Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Childhood Heroes

In case you couldn't tell from my last post, I kind of like books. Just a bit. Lately, I feel as though I've had a bit of writers block. Since I've been on such a reading novels kick the last few weeks, I thought it might be fun to give you all a taste of some of my all time favorite books. The books that have affected me the most. The ones that will probably never ever leave my bookshelf.

Today I'll feature some of my favorite books from childhood. Books that captured my imagination right from the start and helped me to fall in love with the written word. These are the books that I would almost always pick out at the library and inspire hours upon hours of playtime.

First up: Are You My Mother?

Found on
Surprisingly, I do not actually own this book. But I do remember there being a time when I was a kid going to the library and always asking if they had the book Are You My Mother. I don't know why I loved this book so much. Maybe I had a really strong attachment to my mom (who is pretty fantastic if I do say so myself). Or maybe I thought the pictures were funny. I'm not sure. But I do remember that this was one of the books I would always ask the librarian about.

Next: Snow White

I've always loved the story of Snow White. It was the first movie I saw in a theatre (I was 2) and it has been my favorite fairy tale ever since. These were my two favorite Snow White books to get from the library. The pictures are absolutely stunning, and even now I could flip through the pages and look at the illustrations for hours. Yet, each book had a completely different artistic style. One is more foresty and rugged, while the other has more of a dream/fantasy/winter world feel. I also feel like I like these two because they are closer to the Brothers Grimm version of the story. I own the book on the right, but not the one below. If any of you want to find that book for me, you'll be my best friend forever.
I couldn't find the cover, but I love this pic. It's from
Onto chapter books:

Picture from
Midnight in the Dollhouse

This book still sits on my bookshelf in my apartment. The spine has been cracked several times over, and I wouldn't be surprised if pages were to start falling out. It's a story about a girl growing up right after the Civil War and breaks her hip. She has to stay in bed for three months, so to pass the time her mother buys her dolls and her brother makes them a house. Naturally - the dolls can talk to each other. I feel like there are several reasons why I loved this book so much. One, I broke my legs often as a kid so I could relate to having to stay in bed all of the time and needing something to do. Also, I loved dolls and I had a big dollhouse my aunt had made for my sister and I. So I went tot he store and bought dolls to look just like the ones in the book and I play out their adventures in their own house. I also loved historical novels, so many of my loves were wrapped up into the one story.

American Girls 

My sister and I ate up the American Girl books. I already mentioned these in my last post, but I felt as though they had to be spoken about again. My favorite was Molly. I have the doll and a majority of her clothes and accessories. (Yes, I still own them.) I feel these books are the reason why I love historical fiction so much. I read these books from Felicity, to Josephina, Kirstin, Addy, Samantha, and even a bit of Kit. I even subscribed to the magazine and made my friends in school put on plays of my favorite stories. (How they tolerated me, I have no idea.) I haven't kept up with American Girl for years, but it still makes me smile and I don't mind visiting the store in downtown Chicago on occasion.

There of course are SEVERAL more books that I could talk about, but I don't want to bore you. Although I will give honorable mentions to Madeline and Babysitters Club. Madeline and I could relate because she went to the hospital - and I practically grew up in the hospital. Also, she was the smallest in her school, and I've always been the smallest too. And Babysitters Club was so fun! I started with Babysitters Little Sister then moved up to the "real" thing. I always wished I could start a club just like theirs! Kristy was the coolest. 

So, what did you read when you were a child? What captured your imagination and inspired hours of playtime? What did you do as a kid when you needed to entertain yourself on a rainy day? What literary (or even movie or TV) characters were your heroes?


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