My Favorite Children’s Books
Last month I asked you about how early children’s books may have influenced your adult reading. As I shared the partial list, I thought a lot about my answers to the questions I posed. Here are a few of my reactions, marked PE.
Question #1: Which newer titles have you read and were able to identify with?
PE: I love the stories that create strong visual images (Where the Wild Things Are), those with deep emotion (The Velveteen Rabbit), and ones with the humor as in The Day the Crayons Quit.
Question #2: Which newer titles left you wondering what the appeal was for young readers?
PE: I work with third and fourth graders so I have a chance to see and hear what they are reading. I have trouble with the books composed of drawings (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and graphic novels. Since I run books as movies in my head, the images presented in the books interfere with my personal images. I’ve also noticed, that today’s kids don’t run those movies, so maybe I am a dinosaur in how I learn.
Question #3: Do you think the fiction books you read as a child influenced your adult reading? If so, how and why?
PE: I loved historical fiction in addition to books that presented me with rich images. That interest remains strong today. Maybe because I danced, I like books where I can move around with the characters as they progress through the story. My writing focuses on historicals (1850 to 1950); my reading ranges further, extending from cave days to the present. I believe it’s because I have an interest in how people fit into the world in which they live.