Adventures in Children's Books (Melissa Robbins)

Fortunately, I grew up with parents who encouraged reading. I have fond memories of them taking me to the coolest used bookstore. The shelves were so tall and close together that it felt like a maze. I loved strolling down the aisles looking for the perfect book, getting lost along the way. One dead end was my favorite. National Geographics with their distinct yellow binding, some quite old filled the four walls, floor to ceiling. Many of the NG's and their pictures ended up in my school reports.

As for the books I read as a child, my favorite, favorite children's book was (and still is) Riverboat Adventures by Eric and Lucy Child. I don't remember where it came from or who gave it to me. It's an English book filled with words with extra u's and words like cheeky that we Yanks don't use. Such a shame. Cheeky is such a fun word. The illustrations and adventures of an otter, mole, and mouse (who couldn't swim) on a riverboat enchanted me.

I spent many summers with my grandparents and at bedtime they would read my dad's old books, such as Pantaloon the bakery poodle, Nurse Nancy, Uncle Remus stories, and a book about a bunch of rabbits. I can't remember the name of it, but all the rabbits had names like, Molly, Jolly, Dolly, etc.

I was/is a HUGE fan of Richard Scarry. I LOVED how he drew all his animals, Huckle the cat, Lowly Worm, Pig Will and Pig Won't. I enjoy reading those stories to my kids who I'm happy to say like Richard Scarry as much as I do.

As I got older, I moved to chapter books, the Bunnicula series being one of my favorites. When I read the stories to my kids, I still laugh at the paranoia exploits of Chester the cat, who an avid reader is convinced the new family bunny is a vampire. Move over Edward. Piers Anthony's Xanth series about a mythical world with dragons, sorcery, and puns made my best friend Lauren and I pretend we were from that land and spent hours in the backyard.

After reading Treasure Island, my fascination with pirates began and started me off on my writing adventures. I had a big crush on Jim Hawkins and started a sequel with him and a girl who had a striking resemblance to me.

I have to admit I think it's wonderful when a book spans generations and our kids and grandkids can enjoy the same stories we enjoyed in our youth.


Reese Mobley said...

My parents were readers as well and encouraged my sister and I to read. I did the same for my children, but sadly only one of three maintained that interest. She gets to read more than I do and we often share books.

Penny Rader said...

I love trolling through book stores--I'd be so very lost without books. And it makes my heart happy when I see people reading.