One thing I love to hear from readers are the stories we all seem to have about our childhood favourites.  My mom still loves talking about how I used to make up stories based on the pictures in books (because I couldn’t read yet) and tell them to my little brother.  When I did learn to read, life as I knew it, was over.

hungry bearAs a toddler, I loved Don and Audrey Wood’s adorable tale of The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear.  As a preteen, I devoured The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes, Harry Potter and the Series of Unfortunate Events books.  I can’t remember all the books I read as kid, but I am constantly informed that I was never without one.

When I was interviewed for my position as a Kids Inventory Analyst for Indigo, I sat across from the two managers and director of Supply Chain and was asked, simply: why kids books?  I automatically assumed I was going to be seen as a babbling basket-case when I dove into a speech about just how powerful childhood reading was.  Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.  But what we talked about in that interview room has stuck with me.  Though we are clearly all adults, my team at work knows the value of a good story, and knows the effect a wonderful story can have on a vulnerable young person.  Imagine what your life would be like if you hadn’t read those pirate adventures, Judy Blume, or the wide selection of library books you took out from school.  What would you have done without those late nights up with a flashlight while your parents called down the hall for you to go to bed?  Books were another world, another universe.

Your reading experience as a child has a major effect on your love (or lack thereof) of books as an adult.  I feel that often people who don’t read, just didn’t get the right book for them as kids.  People have wondered aloud how my younger brother and I are related, as I often cannot tear my nose from a spine and he has read a total of ONE full length novel in his life.  But, just the other day, while he was on reading week, he admitted to being obsessed with The Walking Dead graphic novels.  My jaw hit the floor.  “YOU’RE READING?!  WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY BROTHER?!”  Turns out, he finally found something that fit him, and now, at the age of twenty, my little brother is reading.

The breadth of books available to young readers these days is phenomenal.  And although there are so many new and exciting books to chose from, I always revert back to thinking about some of the books I missed out on as a kid.  I had very few friends who read like I did, and so my choices in books came solely from wandering the bookstores and picking out something random, or from ordering excessively from the Scholastic Book Orders (remember those?!).  Without the recommendations of other book-fiend friend, I missed a few crucial kids reads.  I have never read The Giver, Ella Enchanted or Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.  So, as I rearranged some of my books on Saturday night, I wrote down a list of books I feel like I missed out on as a kid — and have decided to read them.  Some new, some old, I have about 15 promising & imaginative reads that I plan on getting through in the next few months.  (P.S. Anne of Green Gables was my favourite as a kid, so that is included as a reread!)

So, tell me a bit about your childhood reads?  Do you still read kids books?  Care to join me in any of the following?  (My apologies for the terrible lighting in the picture.  Lighting is clearly not my specialty.)



3 thoughts on “The Power of Children’s Books

  1. Great post, Chelsey! I’m excited for you :) Can’t wait to see what you make of these! I think I want to read The Book Thief, especially after Natalie’s glowing review.

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