oday is International Children's Book Day. To celebrate, I'm highlighting some of the books that have played a prominent role in my siblings and my childhood.
The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner
This series was a great favorite of mine when I was young, and now my seven year old sister has fallen in love with them as well. You just can't resist these classic adventures of the Alden children who live with their kind grandfather and solve all kinds of mysteries.
The Adventures of Tintin series by Herge
Though my 10 year old brother is not the biggest reader in our family, he simply can't get enough of these stories. Created by Belgian author Herge, these comic books relate the adventures of a spunky young reporter and his sidekicks Snowy (the dog) and Capt. Haddock. From the Congo to China to Tibet, Tintin is never far from excitement. The recent Speilberg/Jackson film is now bringing this popular European series to a North American audience.
Hank the Cowdog series by John R. Erickson
This was (and still is) a great favorite of my 18 year old sister's. Hank the Cowdog is head of ranch security on High Loper's Texas ranch, and he take's his job seriously. If only things didn't keep happening to mess things up. For a fun family read, nothing beats these hilarious stories.
The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola
From the time she was small, my (now 20 year old) sister was a huge fan of Tomie dePaola's work. She loved to look at his illustrations of various books. Her most favorite of his works was his Legend of the Indian Paintbrush which was part of his collection of legends, fables, and folktales from around the world. In this story, a young Indian brave struggles to fulfill his dream-vision of painting the sunset.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
There are few people who are not touched by this series at some point in their childhood and my other 20 year old sister is no exception. Lewis' beautiful stories are not only a wonderful example of fantasy literature, but they are also a beautiful picture of the Christian story. My sister's favorite novel from the series is The Magician's Nephew.
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
I've read many classics of children's literature in my time, but few have stuck with me the way this one has. Kenneth Graham's enchanting and beautiful tale of life on the river continues to haunt me to this day. I love thinking about Rat "messing about in boats", Mole doing his spring cleaning, gruff Badger in his hole in the woods, and Toad careening through the village in his motorcar. This is a story that, in my opinion, should be read to every child. A gem of a book if ever there was one.
How about you? Do you have a favorite book from your childhood? Is there one that you discovered by reading to your own children? Please share and take the time to celebrate the role books play in the life of a child.