Being read to as a child felt like a unique kind of experience that I am unsure how to replicate. I loved laying in bed, all tucked in, being told an enthusiastic story by my mom or dad. Going to bed with a smile on my face from laughter, is in my opinion, the only way I ever want to fall asleep. I would have to say, my favorite books were definitely the ones made out of wood such as Goodnight Moon. I still have a fascination with their hard pages and vibrant colors.
As the oldest sister, I also grew up loving to be the reader of stories; if our father wasn’t making up a fanatical tale, it was I who loved to read to my little sisters.
International Read-to-Me Day is a special day dedicated to the importance of reading books to children. Reading to children is not only beneficial for their literacy but builds special memories with the child and reader that they will have even as adults (as you will read below).
Here are some childhood favorites from us here at Bookstr!
1. The Miraculous Adventures of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
I’m not really sure. The Miraculous Adventures of Edward Tulane was an adventurous book about a little bunny rabbit and it’s always stuck with me. I’ve read it again in my adult life and I still love it. I do remember the vivid images that would play in my brain as it was being read to me though. I can still imagine certain scenes from the story and it’s been years since I read it.
— Tana Gorecki, Graphics
2. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
I am pretty sure The Snowy Day was one of the first books I read that had a character that shared my skin tone, and I was delighted! I also grew up loving art so the use of cut and torn paper to craft a story was and still is, a part of the book that makes me happy.
— Jhade Gales, Graphics
3. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
Sideways Stories from Wayside School will forever be my favorite children’s book. It shows the true nature of children’s imagination while teaching life lessons. I had the pleasure to teach this book to second graders last summer and we could not stop laughing while reading this treat.
— Sierra Jackson, Editorial
4. The Boxcar Children Book 1 Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Boxcar Children Book 1 was the first book in which I fell in love with storytelling. It has a good heart and it shows kids how to be brave in dark times.
— Sierra Jackson, Editorial
5. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Clearly
Anything by Beverly Cleary would be amazing. She is my favorite childhood author. I’ve read plenty of Romona Quimby books, and it was sparked all by my third grade teacher who read to us. The Mouse and the Motorcycle is a tale of adventure and making new friends in small places!
— Sierra Jackson, Editorial
6. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
I remember these two books being my favorites as a kid. My mom would read Goodnight Moon to me almost every night. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is funny and kinda silly in a good way.
7. Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne
I never was into reading as much when I was little until my second-grade teacher had us sit down on this circle rug and dedicated it to reading time. The moment she opened up Dinosaurs Before Dark and read about these siblings, Jack and Annie, and how they discovered a magical tree house that took them back to the time of the dinosaurs, I was hooked. I was probably the only kid in my class that imagined the kind of journey these two went on. The sad part was, reading time only lasted for so long that it took a good while to finish the first book.
When my teacher moved on to the second book, I decided to take it into my own hands and checked it out from the school library and read it myself only to finish it in a course of hours. I proceeded to then check out the next book and then the next. I couldn’t have been more grateful than that moment in time when I discovered the love of reading books.
— Jaiden Cruz, Graphics
8. The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! by Jon Scieszka
I have always loved fairy tales and children’s fables, the Story of the Three Little Pigs included. Retellings have always been featured as a favorite because you can see creativity in new interpretations. This story, however, was one that had a deep impact on me since I was little and then passed on to my own children. There is something to be said about a retelling from the villain’s POV. Which caught on in recent years, I might add. Sciesza took a character with seemingly no redeeming qualities and made the reader question his morality and intent. This version sparked a conversation about knowing both sides of a situation and also whether one can believe the tale of the accused.
For a child who saw how the world viewed her abusers, it was a written interpretation of how a smile, some sly words, and a personable demeanor can manipulate public opinion. It is probably not what the author was going for, but it’s a lesson learned nonetheless. It’s also just a cute story that I found appealing and got me into reading more stories from the bad guys’ perspective.
— Kristi Eskew, Editorial
The Joy Found at a School Library
I had the privilege of attending a renowned school my whole life with incredible resources right from Kindergarten, one of them being a well-stocked library with all the books imaginable (at least that’s what it seemed like to four-year-old me). From pre-K to 2nd grade, it was compulsory for parents/guardians to take their child to the school library once a week and pick out four books to read, all from different genres. I can’t fully remember what those genres were, but I think it was one science-related book, one magazine, one Urdu language book (Urdu is the national language of Pakistan, which is where I’m from), and one book of some other category.
I remember all of us being super excited to go to the library with our parents (for me it was often my grandmother who picked me up from school) and pick out four books to read that week. I especially loved the process of checking them out at the librarian’s desk and seeing her stamp the entry date on my card. I was 4-7 years old at this time and don’t remember specific books that I liked, except for the Little Miss book series.
I think a large part of why I love reading and why I have strong writing skills is because reading was encouraged to me at a very young age, and for that, I will always be grateful.
— Anushe Engineer, editorial
There will always be a special book or series that changed us as young children, leaving an imprint on our adult selves. In honor of International Read-to-Me Day, what is yours?
Click here if you’d like to read more book recommendations from us here at Bookstr!