Thursday, March 3, 2016

Magic Shoes

There are certain books from my childhood that I absolutely loved and cherish to this day.  Many of them, I have bought for my own kids so that those books are in their repertoire too.  Pancakes for Breakfast, The Best Valentine in the World, and Blueberries for Sal are a few on the top of my all-time favorites list.  Another one is The Country Bunny with the Little Golden Shoes.  Sometimes as Esme picks books to read before bedtime, she'll pick one off the shelf, hold it behind her back and say, "It's one of your favorites, Mommy- guess!"

I shared my love of Pancakes for Breakfast with my niece and nephew this weekend, and told them that the neat thing about this book was that you got to tell it in your own words.  After I "read" the story, it was so neat have my nephew pick up the book and say, "Now it's my turn!"

Aside from Blueberries for Sal, I haven't met too many people who are familiar with these other books.  But yesterday, something neat happened.  I was reading The School of Essential Ingredients, and in a chapter where an elderly character is daydreaming about special moments in her life, I read this:

"She hadn't expected the wine bubbles to meet her nose the way they did, like small, giggling children...Her children, two toddler girls, finally in pajamas, settled on the couch while she read the story of the country bunny with the magic shoes."  I was delighted to see, and understand, this reference to the children's book that I loved.

It's probably this love for books and the power they have to teach and inspire that makes me want to publish my own children's book some day.  But until that dream is realized, I will continue to write and read, and then share every once in awhile, the books that have shaped, and continue to shape, me.

If you're looking for a great book to share with your kids and grandkids, I'd highly recommend the four I listed above, in addition to these other winners: (And to think no one is paying me to say this!)

Harriet's Garden by Nancy Carlson
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parrish

And a few for the older kids-- From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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