Monday, April 23, 2012

Memory Mondays: Children's Books

Little Courtney enjoying a story with Madeline
I've always been a reader for as long as I can remember. As a child, nothing made me more excited than the announcement that we were headed to the library. There I could find walls and walls of anything I wanted to read. I still find that same excitement today when I enter a quaint bookstore. I think this all stems from bedtime stories.

Bedtime stories are one of my favorite childhood memories. My parents understood the value of reading and instilled a love of it at an early age. I can recall snuggling into my sheets, grabbing my blankie and stuffed animal of choice, and settling down for a story. I even had a small little bookshelf in my room filled with all of my favorite childhood classics.

I'd like to take a moment to reminisce about a few of them:

1) Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom: Chicka chicka boooom booom....wiiilll there be enough room? This book was rather repetitive, but I liked it. The pictures were simple yet filled with vibrant bright colors. The whole color scheme was very late 80s early 90s. It also served educational purposes since it taught me the alphabet. Someone made a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom cake. I want one!

2) Madeline: "In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines...the smallest one was Madeline." I cherished my Madeline anthology. I was filled with all the Madeline stories and the classic illustrations. I think what I really liked about this book was that everything rhymed. It severed as a nice beginning for the future poet within me. It was really cool when that Madeline movie came out in 1998. I think we saw it opening weekend.

Big Courtney still enjoying Madeline
3) Angelina Ballerina: I began dancing at the age of 2 1/2. For my first dance recital, I received an Angelina Ballerina book. I obviously don't have a vivid memory of this, but with each new recital, my collection grew. The books were cute and fun, but they also taught some important lessons.  I had a lovely Angelina stuffed animal complete with tutu and all. I still have it actually. When it's spring cleaning time year after year, I simply refuse to part with it.

4) Harold and the Purple Crayon: This picture book tells the story of a little boy with a magic crayon who could draw things in order to make them come to life. For example, he draws a boat and then sails off on it. I desperately wanted this magic crayon. It could certainly come in handy. For example, I'm really tired right now; I could draw myself a pillow.

5) If You Give a Mouse a Cookie: This story serves as the perfect example of the slippery slope fallacy. Apparently, if you give a mouse a cookie, he will want to do a bunch of things like sweep the floor, color, and drink milk. Then, he will eventually want another cookie. Sorry if I just spoiled the book for you. I always thought the book was cute, and the pictures were nice. It apparently resulted in a few spin off series as well.

Now my tastes in literature have grown quite a bit, but my love of reading has remained constant. Unfortunately, as an English Major there's little time to read the books I want to read for pleasure. I now reserve my own personal reading for the summer time. Nothing beats packing a bunch of books for the beach and relaxing with them in the sun.

I was fortunate to add quite a few books to my collection this weekend at the Annapolis Book Festival. I must thank my fellow blogger, Ezra, for telling me about it. For $25, I could take a bag and fill it with as many used books as possible. I ended up walking out of there with 32 books! Quite a deal.

I think my former childhood self would be very proud that I now have a larger library and quite a few more bedtime story options.

May all your memories be meaningful,



  1. If you want to live out your Harold and the Purple Crayon dreams and have an iPhone, you can play ScribbleNauts. It is definitely a game intended for kids learning to spell, but I still like conjuring up everything from ladders to evil winged monsters.

    1. I have that game! I never made the connection, good call.

  2. Except for Angelina Ballerina, I loved all of those as a kids. It's so important to expose kids to books early one so that they love them their whole lives (and become awesome English majors like us)

    1. Too true. Did you have any other favorites?