Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bedtime stories

Spent a pleasant half hour on the floor of Duthie's on Vancouver's W. 4th. Avenue this morning with my daughter Holly, searching for the perfect book for her partner's three-year old's birthday. And there was me thinking there must be lots of books about trains - Adam's passion - but besides the predictable Little Engine that Could and Thomas the Tank Engine, there was nary a one.

But it reminded me of Holly's favourite books when she was A's age, and older:

  • Alligator Pie by Dennis Lee - she once met DL when he came to my library to give a reading, and ever after she referred to AP as 'Dennis' book'.
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein - poetry was always big in our family - I remember as an infant H. fell asleep on my father's chest while he recited John Donne's 'Song' that begins, 'Go and catch a falling star, get with child a mandrake root..' later recorded on a wonderful album Circle of Light by Pentangle.
  • Drummer Hoff by Ed Emberley - and me the pacifist had to read this every night for weeks... about the building of a canon, the last line of each refrain being, But Drummer Hoff fired it OFF!"
  • Are You My Mother? by LeSieg
  • The Mud Puddle and Mortimer by Robert Munsch - both became favourites in the years I was doing a lot of storytelling.
  • A House is a House For Me by Mary Ann Hoberman - another one in rhyme.
  • Sssh Bang - Margaret Wise Brown - this may well be out of print. My copy is so old and beat-up I'd only lend it to a reader who has very careful hands.
  • The Gunniwolf by Wilhemina Harper (Holly liked it better when I told it with a wolf puppet)
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (on tape, long before I'd have thought she'd be interested).
  • Mr Gumpy's Outing - lovely Mr. Gumpy....
  • The Elephant and the Bad Baby - Raymond Briggs. "But you never once said Please!"

I think most of these are still in print - or should be. Which is more than you can say for many of the adult books I was reading about that time.

(Holly turns 32 tomorrow! So it's been a while since we shared a bedtime story. But I read The Runaway Bunny to Adam on his first visit here...)

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