Over at 5 Minutes for Books, we’re hosting a Children’s Classics carnival. Actually, it was yesterday but like everything else, bloggy and otherwise, I am two steps behind. I hope I can still crash the party though somewhat tardy!
Anyway, this month’s theme is classic children’s chapter books, and just like with that bookworm meme I did a few weeks ago, I have enjoyed reminiscing and remembering old friends. Nancy Drew, Laura Ingalls, Anne Shirley, Jo March these were my dear friends and I would visit their worlds often as a young girl, reading their stories over and over.
I first discovered Anne of Green Gables in the double wide trailer belonging to our neighbors, a retired couple who would often have our family over for supper. The wife would give me free reign of her bookshelves and there I first plucked LM Montgomery’s classic novel off the shelf. I immediately read my way through all of the “Anne of…” novels, from the Island to Ingleside. I recently re-visited Anne of Green Gables and laughed at Anne’s antics all over again.
I met Jo and the rest of the Little Women at my grandmother’s home, reading the edition that belonged to my mother and her brother and sister. I greatly admired Jo for her tenacity and her compulsion to write. I also loved Little Men and Jo’s Boys, also my grandmother’s, but Little Women remains my favorite. I now own my grandmother’s copy of Little Women that I loved as a girl.
I’m not sure Nancy Drew qualifies as a genuine classic, though Carolyn Keene’s original mystery novels (in contrast to the “new” Nancy Drew) with their vintage yellow binding belong among my all time favorites. Borrowing multiple copies from the library each visit, I devoured them, enjoying a good mystery as much then as I do now. Nancy was smart and had a charming boyfriend Ned–two attributes that ranked high in my young girl’s perspective.
And finally, the quintissential children’s classic is surely the Little House novels by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I loved them–LOVED, LOVED, LOVED them. I still own my original set, dog eared and well worn, sure signs of a much loved classic. I was completely obsessed with Laura and her life. One year for Christmas I received a biography of Laura which I pored over with the devotion of a true enthusiast, particularly enthralled with the pictures. My favorite Little House novel was These Happy Golden Years, swooning over Laura and Almanzo’s love story.
Old friends. Dear friends. What about you? Any old friends you’d like to share with us? Check out the Children’s Classics carnival and let us know what books you count as friends as well as see others’ recommendations!