First – a little children’s book called Nitter Pitter (by Stephen Cosgrove). It’s about a horse that thinks a lot of himself and has no friends, until he stops worrying about how he looks to others and just starts to have fun. It’s nicely illustrated and the story taught me early not to take myself too seriously. To have fun and not worry about what others think of you.
Second – The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams I think this was a lot of children’s favorite. I was convinced however that all my stuffed animals had an ‘alter’ life or an ‘after’ life and if I loved them enough they’d be real some day. Who am I kidding… I still hope that for them.
Third – Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. Yes, a bit of an animal theme here. I guess with this one, on top of being beautifully written (very descriptive), the thing I love about it is the ‘redemption’ story. You have to go through hell sometimes and it isn’t always going to be easy, but you can’t let it break your spirit.
Fourth – The Nancy Drew Mysteries… yes all of them. I didn’t get a nickel from the tooth fairy; I got a new Nancy Drew. They taught me plotting, and gave me a love of reading. I couldn’t wait to devour a new book, and I will admit, I helped a few loose teeth along so I could get a new book. I sold my complete original ‘classic’ set (56 books) at a yard sale when I was 12 and we were moving into a smaller house. About 10 years ago, I began searching garage sales, flea markets and used book stores to collect the set. With a lot of help from my Dad, my collection is complete.