Thursday, February 28, 2008

Things I Learned from Children's Books

I read a great post on a lovely little blog, Finding Wonderland about what we learn from our reading as children and teens. And of course, it brought back some great memories. I remember reading Winnie the Pooh and Behind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassidy (some of you know that story, about how it might be the book that eventually inspired me to become a librarian! If you don't know it, ask me, it's one of my favorite stories!) But those two books, and There's a Monster at the End of This Book (I heart Grover!) all taught me a certain silliness that I've never grown out of. I still am charmed by Pooh's ability to be smart and silly at the same time. A fine line to walk.

Or, reading The Call of the Wild, which inspired a whole slew of reading on sled dogs and Alaska. Of course, I only later connected with the book's more philosophical nature. (reason to re-read your old favorites!) And Judy Blume's Deenie and what it meant to have scolisis (which, in reading it aloud to my mother, I discovered she had as well!) And of course, Anne of Green Gables where I expanded my vocabulary immensely! And all the Choose Your Own Adventures and Trixie Belden books I poured over during rainy summer afternoons when the pool was closed where I got to step into the shoes of an international spy, space traveler or time traveler.

I remember Tess Reismeyer from Beginning with Books saying once that among the books with the most diverse vocabularies, children's picture books, were among the highest ranked. Ya'll know that I often start learning about new subjects in the picture book section (remember my vlog about The Civil War book, Fields of Fury which has led to about 15 other Civil War books landing on my nightstand this winter. What have YOU learned from the books of your past?


adaena said...

Great blog topic. I like to think that some of my goofiness stems from owning "There's A Monster at the End of this Book" too. I can still picture those brick walls and the giant lettering warning readers not to turn the page!

Many of my literary tastes emerged while in junior high. I remember reading a book called "The Endless Steppe" about a girl who was exiled to Siberia. This began what would become a life-long obsession with depressing literature. Had I not discovered it, I may be reading something else these days like, umm, those books where a cat solves the mystery.

suzi w. said...

I have always believed (before I heard Madeleine L'Engle say it) that children's literature is BETTER than most of what is written for adults b/c kids have higher standards.

Loved Behind the Attic Wall and LOVE There's a Monster at the end of this book.

There's a poster in the movie "You've Got Mail" that says "Everything I needed to know I learned from Children's books" and I would love to see that poster.