friday's prompt (i'm running behind): What was your favorite children's book? —courtesy of Niki
when i was little, i didn't have a boatload of fancy, brand-name toys and trinkets (no barbie dream house for me, folks!), but what i did have, i had in spades. like my father, consumer of all things literary, i had a shelf (or two, eventually) packed full of books.
for one thing, i learned to read when i was 3, so my voracious kid-brain started devouring stories as soon as i knew what they were. also, my dad read to me practically every night (even long after i could read for myself)...it was our little ritual. sometimes i would spend what seemed like hours in my room, just reading and re-reading the books from my shelf. some were brand new, many were hand-me-downs from my sister, but i didn't care. i loved them all. the pictures, the smells, the feel of the pages beneath my fingers. i would sometimes bring a flashlight to bed so i could stay up as late as possible to keep the magic of a story alive.
to add beauty upon beauty, my aunt was a librarian and would often send some lovely book to me for christmas, signed by the author and/or illustrator (i thought this was magical somehow, never once considering that she probably had to attend some library conferences for work). i still have all those treasured gifts stored in boxes, along with a few dozen other books that just meant the world to me: where the wild things are, bread and jam for frances, the little bear series, the very hungry caterpillar, anything by dr. seuss...the list goes on and on.
even now, when i'm feeling particularly blah, i'll go into the bottom of my closet and open those boxes, look at all the familiar faces and stories, remember writing my name on the inside covers (sometimes in crayon), and get swept away once again in the magic and adventure of the stories they contain. those books kept me busy on rainy days. they taught me lessons about how to treat other people. they opened my imagination and sparked my creativity. and they are the reason i learned to love words.
so, yeah. if i had to pick a favorite? i'm going with the whole shelf:)