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It's probably no secret that I love children's books. I love the illustrations and the stories. I love the fantasy, the world-building, the freedom, the problem-solving. I love the evocation of earlier times. I love the imagination that flowers and blossoms and swells out of them.

I can't remember learning to read. I think I've always known how. I've been speed-reading since I was a child as well, and since reading was my primary and favorite source of entertainment, I've read A LOT. I keep good books, and I hunt down books I read as a child so I can add them to my library now. I have a tall bookshelf stuffed full of children's and young adult books that, even though it's placed at the entrance to the playroom, is actually full of MY books.

When we moved to Sweden, the movers made us inventory EVERYTHING in our household. I had to count all my books and was both chagrined and proud to find out I had over 1500. We've been here 8 years now, and that number has been steadily climbing, mostly thanks to the wonderful efforts of my mom who has kept me in a steady supply of English books in a country where books have been both astronomically expensive and highly taxed for years.

Yesterday was International Children's Book Day, celebrated on the anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen's birth. My kids and I are reading The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White, which if you haven't managed to read it along with his other beloved classics Charlotte's Web, and Stuart Little, I can highly recommend. Introducing my children to books I love and re-read as an adult is one of the best things about having children in the first place.

I guess this is sort of a meme since ozswede did it first. :) These lists are vastly truncated, as otherwise they would each be about a mile long.

Favorite books I read as a child that I have read over and over again into adulthood
  • Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  • Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
  • The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner Chandler
  • The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
  • The Melendy Children books by Elizabeth Enright
  • Heidi by Joanna Spyri
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • Lad: A Dog by Albert Payson Terhune
  • Irish Red by Jim Kjelgaard
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • The Three Toymakers by Ursula Moray Williams
  • The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss
  • The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  • The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
  • Charlie & The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  • The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Edwards
  • A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  • Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
  • 101 Dalmations and The Starlight Barking by Dodie Smith
  • The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • everything ever written by Louisa May Alcott
  • A Little Princess and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
  • The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit
  • Half-Magic by Edward Eager
  • The Naughtiest Girl in the School by Enid Blyton
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth Speare George
  • The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I mean Noel) by Ellen Raskin
  • The Forgotten Door, and Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key

Children's books I read as an adult and enjoyed
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  • A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Porter Stratton
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
  • Dinotopia by James Gurney
  • All-of-A-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
  • Puck of Pook's Hill by Rudyard Kipling
  • Lionboy by Zizou Cordier
  • Time Stops for No Mouse by Michael Hoeye
  • Tuesday by David Wiesner
  • everything ever written by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Pish Posh Said Hieronymus Bosch by Nancy Willard
  • Swallows & Amazons by Arthur Ransome
  • The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron
  • The Last Treasure, and Going Through the Gate by Janet S. Anderson

Books I have enjoyed reading with or to my kids
  • Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat by Morrell Gipson
  • Jamberry by Bruce Degen
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom
  • The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer
  • No Fighting, No Biting by Else Minarik
  • What Do You Say, Dear? and What Do You Do, Dear? by Sesyle Joslin
  • A Kiss For Little Bear by Else Minarik
  • Bread and Jam For Francis by Russell Hoban
  • James & the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  • Mrs Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  • There's No Such Thing as a Dragon by Jack Kent
  • When I Was Very Young by A.A. Milne
  • The Digging-est Dog by Al Perkins
  • all of the Pettson & Findus books by Sven Nordqvist
  • Feathers For Lunch by Lois Ehlert
  • Mouse Paint! and Mouse Count! by Ellen Stoll Walsh
  • Barnyard Dance, and Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton
  • The Star-Bellied Sneetches by Dr. Seuss

Bright and Beautiful Birthday Wishes to travelertrish!

*Listen to it here! :D
mood: contemplative
music: Sandra Boynton—The Shortest Song in the Universe*


I too am a children's book freak and have read and loved almost all those on my list. My greatest joy now is that my children appear to have acquired my love of reading and love nothing better than a trip to the library or book store.

Karin tends toward the Yu-gi-oh comics and Kim Possible books, but Martin is definitely a reader :) They both like going to the library. I feel sorry for children when I walk into their house and see that their parents don't have any or many books.

everything ever written by Louisa May Alcott

My favourite children's books were two books that used to belong to my mother when she was a girl. One of them was from a Dutch author but the other one was An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott (I had to look up the title in English, because I only know it in Dutch...). I LOVED that one, I don't know how many times I've read it. I still have it and I treasure it.

