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    • CommentAuthorKradlum
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2008 edited
     (2720.1)
    Paul's post in "You loved it, and you'll never read it again" got me thinking. I'm going to be a father soon and I intend to read to my child/ren. I will probably take advantage of his (the scan says it's a boy) early years to read LOTR to him when he can't actually understand it, but after that I'm planning to read the same books that my dad read to my brother and I, in rotation: The Log of the Ark, Prince Prigio, Watership Down, The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia covered us for about 5 years of bedtime reading. The only book I think I would add to those myself would be The Princess Bride.

    Once I was old enough to read myself I devoured books. Most of them came from the local village jumble sale in 1950's hardbacks with no dustcover and bindings like The English Hymnal. So I bought Enid Blyton by the yard for pennies - The Secret Seven and Famous Five. At some point I graduated on to Willard Price's Adventure series and another series of books which were like Sharpe for kids (I wish I could remember what that series actually was. The books came from the mobile library that would stop outside our house every 2 weeks.) I re-read the Narnia stories at least twice, and the original Earthsea books as well.

    So, what books have strong memories of childhood for you?
    • CommentAuthorPK Hume
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2008
     (2720.2)
    The Johnny Dixon and Lewis Barnavelt books by John Bellairs. Horror/suspense novels set in 1950s New England; both series starred thirteen-year-old boys who seemed to have a knack for getting mixed up in the supernatural. Johnny lived with his grandparents, and his adventuring buddy was the crazy old college professor who lived across the street. Lewis, meanwhile, lived in a rambling old house with his warlock uncle. They fought ghosts, doomsday cultists, killer robots, possessing spirits, you name it, and to this day I don't ever remember any book, film or television show that has made me as viscerally frightened as some of Bellairs' writing. I also don't know anyone else who's ever read them.
  1.  (2720.3)
    Anything and everything by Roald Dahl, Beatrix Potter, and Beverly Cleary. I've actually been meaning to re-read the Beverly Cleary books, because i remember them striking such a chord in me - capturing so accurately my perspective on the world through Ramona Quimby's eyes. The Madeline L'Engle books I remember being refreshingly un-pandering and rather mind blowing when I read them as a child, and I've actually just purchased the first three books of the Wrinkle in Time series to revisit.

    Also -
    The Rainbow Goblins






    The Martian Crystal Egg:



    Aaaand just about anything illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Especially this book:



    By the fourth grade I was pouring through trash like Christopher Pike (not the starship captain) and VC Andrews novels.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2008
     (2720.4)
    "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. By far the best analogy for growing up I've ever read, for any target age group.

    On the other side of the stars-and-moons bed, I remember reading Neil Gaiman's "The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish," or rather the first two pages of it, to a new second cousin, and found it very enjoyable. He didn't want to sit through the whole thing, but you'll be daddy, so he'll have to listen! At least that's the theory.
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      CommentAuthorPyD
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2008
     (2720.5)
    The Wind in the Willows is a lovely book for kids.

    Terry Pratchetts books for kids with teh Nac Mac Feegle would be fun to invent voices for - I do look forward to the opportunity to invent voices for any sons daughters neices or nephews I may have in the future.
    • CommentAuthorHarlotbug3
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2008 edited
     (2720.6)
    insect god

    As a contrast to the excesses of color and sweetness found in most children's books, I'd recommend any of the Edward Gorey collections. Skip the especially violent ones, of course, but capital N nonsense is always good for a growing mind, whether or not it's capital A art.
    •  
      CommentAuthormat8drb
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2008
     (2720.7)
    Matilda by Roald Dahl. No question. I read it when I just turned nine and, while I was a boy, I just wanted to be Matilda. Looking back, it taught me that knowledge and being geeky about it could be fun and did bring its rewards. Oh. And that you could eat too much cake. So I'd better not.
  2.  (2720.8)
    Anything by Roald Dahl, I love those as a kid and re-read them for a book drive at work and they're packed with useful messages. The Giver for sure. I think empathy is one of the greatest traits someone can possess. But my most important books would be Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends (and everything else you can get your hands on). My parents reading me those poems taught me to appreciate the beauty in the world and that it's ok to see things differently.
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      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2008
     (2720.9)
    My dad read me Homer's Iliad as a bed time story when I was really young. I'm glad of it.

    My girlfriend says she read CS Lewis' Space Trilogy really young, but I think they are good enough to read once the kid(s) is/are a little older. I think Tolkien's stuff was meant to be read out loud to children. I can't stand sitting down reading it.

    For really young kids there's a great series of musical animal books including Ella the Elephant, Mingus Mouse, Duck Ellington, Charlie Bird etc. Not be confused with Ella The Elegant Elephant, which is shit, and will rot your child's brain.

    Looks like you've got a pretty solid list though. Certainly anything with the names Tolkien, Sendak or Dahl are good bets.
    •  
      CommentAuthornoblelion
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2008 edited
     (2720.10)
    Anyone recall this old gem?

    It was one of my favorites.

    Shitty day.

    I was pretty big into old Hardy boys novels too... Oh! And a relic from my father's childhood that he then read to my brother and me... Great stuff, full of 1950's "what a boy should be like" values and morals, and a ton of thinly veiled racism.

    Before Tarzan there was...

    Edited to add better Bomba picture...
    •  
      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2008
     (2720.11)
    My brother just had a baby, and I sent him a copy of this Canadian classic:null
    My other favorite Robert Musch book was The Paper Bag Princess:null
    •  
      CommentAuthorthom_wong
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2008
     (2720.12)
    Danny, the Champion of the World - Roald Dahl

    My first novel and still my favourite book.

    Definitely Maurice Sendak, and I'll throw in a vote for The Phandtom Tollbooth.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2008
     (2720.13)
    Oh, Phantom Tollbooth, Fuck yeah. Get that on yer list pronto.
    •  
      CommentAuthorzoem
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2008
     (2720.14)
    Yeah, there's lots of stuff I could list, but The Phantom Tollbooth is tops. I just got my 8 year old reading it and she absolutely loves it, and I couldn't be happier that she does.
  3.  (2720.15)
    The Little Prince - it taught me so many new words when I was small.

    If the child is both clever and a bit morbid, The Series of Unfortunate Events might be fun.
  4.  (2720.16)
    I recommend Tove Jansson's wonderful Moomin series.



    My dad read them to my sisters and I when we were little, and we really loved them.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJ.Brennan
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2008 edited
     (2720.17)
    The Johnny Dixon and Lewis Barnavelt books by John Bellairs. Horror/suspense novels set in 1950s New England; both series starred thirteen-year-old boys who seemed to have a knack for getting mixed up in the supernatural. Johnny lived with his grandparents, and his adventuring buddy was the crazy old college professor who lived across the street. Lewis, meanwhile, lived in a rambling old house with his warlock uncle. They fought ghosts, doomsday cultists, killer robots, possessing spirits, you name it, and to this day I don't ever remember any book, film or television show that has made me as viscerally frightened as some of Bellairs' writing. I also don't know anyone else who's ever read them.


    Bellairs is also my favorite children's author. Still some of the best supernatural/horror fiction around. Also can't go wrong with the Edward Gorey cover art. Some of the books are hard to find these days, but Barnes and Noble put out a couple omnibus editions of his stories a few years back.
  5.  (2720.18)
    The Moomins were fucking terrifying.
    • CommentAuthoris
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2008
     (2720.19)
    the moomins were fantastic.
    • CommentAuthorjona
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2008
     (2720.20)
    The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico - a beautiful book for children