December 9 Reverb Broads Prompt: What was your favorite children's book? courtesy of Niki at
I love this question and yet I cannot answer it properly. I cannot now, nor have I ever been able to choose a favorite book. There are books for different moods. Different needs, different emotions, different feelings, different subjects, different phases of our lives. I don't want to pick a favorite book. I will not. Kassie at 8 or 10 or 13 or 19 or 21 couldn't pick a favorite book. There have been too many. Too many loved and cherished and shared and re-read and fawned over and memorized.
The poetry of Shel Silverstein taught me the flexibility of words, eliciting laughter and the easy joy that could come from reading aloud. Curled up in my bed in my footie pajamas, wet hair all combed out after my bath, reading with my parents, taking turns letting those words tip toe across our tongues. Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who simply would not take the garbage out.
Books read to me by teachers in school. Sitting quietly, intently focused on their soft, careful voices as the story unfolded into the closed air of our classroom. Books with dramatic stories of survival and independence, like Island of the Blue Dolphins, that convinced me that somehow, if all of my family and friends disappeared, I could not only survive in the backyard alone with just the dog, but that it might actually be kind of fun.
Little Women taught me about family and made me long for sisters that I would never have. (I did not force my brother to wear a dress. Ok, just the once, he lost the role because he could never play a convincing Amy anyway. Not enough blonde ringlets.) Little Women taught me the ability to forgive and love others even when they have disappointed me, and to feel the tragedy of a death, even a fictional death, so powerful and unfair and futile that I felt as if Beth had just been resting under a blanket on the sofa in my living room moments before she was taken.
Hiding behind that same sofa in our living room, stretched out in front of the incredibly sunny sliding glass doors and devouring tiny book after tiny book of the fanciful and charming Beatrix Potter series. All those little gems of whimsy and Victorian animals fitting in my hand like beloved dolls.
So no. I can't pick a favorite. Why would I have to? There's no desert island in my future. There are new books to be discovered everyday. And that thought makes every day a little brighter and a little sillier and a little better. And I now have a husband to make sure the garbage gets taken out.