I want to talk about two things that go hand-in-hand in my memory. My dad, and kid’s books. I come from a farming family, and anyone who knows anything about farming knows that farmers work hard – and often. My dad came home right around our bedtime, and was usually back in the fields before we were on the school bus. But he made time to read to my sister and I, one book for each of us. Mom would offer – Mom would darn near beg if it was getting late and he wasn’t home yet – but we wanted Dad, cause he was our reader man.
Sister and I had a lot of books from the Weekly Reader Book Club, and if you were born in the same decade I was you probably had books whose first page looked like this:
Yeah, that’s right, I spelled my name with a “b” at one point in my life. Actually, due to my confusion regarding the number of bumps in an “m” or an “n” and the (I felt) misleading nature of the letter “d,” I often identified myself as “Mimby” when claiming my books, something my immediate family like to remind me of whenever I forget that I can be wrong sometimes.
I had a lot of awesome books from Weekly Reader, and other places too. Sure, I had RUNAWAY BUNNY and MIKE MULLIGAN and yes, they rock. I also had some awesome books that haven’t stood the test of time in the sense of the big picture, but in my house they were golden.
I had books that originally belonged to my Dad. And those books have his name on the inside cover – he spelled it right, by the way.
So, I want to hear about those unsung children’s books that you wouldn’t let your grubby little hands put down. Tell me about the authors and books who’ve passed down from parent to child, inspiring those moments when you don’t need to turn the page because you know the words, even though you haven’t laid eyes on it in twenty years. And don’t forget to tell someone who read to you: