Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter Reading Series, Part 2- Children

Somewhere in my envy-induced haze of all the peeps at ALA this weekend I sat down and created a list of my most beloved children's books from when I was young and now old (I just celebrated a birthday, it does feel that way). It was a very fun endeavor indeed and a few made the cut that I just plum forgotten about over the years. Below is my list narrowed down into my top five picks for winter reading. Some are picture books, others are not, all are loved dearly.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week and all you conference-goers are back home safe and sound!

1) Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers. A strange first pic? Perhaps, but this book marked a turning point in my own reading trajectory as a child. I absolutely adored this book about a mother and daughter who switch bodies for the day. It was one of the first novels that got me to realize narrative could be darn near anything you wanted it to be and that story was downright magical.

2) The Runaway Bunny by Wargaret Wise Brown. Funnily enough, neither my mother nor myself remembers reading this book when I was a child but it did make it's way under the Christmas tree this year. I gave it to my mom because, well, is there anything more appropriate? A story about a mother whose love will follow her little bunny to the ends of the earth. I cried (balled) in Barnes and Noble when I read it again in November. A must for any new mother.

3) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle. This book is a true pillar of children's literature. It was exciting and wonderfully rich when I read it all those years ago and still holds up today. A classic, to be sure.

4) The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I read these books with my father when I was a child and devoured each one. They are perfect for the cold, winter months. Cuddle up with your youngster or just gift them the book to read on their own. Don't be surprised if by April when the weather warms they are through more than a few! I am a sucker for the originals (only the first 19 were written by Warner) so try to start with those if you can.

5) Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. As one of my trusty readers and friends pointed out about last week's post...can you really have a winter reading list and NOT include Harry Potter? The answer is most definitely no. If you are one of the baffling few who have yet to read the books (there must be one or two, no?) please PLEASE pick them up asap. As I told one of my friends ten years ago when I was beginning my own journey with HP, "if you don't read them, you are only punishing yourself." I still feel that way today. And if you, like me, have been a constant reader, why not start the series over and brush up on your Potter Plots? The next movie will be out before we know it...


  1. Along these lines and remembering your post on Katherine Paterson, I thought you might enjoy this article: http://ebeth.typepad.com/reallearning/2010/01/katherine-paterson-and-boy-i-love.html

  2. One of my all time favourite children's books from when I was young was A Ghostly Business by Stephen Kresnky. It's long been out of print but... talk about a template to both Harry Potter and Twilight. It was a series, I think the first book was called The Witching Hour and there were two more.. anyway.. If you can find a copy, you won't be let down.