Two lists this time, one for mine and one for the books I loved reading to my girls.
My top ten:
Wren by Marie Killilea – I read this book until it fell apart. I remember the pink cover and the feel of it in my hands. The story of a child born with CP told through the eyes of her sister. I still do not know what fascinated me about this but I was enthralled.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – I know I should have wanted to be Jo. Everyone wanted to be Jo. But really I wanted to be Beth. Everyone loved Beth. She was not strong like Jo or pretty like Meg or spoiled like Amy. She is a homebody who loves her sisters and DIES. WAHHHHHHH!
Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – Much as I wanted to be simply Beth, I was Meg. Awkward, smart, unpleasant, disliked but she still get to go on an adventure and save the day.
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne – This is only on my list because it is one of the books that I wanted so much to share with The Girls and neither of them like them. Crushed I read them again myself and saw a it in a whole new way. Any one who says that Winnie The Pooh is not a sad book has not read them again as an adult.
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans – In an old house in Paris covered with vines, Lived 12 little girls in 2 straight lines. I could continue but it is not the same without the pictures of Madam and the yellow hats. Luckily, this one The Girls loved too.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum – I might be a bit of a stickler here. It is not The Wizard of Oz which is a lovely movie but is not the book. And I can’t in good conscious link to the newest edition of the book because the slippers on the cover are RED, which we know is not the case. This is the book that my mother used to teach me to read. She would always stop at the most exciting part, put the book next to my nightlight and kiss me good night. Five second after she was out of the room I was struggling to read the words to find out WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN? Well played, Mom.
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – You know how I know if you read this as a child? You spent inordinate amounts of time knocking on the back of closets, because in the US that was the closest thing we had to Wardrobes. You know how I know if you read this as an adult? Because you feel the worst for Susan because she grew up.
Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol – I don’t understand this one. I do not, as a grown up reader, like mysteries. But these books I would read over and over again even after I knew how the boy wonder figured it out.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg – Proof I was a nerd even when being a nerd was uncool. Run away to a museum? Awesome!
- Frances by Russell Hoban – Bread and Jam for Frances, Best Friends for Frances, A Baby Sister for Frances, Bedtime for Frances; I loved them all. I am very fond of jam.
Top Ten I Loved to Read to The Girls:
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak – It is OK to be who you are. It is OK to be a ferocious beast. There will always be a hot supper waiting for you when you get back. That is a Momma message if I ever heard one.
- Boo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton – I can actually still recite this word for word from beginning to end even after not having read it in about 4 years.
- Dr Seuss – Pick one. Any of them. This time of year it is the Grinch. But The Lorax, The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish Two Fish, etc. etc.
- The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn – Even at 8 and almost 12, some days The Girls still ask for hand kisses. And I will still give them. One in each hand.
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems – We are exuberant Mo Willems cheerleaders in this house. Pigeon, Elephant and Piggie, Naked Mole Rate, Kuffle Bunny are all great, but stopping one pigeon from riding the bus was the beginning.
- The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch – While so many Moms will gush over Munsch’s Love You Forever*, this book about the girl who outsmarts the dragon to rescue the prince only to discover he is a jerk has the best ending line ever. “They didn’t get married after all.”
- Skippy Jon Jones by Judith Byron Schachner – His ears are too big for his head! His head is too big for his body! He is a cat who wants to be a chihuahua. With great sing song rhyme and rhythm, who wouldn’t want to be.
- If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Joffe Numeroff – This series has lead to afternoons of if you do A than B,C,D,E,F,G,H, …. and then A. If you give The Girl a bonnet. If you give Little B a basket. And so on and so on.
- Olivia by Ian Falconer – This and the next choice were Little B’s favorites. Anyone who knows her will respond with “But, of course.” Because they are so similar. They are both “good at singing 40 very loud songs and [are] very good at wearing people out.”
- Eloiseby Kay Thompson – Also the epitome of Little B. “Henry James would want to study her. Queen Victoria would recognize her as an Equal. The New York Jets would want to have her on their side. Lewis Carroll would love her (once he got over the initial shock). She knows everything about The Plaza. She is interested in people when they are not boring.” Yup, that is my girl too.
*Which I find to be distressingly creepy as the stacker mom will not let go.