“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” Ernest Hemingway (well, maybe my dog)

DSC03220A writing friend sent me this sweet picture of her granddaughter reading RAINBOWS, and it got me thinking about the importance of certain books in my own life.  In particular, the books I remember from being a kid.  My sister and I had a long discussion this summer about a book we both remembered well – well, everything except for the title!  She spent an evening tracking the book down as a Christmas gift for me, and here it is:

The New House in the ForestI don’t remember exactly why it was such a favourite, but I think it had something to do with wishing we could have a sweet cozy house in the woods built for our family, or maybe it was because the kids seemed to have such a perfect life among the animals since we had a short-lived Nature Club once upon a time:) Maybe this book is also why I’ve always been a fan of old-fashioned illustrations (these are by Eloise Wilkin).

I always browse through the books when I visit used clothing stores, and I came upon this one the other day, which I picked up for $1.50:

The Littlest Angel

When I Googled it today, I discovered there are many versions, but this is the one we used to own, with illustrations from 1962. I had a baby sister die in 1967, so it’s easy to see why this became a favourite in my family as we struggled with the concepts of angels, heaven, etc. In fact, I continue to struggle with those concepts – this will become obvious when THE POWER OF HARMONY comes out this spring…

As a kids’ writer, my primary goal is to create something kids will like, a story that will speak to them on some level, and maybe even become part of their childhood memory libraries, a lofty goal indeed. What picture books spring to mind as your childhood favourites?  Can you remember why they were your favourites? I think I’m about 14 in the header picture above – pretty sure my Nana P’s hidden Harlequins were my favs then…