I’ve actually been looking forward to this particular Top Ten Tuesday prompt for a while. I usually struggle one way or another but everything really just fell into place perfectly for this one! Books and reading were a huge part of my childhood – especially since there was a strict video game ban and limited television in my house. We were always reading to each other and my mother prided herself on keeping a pretty good library for all ages. Looking back, she did a great job! All of the books I selected are ones I remember my mom reading aloud to us or books my sister and I would read to each other. I tried to find pictures from inside the books for most of these so you could see the pictures I fell in love with.
The Giant Zucchini by Catherine Siracusa
Edgar Mouse and Robert Squirrel try to win first prize at the County Fair for growing the largest vegetable. But they can’t compete with Humphrey Hog, the giant zucchini champion . . . or can they?
This might have been the #1 book at the house. In the story, they sing to the zucchini and my mom definitely sang it out loud for us. I can still sing the teenie zucchini song. I’m pretty sure my sister could too.
The Knight at Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne
Peacocks for dinner and boys in skirts? That’s what Jack and Annie find when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to the Middle Ages for another wild adventure. In the Great Gall of the castle, a feast is under way. But Jack and Annie aren’t exactly welcome guests!
The Magic Tree House was the best when I was little. I think these were my first chapter books and the series I kept with the longest. Long after I was past the ‘reading age’ for the book, I was always finding excuses to read the new books. I remember reading them a lot to daycare kids who couldn’t quite read yet. The Knight at Dawn was my favorite in the series. Also, while digging around for pics for this post, I found out that there was a Magic Tree House anime???
Underwear! by Mary Elise Monsell
Bismark the Buffalo is grumpy and unlovable until his friends teach him how to laugh and show him that wearing colorful underwear can be great fun.
This book was so good for giggles! There’s so many crazy pairs of underwear and the characters were really fun. Plus seeing a zebra in zany underwear is good for a laugh or two!
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria.
“Let’s smell her,” says Jo.
Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again?
The pictures in this were honestly just so gorgeous and the pictures were so full of movement that even though the story was great, what I really remember are the cute dancing mice with fun hairstyles and bright clothes.
Miss Spider’s Tea Party by David Kirk
When lonely Miss Spider tries to host a tea party, the other bugs refuse to come for fear of being eaten!
This book has bright colors, fun bugs, AND TEA PARTIES!! What more could you ask for? I remember being really excited later in life when I was babysitting and the TV show for this series came on!
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
Stellaluna is the tender story of a lost young bat who finally finds her way safely home to her mother and friends.
This inspired a life-long love of bats. I remember us even going to a bat program at a local nature center to build bat houses because of this book! This may also be the beginnings of my love of Halloween? Spoopy bats for life!
Pet Food by Jan Pieńkowski
The five little monsters offer young children a painless learning experience that is also highly entertaining.
I couldn’t remember the name of this book and managed to find it by googling the first and last lines of the book. They’ve stuck with me for over 20 years. The monsters were all super fun looking and look at their pet! SO CUTE!
Frederick by Leo Lionni
While the other field mice work to gather grain and nuts for winter, Frederick sits on a sunny rock by himself. “I gather sun rays for the cold dark winter days,” he tells them. Another day he gathers “colors,” and then “words.” And when the food runs out, it is Frederick, the dreamer and poet, whose endless store of supplies warms the hearts of his fellow mice, and feeds their spirits during the darkest winter days.
I tried not to do anything we read at school but Leo Lionni was one of my mom’s favorite author/artists and this book was our favorite. In recent years, we got matching stuffed animal Fredericks.
Harvey Potter’s Balloon Farm by Jerdine Nolen
Harvey Potter was a very strange fellow indeed. He was a farmer but not like any farmer you’ve ever met. He didn’t grow corn, okra, or tomatoes. Harvey Potter grew balloons. No one knew exactly how he did it, but with the help of the light of a full moon, one friendly child catches a peek of just how Harvey Potter does it. And keeps some magic for herself.
The balloons in this were SO COOL! I remember flipping through the pages, not reading, just so I could look at all the balloons. There was also a failed attempt to grow my own balloon farm.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wells Brown
In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.” And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room — to the picture of the three little bears sitting on chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens, to everything one by one — the little bunny says goodnight.
I’m pretty sure this was my first book ever. I still own it and it’s been worn down to where it’s a super well-loved cardboard book. My mom took me to see a symphony performance based on Goodnight Moon when I was older and it might have been my first time to go see the local symphony as well.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/ so be sure to go check her out!
Were any of these books part of your childhood? What books from your childhood really stuck with you? Tell me in the comments!