"There are perhaps no days of our childhoods we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book." - Marcel Proust
Book lovers such as we are, can there really only be one favorite book from our childhoods? We both had so many books that came to mind immediately, that we decided why not just tell you about them all!?
When Chelsea and I first started talking about a favorite childhood book, I immediately thought of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. I read that book so many times in second grade that my book spine was broken and the pages were held together with paperclips! (Though now that I think about it – if this was my favorite book, why am I still to this day terrified of spiders?!). The next day, as I was wondering what I love most about Charlotte’s Web I remembered The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister and my love of this story and the book itself - how colorful the pages are, how sad I felt for the rainbow fish, and how sweet the story ended. Then, the more I thought about books I read in my childhood, I felt like there was a flip book going off in my mind of all the books that stand out to me.
There was a time when I was very young that all I wanted to read was Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola (my love of pasta started very young :)). At one point, I was trying to read every The Berenstain Bears book by Stan and Jan Berenstain because that bear family just made me smile, and I am pretty sure I read every Walt Disney Company book that was printed! Between Cinderella, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and all the rest, I found my adventure, my princesses finding their princes, and my happily ever afters.
As I started to grow older, my tastes transformed and I wanted to read any and all Judy Blume novels (Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret. anyone??). Then I was swept up in The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids by Debbie Dadey, which was then followed up by Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. I loved imagining I was a child mastermind saving the day. And I don’t believe a childhood is complete without reading Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (but Chelsea and I will talk more about that in other blogs - stay tuned!).
Like Kelli, I had one book that immediately popped into my head when we started discussing this topic as a blog idea - Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. While I know this is a series, this is the book that still sticks out to me. I loved the sense of adventure and Laura’s independence. Then another book came to mind - Stone Soup by Marcia Brown! I remember reading this and thinking of how cunning (probably not the word that came to mind in first grade though!) the soldiers were.
Another favorite of mine growing up was The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. Ladybugs still hold a special place in my heart. I became so obsessed with them as a kid that my grandma always bought me clothes with ladybugs on them, or she would add little ladybug patches to any gifts she would send me. I’ve even decorated my kitchen with ladybugs at one point!
A book that I loved growing up, and still do to this day, is Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret by Judy Blume. I still quote that book. Just the other day I introduced someone new to the classic line, “We must, we must, we must increase our bust!”. I feel like this is an essential book to a girl’s childhood and I hope it sticks around for generations to come.
As I got older, I kept looking for those books full of adventure. I devoured the Dear America books, especially the Royal Diaries installments. The sense of adventure that came from young girls living in different time periods - I was enthralled and couldn’t get enough!
And who can forget anything by Shel Silverstein. I’m obsessed with all of his books to this day. The Giving Tree teaches such a valuable lesson that I think we often forget, and I still find comfort in reading A Light in the Attic, Where the Sidewalk Ends, or Falling Up. I end up right back in my childhood when I read them, even though I find new meaning in them as an adult.
Reading Keeps Us Young
As you can tell, our reading tastes were all over the place (one of us is still like that when it comes to reading!), but that’s childhood for you! Jumping from one thing to the next, learning your favorites, and exploring the world through books. The common theme between all the stories we read growing up was the adventure, excitement, and certainty that we would always get our happily ever after. To this day, some of our favorite books still have those themes as a commonality, and we look for those comforts when seeking out new books to get lost in.
You’ve heard about our favorite books, but what about yours? What was your favorite book to read growing up? Maybe we’ve read it! If not, we’d love to check it out. It is never too late to go back and read a story that was an important or sentimental part of your childhood, and it’s even sweeter when people we care about share those memories with us. What did Peter Pan say? “Even though you want to try to, never grow up.” Therefore, we are never too old to read and re-read the meaningful books that impacted us as children.
If you’d like to see what we’re reading now, check out our Goodreads profiles (Chelsea's and Kelli's) or follow us on Instagram and Facebook! If you’re excited to see what other topics we’ll be covering in the coming months, make sure to subscribe. Thanks for reading with us!