Besides all the Little Women/Little Men books, I particularly love her Jack & Jill, and Eight Cousins. :)

I have never truly moved into adulthood when it comes to reading books. As a child my favorite books were by Roald Dahl, because they carried the sort of absurdism that I still find very funny to this day.

He was a genius! :D

You are prompting me to make my list.[And maybe even a related entry. We'll see]
I see many of my favs on your list, but a couple important ones missing! Although I'll have to read your list more carefully when I'm not just breezing through.
"Toto-chan" by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi and "Wise Child" and Juniper" by Monica Furlong.
You have inspired me to get out a couple of old favorites that have been too long ago read.

Oh, and thank you keeping up on the birthday thing!



Great post! Will keep a link to this one in memories I think :) I've been a speed reader since childhood too and read SO many books as a kid, some wonderful ones like these, just not as many now, I think I've almost become TOO much of a speed reader so need things that really ring my bell to engage me but they are becoming more and more common luckily :)

I love Anne of Green Gables & Charlotte’s Web, both I've read as a child & as a adult.

Our kids love Robert Munsch books

How could I forget the wonderful Anne of Green Gables series! Yes, they were fantastic. My mother's penfriend in Montreal sent me the set one Christmas and I was hooked from day one.

I love reading and fostered that great love in my children as well. I think you are never alone in the world if you can read and it is a wonderful way to challenge yourself and ask questions about who you are and what world you live in.

Wonderful post, Liz! I knew you'd be a kindred spirit :)

I've never stopped loving my old children's books. And with eight nieces and nephews within easy driving distance, I've never had to stop discovering new ones, either. When I walk into my sister's kitchen, the little ones pelt over to me, throw their arms around my kneecaps, look up at me with bright, adoring faces, and say,

"Did you bring books?"

Which, of course, I always do.

Turning me loose in the children's section of a bookstore is far more dangerous than turning me loose anywhere else in the store. (Given my voracious appetite for books of all sorts, that's really saying something.)

As we shift and triage and discard things, fitting Fred's things into the apartment, it's become clear that my children's bookcase is going to have to go. :-( I've been postponing going through it, because it's going to break my heart to have to choose which titles to keep, and which to send along to new owners. I'll just have to concentrate on how much those new owners will enjoy them...

no no no! There must be SOMETHING else that can go! You don't need that coat closet, for example. Or Fred's rowing machine. Or the extra towels in the linen closet, right?

(no subject) - (Anonymous)   Expand  

I'd say about half of our children's books are mine and half have been acquired for Ingrid. I still get gifts of children's books that are for me, not for her! If I had the mental stamina in my pregnancy-addled brain to come up with a list, much of it would coincide with yours.

There's also the two shelves of the book shelf full of books I took home when I was working at Random House in the Children's Books division. We had to move offices while I was there from the East Side over to Times Square and there wasn't going to be room for our stash in the new digs. Our boss told us to just start taking stuff home. No problem!!

You worked in the Children's Department at Random House?? *SWOON*

I worked at a big bookstore for about 4.5 months out of college and it was like Christmas EVERY DAY. I still miss it. Although I don't miss the standing-on-my-feet all day and the bitchy customers.

*running over*

Oh! I want to come hunker down in your playroom and read for the next 6 months----- what a library!!!! ~bluepoppy

Re: *running over*

And that's only a small, small portion of it. :) Sometimes I just stand in front of the bookshelf and oogle my books.

I love children's books too, and this is a great list. Thanks!

I love your list, and I'm going to copy down some titles to check out for Daisy as she is an avid reader. I probably owned about 60 children's books long before I ever had Daisy, since I also collect children's books.

Cute story: I had started dating a man long ago and when we had gone out several times I had him over for dinner. While I was putting the finishing touches on dinner he had a look around and checked out my book shelves. He seemed somewhat preoccupied during dinner and I sensed that he was a bit 'squirmy' (for lack of a better word) during the several hours after dinner. Finally, he asked me a question. "So, ... where is your kid?" I had no idea what he was talking about, so I asked him. He waved his arm toward the bookshelf and said, "Well, you have a ton of kids books and a few toys on the shelves, so I just wondered!" It took me about ten minutes before I was able to explain to him that the books were mine ... I was laughing so hard!

An obsession with children's literature is something we very much have in common (actually I think I initially linked here via storybookland). It is amazing how many kids book I've acquired over the last several years. I use the excuse that as a teacher I can use these books in my classes, but the truth is, I just love them.

The Phantom Tollbooth...I've been trying to remember the name of that book for a year or so now, thanks. I want to reread it.

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lizardek's obiter photos
lizardek's obiter photos

Feeling generous? Be my guest!

I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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