I've always loved reading Dewey's blog. She's got a great mix of book reviews, book musings, and contests. Her latest venture is Weekly Geeks, wherein a whole bunch of bloggers contribute to whatever the weekly theme may be. This is the first week that I've actually had the time to join in and I'm so excited about the theme - childhood books.
I've always been a big reader. When I was little, my mom made my brother and I have "quiet times". Not nap time, but rather an hour in which we had to be quiet. She probably did this for her sanity, but it was really clever of her. She gave my brother and I record players and some read-along-books that came with records. So my quiet times consisted of Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, and Peter & the Wolf. I'm not sure if I actually "read" along but I sure was quiet for an hour.
Then came elementary school and I learned how to read under my desk. Most teachers didn't notice and the ones that did probably didn't care. About this time I discovered A Little Princess. Everyone raves about The Secret Garden, but I honestly hated the whiny little Mary. For me, A Little Princess remains my favorite Frances Hodgson Burnett book and probably my most favorite book of all time. I love frank, queer, little Sara who misses her papa and makes up stories for the other boarding school girls.
However, the most important books of my childhood are probably the Berenstain Bear books. That smart mom of mine bought us practically the whole collection. And you can bet that if my brother and I wouldn't clean our room, then The Berenstain Bears and The Messy Room would make an appearance as our bedtime story. Or if we asked for too many treats in the grocery store, The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies was sure to be the bedtime book that night.
Books have always been important to my family. It's perfectly acceptable to read a book at the dinner table. It's also perfectly normal to try to talk to my dad while he's reading and not get a response til 5 minutes later. In reading this over, I realize that it makes the perfect Mother's Day post. Thanks, Mom (and Dad) for all the great books and for those tricky life lessons disguised as books.