Nine Books from Your Childhood

I found a list of a Houston TV (ABC-13) station’s selection of “nine best books from your childhood.” While none of them were the best books from my childhood (none of them were written when I was a child), I think that all nine should be on a list of books any parent should want to get for their 3 – 7-year-old.

My list of the nine books of my childhood might not give away my age, but they will tell you that I’m old enough to be a grandpa, which I am, or even a great-grandpa, which I am not.

My favorite book was one few if any parents today would consider themselves politically correct by cover of Little Black Samboreading Little Black Sambo (by Helen Bannerman) to their children. While I thought the book was a wonderful story of adventure, it’s simply the title of the book that throws most people off today.

Other books I loved where:

The Little Engine That Could, with its theme of determination and its catch phrase, “I think I can. I think I can.”

Goodnight Moon, (Margaret Wise Brown), may have been my mother’s favorite book because I must have always fallen asleep before she finished it. When I encountered it again a couple of years ago, I remembered it being around when I was a kid, but I didn’t remember much about it.

Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne), the little bear is so loveable because he and his friends, Tiger, Eeyore, and Piglet are very childlike.

Black Beauty (Anna Sewell), while I remember the book and its story of success against great odds, it might have also be why I am and always have been afraid of horses. Still, I love the book.

cover of Peter PanPeter Pan (J.M. Barrie), what child doesn’t, at one time or another, feel lost. I never really wanted to find Neverland, but there were times I would have considered it.

Heidi (Joanna Spyri), which I remember more because of the movie starring Shirley Temple that came along later in my life, than for the book itself.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Beatrix Potter), may have spurred one of my brothers into thinking that he could get away with crawling through a neighbor’s backyard of plants in order to steal tomatoes. When Bugs Bunny came along I thought of him as a cousin of the rabbits of Peter Rabbit.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (Virginia Lee Buxton), I loved this book, probably because it was about a steam engine, not because it was a story about turning defeat into victory. I might have liked it even more if I had known a 12-year-old boy suggested the ending.

One other book that I remember reading, although it wasn’t one of my childhood favorites was Madeleine (Ludwig Bemelmans), “In an old house in Paris…” My teacher gave me the book when she heard I was going to have my tonsils removed. It wasn’t much comfort to me because Madeleine had her appendix removed, which was an entirely different thing and probably not as bad. It seems I didn’t want a story at that time. I just wanted ice-cream.

So, that’s my list of 12. What’s yours?

Related Articles: 9 best books from your childhood |


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