I have loved children’s books longer than I remember. My mother, who also loves books, began teaching me to read at fifteen months. I am told that I read a book on my own for the first time at age twenty months. That book was Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins—a book that epitomizes the quality of picture books where both the words and the pictures tell the story.
Children’s books introduce us to new ideas. They take us to places we haven’t yet been and places that don’t exist. They give us opportunities to empathize. They inspire us.
In honor of Children’s Book Week (May 12-18), Powell’s Books asked their fans what children’s books changed their lives. Here is a link to a compilation of the answers—a great list, which includes many of my cherished books and series, and maybe some of yours too: http://www.buzzfeed.com/powellsbooks/37-childrens-books-that-changed-your-life-ohuo
I asked myself which children’s book changed my life, and my answer surprised me. There are many children’s books that I have read over and over again. But a book on Powell’s Books’ list that I have only read once decades ago struck me as “the one.” Harriet, the Spy gave me the idea that I could enjoy my own company. That’s something I can always have with me, and often do. (Time to read that one again!)
Which children’s books have changed your lives?
Thank you, books. Thank you, writers. Thank you, illustrators. Thank you, reading teachers.