Today marks the first day of Children's Book Week 2009 and I'm pretty excited for it this year. I have a few things planned and will try my best to post every day this week (exam week actually gives you time, go figure).
To kick things off, what are some of your favorite children's books, and why do you love them? You need not rate them if that's too hard, all you need to do is name a few off the top of your head.
Growing up I remember loving quite a few books, but some stood out more than others. First, there was the Mandie series by Lois Gladys Leppard. My grandmother gave me Mandie and the Jumping Juniper (book 17) for Christmas one year and gave a different Mandie book to each of the girls from my generation. I read through mine and loved it, then I read through my sister's (which I loved more to be honest). Eventually I read through all 40 books, plus the special, the Young Mandie series, and now New Horizons. It actually kind of breaks my heart that I will never know what happens to my favorite young detective (and which guy she ultimately ends up with) because the wonderful author, Ms Leppard passed away last year. I really wish I could have met her and thanked her for how much this series has done for me and all the hard times it got me through. I owe her so much.
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll was another book that I read and reread constantly. The copy I owned had once belonged to my great (or possibly great-great) grandmother. It was leather bound and small enough to fit in my pocket, and believe me, I carried it every where. I remember one Spring I kept it in my coat pocket and any time I was in a car or a line, I would pull it out and read from wherever I had left off previously. I still own the copy, though I must admit that it is torn and ragged and the front cover fell off. I no longer read that one, but keep it safe, and own a brand-new hardcover version that comes with Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I credit this book with first getting me to enjoy reading, and also to enjoy fantasy.
Holes by Louis Sachar holds a very special place in my heart as well. I'm feeling a little old now because I remember reading this book many times when I was younger, and just October I met Louis Sachar on the 10th Anniversary of his publication of Holes. I first saw it at a book fair and I'm not sure whether I chose it or my mother chose it for me, but somehow I ended up with my own copy. And we read it in school. My best memory, however, is after my mother read it, she decided to read it to the rest of the family. We would sit down together for dinner at that time (something we haven't done in ages now, I admit) and every night she would read us the next chapter of the book. Afterwards, we would discuss it, and sometimes convince her to read a second chapter. It really brought my family together, even for a short time. The Anniversary Tour was great because I was able to go with my mother and my brother (who, coincidentally was reading it in school at that time), so it was something we could share again, 10 years later, though there were only 3 of us instead of 7. Mr. Sachar is a wonderful man, as well. On that night we were also introduced to Small Steps which I had always known about, but had never known was related to Holes--this book is equally brilliant, though completely other.
It's no secret that these days I'm completely in love with Susan Patron's The Higher Power of Lucky, and more recently, its sequel, Lucky Breaks. The messages of these books are so strong and the books are wonderfully and uniquely written as well. Patron's characters stand out among some of my favorite, especially the knot-tying Lincoln. You can read reviews I've written about her books here on my blog (Lucky Breaks was my last post). Ms Patron is a lovely person too, and recently friended me on facebook, which was quite a treat for me.
So, what are some of your favorites? Which ones should I be reading (and reviewing)?
For more information on Children's Book Week, please visit the official webpage. Be sure to check there for events in your area as well!