Monday, May 7, 2012

Children's Book Week: Recollection #1: The Classics

Today is the first day of Children's Book Week. The poster is designed by three-time Caldecott winner David Weisner and it is enchanting. Naming all of the book characters in the poster was fun. In honor of Children's Book Week, the three of us at Reader Girls (plus Stevie, the little brother who's not that little anymore at eight years old) will post a daily recollection of our favorite children's books. We begin with the classics.

(Laurie) Charlotte's Web by E.B. White was the very first hardcover book I purchased as a kid. I think I was eight years old and I remember joining a book club and feeling so important when the white box arrived addressed to me. Since I used to get the majority of my books from the local library, buying my own book was a big deal. But an even bigger deal was the story inside. A sweet girl. A talking pig named Wilbur. And an unforgettable spider named Charlotte. Whimsical, sad, and magical.

(Laurie & Stevie) Quick, three words to describe Green Eggs and Ham: silly, goofy, and infectious. Is there a person alive who doesn't smile as soon as that refrain begins--"I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam-I-Am." As a parent, reading many of Dr. Seuss' books aloud is a treat--especially this one. I get to make up voices and act out scenes. My son enjoys this book in particular because it's so silly and fun to look at the pictures. 

(Laurie) The House on East 88th Street and Lyle, Lyle Crocodile. These books still bring a smile to my face. There are some books that stick with us and for some reason I can never forget my fondness for a green crocodile named Lyle. There were other books with Lyle and I enjoyed them both as a kid and a parent, but these two Lyle titles will always retain a special place inside my book loving heart. Perhaps it's Waber's monochromatic art with touches of color, perhaps it's those great big crocodile eyes (especially when he's told he'll be leaving the house on East 88th Street to go live with Mr. Valenti), or perhaps it's the setting of New York City which reminds me of the Bronx neighborhood of my youth. Maybe it's a little of all three. Whatever the reason, I still have my original copies (thanks Mom!)--though now a bit worn--of a crocodile named Lyle

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