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Childhood Reading

October 30, 2008

Lately I’ve been thinking of all the experience I had of my mom reading to me everyday while growing up. We read some wonderful “family books” as we called them and I’m so looking forward to sharing them with my kids someday! Here are some of the titles we enjoyed. Most of them are geared toward girls, but my brother enjoyed a lot of them too.

All of a Kind Family – by Sydney Taylor
A wonderful series of books dealing with a large Jewish family in turn of the century New York City.

Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace
The first of the Betsy-Tacy-Tib books. They follow the girls all the way up until they get married. Even as a teenager I enjoyed reading the books about them when they were in high school.

Happy Little Family by Rebecca Caudell. Other titles in the series are Schoolhouse in the Woods, Up and Down the River and Schoolhouse in the Parlor. Some of the sweetest books you’ll ever read! Heartwarming and Little House on the Prarie-like only for the younger set. I think she’s most famous for A Certain Small Shepherd, which would be great to read in the upcoming Christmas season.

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. I can remember that we laughed our way through this book. It was delightful! Other books that were equally wonderful by the same author: Winter Cottage, Louly, Two Are Better Than One. I think these are out of print, but check your library.

Thee, Hannah! by Marguerite De Angeli is a charming tale of a little Quaker girl. She also write a lot about the Amish community in Lancaster county, like the cute book, Yonie Wondernose. I love De Angeli’s books and illustrations. Most famous for her a Newbery award winning, The Door in the Wall, really anything by her will delight you. I’d love to get my hands on the now out of print The Lion in the Box. All I can remember is my mom crying over it and that it’s also a Christmas story.

Happy family reading!

(Image from

13 Comments leave one →
  1. October 30, 2008 11:56 am

    I am so grateful for this post. I am always looking for books to read with the kids. I am sooooo not familiar with children’s literature, so this really serves me. keep ’em comin’.

    I am reading the first betsy tacy book to maggs. we both love it. so sweet and of another time.

  2. October 30, 2008 12:14 pm

    Oh, I love old books. Especially finding copies of those I remember from childhood. A few years ago I bought a few Little House on the Prairie titles at my grandparent’s house sale–there’s nothing like a cloth, hardbound book that smells a little musty to take you back! :o)

    Here are a few I’ve been enjoying with Natalia right now and they are becoming favorites all over again: “The Giant Jam Sandwich”, “Go Dog Go”, and “Bears On Wheels”. I’ll pull out “The Town That Forgot About Christmas” in a few weeks.

    One of the treasured books in our house is a new copy of the same picture/grammar book that Pete used in primary school in Poland. It’s helping me learn to read Polish at any rate!

  3. October 30, 2008 12:20 pm

    ok.. one of Malachy’s favorite books is “where’s my cow” by Terry Pratchett. It’s hilarious and the illustrations are great. While it may not be a classic, if you love the disc world series it is fun to share with your kids. 😉

  4. October 30, 2008 12:23 pm

    Oh, and how could I forget–“Treasures of the Snow”?!?!
    (Although I’ll probably wait till Natalia is 6 or 7 for that one.)

  5. October 30, 2008 12:25 pm

    oh… some of my favorites. and some i haven’t heard of. wonderful. thanks!

  6. October 30, 2008 12:53 pm

    Oh yeah! Anything by Patricia M. St. John is great!

  7. zoanna permalink
    October 30, 2008 1:32 pm

    For me it was Big Sister, Little Sister. Can’t tell you how many time my mom read that to my older sister and me at naptime. I also liked “Grandpa’s Policemen Friends.” I think it gave me my affinity for dialing 911. I loved all things Seuss, the Boxcar Children, and Nancy Drew.

  8. October 30, 2008 3:06 pm

    I love “Thee, Hannah.” I found it long ago at the library, one of those happy accidental discoveries. I need to find it again for my own children.

    — SJ

  9. Judith permalink
    October 30, 2008 8:47 pm

    Oh yea I remember Big Sister, Little Sister. That was one of my favorites too!

  10. kristinschaub permalink
    October 31, 2008 4:20 am

    The books you mentioned by Carol Ryrie Brink besides Caddie Woodlawn, are they about the Woodlawn family, or completely different stories all together? Caddie Woodlawn was one of my favorite books as a kid, and we read it at school. I was thinking there was another book after Caddie, that dealt more with Hetty, but I couldn’t remember the title!

  11. October 31, 2008 6:14 am

    Kristin, those other books are not about Caddie. There is, however, one other book about Caddie Woodlawn called Magical Melons, which I own if you want to borrow. I’m not sure if it deals more with Hetty or not, can’t remember!

  12. November 1, 2008 4:27 pm

    Thank you, Danielle! My parents read all the time to us. My best memories of reading together are in the car. My mom would read to us on long car trips and we loved it. We went through the whole Little House series and the Narnia series that way.

    We also read to our kids every day and I’d thought I’d seen just about every “list”. But there are several new ones on yours. I’m so excited to check them out!

  13. November 8, 2008 8:44 pm

    I don’t remember being read to much as a kid, but decided to fall in love with anything by Tasha Tudor a little later in life!

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