybe too dark for that age. But when compared with “Sounder,” by William H. Armstrong, “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls and “Huckleberry Fin” by Mark Twain, it was maybe not too bad.
CHILDREN’S BOOKS TODAY
I loved the time spent reading to my children, and now it is one of the added bonuses as a grandparent that I’m able to read to grandchildren. Snuggling and reading together is pure magic, and I know enough to treasure it because it won’t last.
I’m fortunate to spend afternoons with my six-year-old granddaughter Athena after school every day, and so we head to the library frequently. We’ve learned a few things about borrowing books:
· There is a 50-count limit per checkout
Some books chime when you exit through the detectors, even when you check them out
And the fines can add up if we don’t get the books back in time