Daily Archives: August 24, 2014

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – Revisiting My Childhood Friends


It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week.  Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers

One of the jobs on my summer “to do” list was to sort through my boxes and bins of books.  Now this job could have been done in a much more timely manner had it not been for the fact that every book I touched – I wanted to read!!!   But when I opened a box and discovered a collection of books from my childhood – I was done!  For the next several hours, days, weeks now I have been revisiting these moments of my childhood through the pages of these books.  Though the pages are browning and the covers tattered, the words and stories are a nostalgic smorgasbord for my soul.   Here is a glimpse into my childhood library:

       Family Stories


Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingles Wilder

My dad bought me my very first book when I had the chicken pox in grade 4 – Little House on The Prairie.  From the moment I started reading about Laura, Carrie, Mary, Ma, Pa, Mrs. Beadle and the dreaded Nellie Olsen and their life in Walnut Grove I was hooked.  I read every book in the series at least twice, living through the days, seasons and years with this beloved family.


All of A Kind Family – Sydney Taylor

The adventures of 5 sisters from a  Jewish family growing up in New York’s Lower East Side at the turn of the century.   I remember lying in bed reading about these girls, visualizing their house, Mama’s front parlor, Papa’s peddler shop, bags of penny candy from the candy store, playing “hide the button” in the parlor.  I also learned a lot about the Jewish faith and traditions reading these books. 

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Betsy Books Carolyn Haywood

I got a bit teary when I pulled these two books out of the box.  Betsy, Billy, their family, their school friends and Mr. Kirkpatrick, the policeman – I loved them all.

Pippi Longstocking – Astrid Lindgren

Even though Tommy and Annika’s neighbor Pippi did not have a family of her own, I remember with fondness her crazy red hair, striped socks, nameless white horse (did that horse have a name?) and her monkey Mr. Neilson.  Quirky and fun!

Bear Stories


Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne

Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit and dear Christopher Robin were so very dear to me.  There was a gentleness about the Hundred Acre woods that brought me quiet joy.


Teddy Robinson – Joan G. Robinson

My mum was born in England so we were brought up with her British influence on our book choices.  Teddy Robinson was one such book she bought me back from England.  I remember his birthday party, his trip to the hospital and his play at the seaside, but most of all I remember his little rhymes he always said.

A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond


The story of a little bear in a blue duffle coat left at Paddington Train station with a sign that reads “Please Look After This Bear” – who could resist it?


Rupert Bear 

Every Christmas, my Auntie Joan sent me a Rupert Annual from England.  I loved reading the adventures of this little white bear with his red jumper and yellow scarf.  It was, come to think of it, my first experience with a graphic novel as the stories were told in comic strip format.

Mystery Stories


Encyclopedia Brown – Boy Detective – Donald J. Sobol

I was TOTALLY hooked on this series of a boy detective who set up a dedective agency in his yard and solved the mysteries of his neighbourhood.  I loved that the answer to the mystery was in a little square text box at the back of the book – I did my best not to peek before I finished the chapter!


Nancy Drew – Carolyn Keene

When I was younger I would lie awake and dream that I turned into Nancy Drew – Teenage detective using her courage and savy detective skill to solve mysterious happenings! 


The Secret of Spiggy Holes – Enid Blyton

Another mystery series from the UK. This one was my favorite!  Mike, Peggy, Nora and their friend Jack go exploring in the caves on the beach and discover a prince being held captive in an old house!  Exciting stuff!

Magical  Stories

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Finn Family Moomintroll – Tove Janson
I was completely mesmorized by these whimsical little stories and creatures – centered around the Hobgoblin’s magical hat.  My favorite memory of this book was the chapter about the eggshells turning into clouds that the Moomins flew around on.  I also remember being a bit scared of the hattifatters!

Twig – Elizabeth Orton Jones

Twig is a story of little girl who turns an upside down tomato can into a house for a fairy.   With a little magic from Elf, she shrinks, lives in the can with Elf and drinks water out of a bottle cap. I know this does not sound very exciting – but I think I read this book more than any other.  I loved the imaginary and the magic.  Charming illustrations too.

Stories of Naughty Children


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My Naughty Little Sister  – Dorothy Edwards

Oh, how I loved these books as a child and then enjoyed them all over again when I read them to my boys when they were little.  This naughty girl, younger sister to the narrator, is stubborn, greedy, and full of mischief. She tries to cut off the cat’s tail; she bites Santa’s hand; and she and Bad Harry eat all the pudding at Harry’s party.  Shirley Hughes’s illustrations are delightful. 

The Children on Trouble Maker Street – Astrid Lindgren

Lotta and her older brother and sister Jonas and Maria brought me so much laughter as they hung pancakes on a tree, pretending they were leaves, put meatballs down the chimney and stuck salami on the train window.

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The Naughtiest Girl and St. Clare’sEnid Blyton

Long before Hogwarts, I was reading about girls in boarding schools getting into trouble!

Thanks for stopping by this week.  I enjoyed sharing these childhood treasures.  I’d love to hear about some of your favorite childhood books!







Filed under It's Monday, What Are You Reading?