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    Baby Ache

    January 26, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    Little A. is rushing into toddlerhood without looking back. We are so fond of her and proud of all her little achievements, and yet my heart just aches to have her be a baby again.

    I know, I know, she’s not quite one. But she’s walking! She’s not perfected it yet, but she’s practicing every day now, and I know it won’t be long before she’s wandering the hallways trying to open doors.

    Si and I purchased her first birthday gift today. We have a tradition that started when E. was a baby. For every Christmas and every birthday, the children receive a truly good book. It has to be a good story or rhyme, with colorful pictures, and preferably a hardcover edition. E. has received some of the true greats: the complete works of the likes of A.A. Milne and Beatrix Potter, not to mention Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses.

    A. will be venturing into unknown territory for her first birthday. We purchased A Is for Annabelle and 1 Is One, both by Tasha Tudor {who, incidentally, illustrated E.’s Stevenson book mentioned above}. I’ve never read them, but they come highly recommended by bibliophiles I hold in high regard.

    There is nothing like a book to enchant a childhood, and if there is one thing I wish for my children it is an innocent, sunshiny, enchanted childhood. I want them, in their adulthood, to look back and see a warm, welcoming glow around all their memories.

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  • Reply kristie January 27, 2006 at 8:17 pm

    To name a few:
    Betsy and Tacey (my first chapter book!)
    Little Women
    A Little Princess
    The Secret Garden
    various Christian series (not exactly classics, but I liked them)
    Caddie Woodlawn
    Anne of Green Gables series (I can’t believe it took me this long to think of that one)

    That’s what comes to mind as my “elementary books.” I was definitely a girl.

  • Reply Brandy January 27, 2006 at 4:53 pm

    So tell me, Kris…What are the best chapter books of your childhood? I’m already keeping a list of those, too!

  • Reply kristie January 27, 2006 at 1:35 pm

    Most of the books I remember as a kid are the chapter books I read when I was older. I do remember going through a devotional book with my mom when I was really little. There was one about hugging that I always wanted to have her read while we snuggled. (It’s hard to imagine that was me.)

    I remember Caddie Woodlawn, Pippy Longstocking, and Nate the Great among my first book reports in school. Yes, Nate the Great– I was a prophetess at a young age.=)

  • Reply Brandy January 27, 2006 at 6:19 am

    Ooooh! Thank you for the wonderful book ideas. I am going to put them all on the ever-expanding book list I am keeping.

    ps. DG–I didn’t tell you she was reading before she was walking?? Haha…

  • Reply MountainPowerLineman January 27, 2006 at 2:56 am

    I suggest some of my childhood favorites like, “The Monster at the End of This Book” starring Grover from Sesame Street. Also I loved “Frog and Toad are Friends” and “Frog and Toad Together”. If you can find it I highly recommend “The Tall Book of Make-Believe” by Jane Werner. Its out of print, so best of luck. It has the most wonderful collection of stories for children.

  • Reply rebecca January 26, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    O.K., I just looked those up. It doesn’t look like there was “Tea for Frances”, but there is “Bedtime for Frances,”Bread and Jam for Frances”, and “A Bargain for Frances”. I pretty sure there were others as well.

  • Reply Rebecca January 26, 2006 at 11:13 pm

    Did you read the “Frances” books as a child? I think the author is Russell Hoban and there are titles like “Bedtime for Frances” and “Tea for Frances.” I loved those books…but I never did figure out what kind of creature Frances is.

  • Reply D.G. January 26, 2006 at 9:08 pm

    Yes, I have been thinking along the same lines for my future children. Except, I think I want to give my children truly bad books. I’ll train them early to recognize filth when they see it. Okay, seriously, books do make lovely gifts and I’m always a big fan! A. will probably be reading on her own next week….

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