Books have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Growing up, no bedtime was complete without a proper tucking in followed by stories that ranged from Dick and Jane’s adventures to Dr. Seuss to Peanuts and Garfield. My folks were good about mixing things up, but like all kids, I had my favorite. Anytime they allowed me to choose, my go-to was Roger’s Umbrella. Mom and Dad wore out the binding, and likely their patience, yet I never tired of hearing the same tale over and over again.
To this day, few stories have stayed with me like Roger’s Umbrella. Granted, my tastes have changed over the years and new books became my obsession. I cracked the spine on The Indian in the Cupboard, re-read Who is Bugs Potter? more times than I could count, and even now pull Dave Barry’s Big Trouble off the shelf at least once a year. Yet Roger’s Umbrella resides in a special place in my heart. Partially because it's a sweet tale of a “boy” and his increasingly disobedient umbrella, but mostly because it was the first book to ignite my passion for reading.
And that’s a gift I can’t wait to pass down.
My wife and I have enjoyed the holidays, not only because it was some much-needed time off, but also because of all the attention that goes along with being expecting parents. In six months, we’ll say hello to our first child and we've been dealing with the euphoria (and sheer terror) that goes along with it. We’re asking questions that new parents have asked for generations and sharing similar worries. But we’re also excited and impatient to meet our daughter. We can’t wait to show our June Bug this planet and all its wonders, to spend the days watching her grown and learn.
And spend the nights reading her to sleep.
There are few treasures as precious as a book. They stir the imagination and allow the reader to experience worlds filled with wondrous people and places. Sometimes they make us laugh, sometimes they make us cry, and sometimes they leave us questioning ourselves or those around us. They are portals to other dimensions that we can access anytime we wish and revisit as often as we like.
All we need to do is open the cover.
Mom and Dad gave me the gift of Roger’s Umbrella and through it, sparked a love for reading. In the years to come, I hope pass that gift on to my daughter. With any luck, she'll become enthralled with the written word and begin a journey of constant discovery.
And who knows, maybe one day she, too, will find herself tucking her own daughter into bed and reading from the same worn, dog-eared book that my parents gave to me.
So, what books sparked your passion growing up?
Joshua Roots is a car collector, beekeeper, and storyteller. He enjoys singing with his a cappella chorus, golf, and all facets of Sci-Fi/Fantasy. He's still waiting for his acceptance letter to Hogwarts and Rogue Squadron. He and his wife will talk your ear off about their bees if you let them.
Paranormal Chaos, the final book in The Shifter Chronicles, is available for pre-order wherever digital books are sold.
I'm going to have to look up Roger's Umbrella. It sounds adorable. I miss having a younger child. I used to really enjoy buying picture books with whimsical stories! Luckily, I see a lot of great books come through the library donations and I get to spend time with them before they get packed up for the sale.ReplyDelete
A series I really enjoyed with my daughter was Fix-It Duck. I loved the simple rhymes and the art. She also shared my love of Roald Dahl, whose books can be read over and over. :)
I'll have to check out Fix-It-Duck. We're beginning to build our bedtime reading pile, so will have to add that it to list!Delete
Great post and congrats to you and the wife! I spent a lot of time nose-first in books as a kiddo, but for me I think the ones that really stood out were the "Eddie" novels by Carolyn Haywood, about a little boy who collected junk and always managed to find the right thing at the right time. I picked up a copy of "Eddie's Pay Dirt" and "Eddie and the Fire Engine" for my nephews a few Christmases ago...ReplyDelete
I've never seen the Eddie novels, but with look into those as well. Anything worth passing down to the next generation is worth picking up in my opinion.Delete
Congratulations to you and your lovely wife, and best wishes!ReplyDelete
Thanks. We're 99.9% happy and .01% wondering where we're going to put all the stuff required to raise a kid. Because she's going to be getting a LOT of books from me....Delete
I'm ashamed to say that I've never read any of those books! Looks like I might have to change that. As for me, there was one book that changed my life. A SPELL FOR CHAMELEON by Piers Anthony. It's why I'm an author today. Basically it was on my older "cool" cousin's bookshelf. I found it, seized it and in awe asked him if it was any good. He said it was AWESOME but when I asked if I could read it, he told me NO, that I was too young. Hmmph. I pestered him until he finally relented and then devoured it. It just happened to be the first book in a looooong series. I went from being baffled as to why anybody would take the time to read a whooooole novel to somebody who couldn't wait for the next. Now I write them, go figure?ReplyDelete
Great post! And, uh...Congratulations on soon to be a father!
I hadn't thought of it, but you're right that Pies Anthony would be a great series to spark interest in reading. And there are so many books in different series that there's probably something for everyone.Delete
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There's nothing better than introducing your kid to a book you love and experiencing them falling in love with it just like you did. I started with Richard Scarry's Peasant Pig and the Terrible Dragon. The kid is now seven and starting to introduce me to new series. It's the best!ReplyDelete
I might collapse from joy the day our kid shares with us a series she found on her own....Delete