Next week kicks off the Children’s Book Council’s annual Children’s Book Week, which champions the benefits and pleasures of reading for kids. That got me to reflecting on some of my favorite books as a child. Perhaps not too surprisingly, I loved reading from an early age–relatives say that as a toddler I could be bribed out of giving people frosty silent treatments with the promise of being read to. However, as difficult as it was for me to pick what books to take to a deserted island, I came up with a list of my 3 favorite books as a child pretty quickly.
One of the first books I remember obsessing over was Deborah and James Howe’s Bunnicula, which I was introduced to in 2nd grade. I’m not sure what prompted me to read the book in the first place, but I quickly fell in love with its hilarious sense of humor as it relates the story of Bunnicula, a possibly vampiric pet bunny, as seen through the eyes of the other animals in the house. This book is also responsible for introducing me to the joy of wordplay. There’s a scene where the other pets–a cat and a dog–decide to test whether or not Bunnicula is a vampire by driving a steak through his heart. It was the first time I remember having a “Hey, I know what you did there! That’s funny!” moment in regard to wordplay.
Around the same time I read Bunnicula, I also encountered Jon Scieszka’s The True Story of The 3 Little Pigs By A. Wolf. It’s a narrative of the classic “Three Little Pigs” story but from the point of view of the villain–the wolf. Contrary to everything you’ve been told, the wolf insists that he’s innocent. Everything you’ve been told is wrong! This was groundbreaking stuff for 7-year-old me.
If I had to pick my favorite book as a child, it would have to be Roald Dahl’s Matilda. I loved Dahl’s very dark, witty sense of humor, but Marilda appealed to me far more than his other books simply because I related to Matilda much more than some of Dahl’s other protagonists. Even as a child, I liked that a bookworm got to be the hero of a story, and the sweet but crafty Matilda still remains one of my favorite bookworms in all of fiction. This book also gets bonus points for inspiring me to read a lot of the books Matilda encounters in her visits to the library.
For this challenge, I’m having a hard time figuring out which of these childhood favorites to revisit. I might have to just reread all of them! And don’t forget, you can always learn more about these books for yourself with our online library catalog.
What books were your favorite as a child? Have you ever read any of these? Which one do you think I should reread for the challenge? Tell us in the comments!