My friend Aaron recently reminisced about his two favorite books as a child (Hatchet and the Island of the Blue Dolphins), and I absolutely HAD to chime in!
"Because when you read a book as a child it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other book can!" -Meg Ryan. I hope you know what movie I'm quoting!
My first indispensable book as a wee little one was Ferdinand the Bull.
According to my mom, I had that book memorized and would correct her if she got the words wrong or sleepily skipped parts :) Don't mess with my Ferdinand! I absolutely adored the illustrations: simple, whimsical, black and white pen pictures, and the story is enchanting. A little bull who loves to smell flowers sits on a bee, gets stung, gets spotted by matadors, and is taken to the big bull fight. But instead of being fierce and prideful, he just wanted to smell the flowers pinned in the hair of the pretty senioritas. I think my love of this story is evidence that even three-year-old me loved beauty and the finer things in life.
Disney made a cartoon version that mimics the elegant illustrations in the book, enjoy:
Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry. A young Danish girl learns what bravery and right and wrong truly are as she watches her family hide her Jewish school friend from the Nazis in the early years of WWII. She then has to implement these virtues herself in order to smuggle her friend out of the country. I think this favorite of mine is indicative of my intense future love for researching the sweet stories of humanity that sit waiting for recognition amongst the pages history.
I have probably twenty more favorite books, but these two are my two childhood favorites. What are yours? Or, which books have you found that most influenced who you are today?
(Because it's fun to keep thinking back):
My Pre-adolescent fav: The Baby-Sitter's Club series.
My Teenage fav: Anne of Green Gables-Anne of the Island.
College favs are numerous but include Franny and Zooey, by J. D. Salinger, Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky, and my perennial favorite, the book I read every year, Jane Eyre.