(And oh, the questions below in bold letters? This is not an interview or a Q & A post. Rather, these are my questions to you.)
What is your childhood reading experience?
In my case, I have long enjoyed children’s books; I make no secret about that. They are the first section I go to each time I visit a bookstore. I always squeal at the sight of bright illustrations and I could stand for an hour reading them even when, in the end, they will still go through the cash register. Maybe because I grew up with more improvised toys than books and it is only recently that I am rediscovering how great they are.
My parents are not readers; they are hard workers and supporters. When I, as a kid, brought home borrowed children’s books, they encouraged me to continue on borrowing from the library but they hardly ever bought me one. I never begrudged them because of that. You see, they lived a hard laborious life as children, spending more time earning for the family than studying, so books, even school textbooks, were a luxury to them. So when my sister and I came, they were understandably clueless as to what children’s books to buy for us. Fortunately, they enrolled us into private schools that encouraged (sometimes even required) library visits, which sparked our interest in reading. Now, my sister is into Young Adult books while I stick to short stories, Philippine literature, children’s books, and a little clean romance.
I once told a blogger friend never underestimate children’s books for they present so many universal truths and principles in the amazingly simplest ways.
One of my favorite childhood memories with reading, which I remember now, is when my class sometime in my elementary years agreed to visit an orphanage in the city and interact with the orphans who were just about our age or younger. Each one of us were asked to bring a gift for them. I remembered becoming really restless, thinking hard on what to give as the visitation date drew nearer. At the last minute, I reproduced my cousin’s three Bible stories by illustrating them on paper (the best that a 10-year-old could do) and arranging them like how a book would appear and during the visit, I read with the orphans. I could have asked my parents to buy Bible stories but at that time, I don’t know why it has never crossed my mind.
What is your favorite children’s book?
|My Bobbsey Twins collection|
Among the horde, I always consider The Little Prince Antoine de Saint Exupery as a favorite (and I haven’t even talked about it yet on my blog!). For my birthday last year, my boyfriend bought me the complete hardcover series of Laura Lee Hope’s The Bobbsey Twins who are simply adorable. I recently reviewed The Several Lives of Orphan Jack by Sarah Ellis and my heart really went out to Otherjack. There are more favorites--Tahanan’s The Night Monkeys, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, A Grain of Rice by Helena Clare Pittman, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’engle, The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner, any children’s book by Enid Blyton, and so much more.
I often visit Barbara’s blog and online store (March House Books), Alex’s blog (The Children’s War), The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow, and Claudine’s CarryUsOff Books to drool over so many new-to-me children’s books.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to get through a month without reading at least one children’s book, though I can’t promise I can review each and every one of them in this blog (though I try). I’m planning to read and/or finish the following in the next few weeks:
Odd the the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman (another gift from my boyfriend)
The Bobbsey Twins and the Mystery at Snow Lodge by Laura Lee Hope
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (I don’t think I like Mary Lennox very much at first)
The Island of Adventure by Enid Blyton (I keep postponing this and I don’t know why!)
Skylark by Patricia MacLachlan (sequel to Sarah, Plain and Tall)
|My to-read children's books. Which ones have you read already?|
Why read children’s books?
We all have different reasons for reading. Reading to me in general is therapeutic. Reading children’s books, though, is like catching up on what I have missed as a kid, or, as the academics would put it, getting myself remediated. I once told a blogger friend never underestimate children’s books for they present so many universal truths and principles in the amazingly simplest ways.
Children’s books--they are also a great way to bond with your kids. I know of another blogger friend who homeschools her son, screens books before her son reads them, and they read them together, drawing them closer to each other.
At the end of the day, books are books; they are only good if they are read. So, let us get our children--and even adults--into the fold and habit of reading children's books.
Happy Universal/National Children’s Month!
- Nancy -