With all of our busyness and adulting, have you remained connected with your inner child, or have you blotted out the essence and sounds of that amazing energy within? I try to embrace my inner child as much as possible, for all of the good and great reasons. Allowing little Natasha to run around with glee, I light up when I recognize a beloved book from my childhood, and remember how the stories made me feel, page after page. I love going into the public library and seeing the “classics” and the “newbies” waiting on the shelves for someone inquisitive to explore them. I know that many of us have defaulted to reading eBooks and listening to audio books. I admit that I love audio books. It feels like story time and listening to an amazing storyteller. At the same time, there is something extra special about holding a soft or hard cover book, and you can smell the faint scent coming from the pages. Is it just me, or is that not oh so amazing?

Some of you have children and maybe you have found ways to introduce them to your favorite childhood books. Or maybe you haven’t. Maybe you have forgotten many of them. Maybe you’re not much of a reader and so your memory is clouded of the past fantasies that were woven through your young mind, through those moments when an adult read to you. Or maybe, well heck there’s a lot of maybe’s.

Get your fill of NOSTALGIA

I could not possibly list all of my favorite books growing up because, well, you would grow exhausted and give up, as my list would feel endless. I was a bookworm growing up. A true human sponge, soaking up as much information as I could. I still enjoy reading books, consuming one to three per week. If someone would do all of the adulting for me, I could read more books each week. Arrgh. That leaves me where I stand. One to three will have to do!

My mom taught my how to read by age two, so anything with words was bound to be in front of me. Starting in first grade, my dad would challenge me each week to see who could read either the most books or the biggest (thickest) book. I would light up every time we would visit the Los Angeles Public Library in downtown L.A. Oh my goodness, I used to have so much fun spending hours at the library. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’m typing this post sitting inside of a public library. Yep! Nostalgia overload, but in a great way! Don’t believe me? Check me out…

Thinking back, I can recall sitting across from my dad inside of a Burger King, completely lost in one of the biggest books I had ever read. I was between the ages of six and eight. We were both only pages away from finishing, and although you want to win the challenge, you don’t want to rush the story, because you don’t want to miss any important moments or key elements. That made the challenge even more satisfying. I do think that I rushed through some of the pages though as I didn’t want to lose.

Do any of you have reading challenges with the children in your life?

Scholastic Book Club

Here’s something else that I loved as a child, receiving the Scholastic Book Club flyers at school. Every month I would salivate as I circled or starred which books and learning tools that I was going to hound my parents to buy. I already knew how much I could use from my allowance to cover whichever remaining items that my parents said, “Really Natasha, you already have X (number of) books in your order, those can wait until another time” and I would squeal and say, “But they may not be on the list next time” not realizing that as long as you had the flyer you could order previously featured books. When mom and dad wouldn’t budge any further in their wallet, and I didn’t want to risk calling another family member (because who in their right mind would try to go around my mom and dad?) I went to my back up, my piggy bank, and covered the rest of my order. Oh and by the way, by the time I was in sixth grade, I had upgraded the piggy bank to a grey cash box. Not as cute but it had tons of room to save mo’ money mo’ money mo’ money [*in my Wayans brothers voice*].

Haaaa do you remember these skits from In Living Color?

In case you’re wondering, yes, Scholastic Book Club is still thriving. You can find their monthly flyers here, in digital format and they are segmented by grade level.

And Although Not Books

I don’t know about you, but I was in love with the Highlights Magazine (formerly Highlights for Children). I was so grateful that I had access to them at school and my parents subscribed so I never missed an issue. And yes, they are also still in business and thriving. Check out their magazines, activity subscriptions, books, collections, and more.

are you ready for a trip down memory lane?

Let me title-drop several books and see if the titles spark something inside of you. If it does, please share. Oh and let me be clear, these books aren’t listed in any particular order and I’m only sharing books from knee-high to around third or fourth grade. And, I’m a 70s baby so many of the books that I read as a child were written in the 1940s through 1980s. Some books have been captured as cartoons and animated films, but nothing tops a good ole’ book!

The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey

Frog and Toad (Collection box set) by Arnold Lobel

The Little Engine That Could (Original Classic Edition) by Watty Piper

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Just about every Dr. Seuss book I can think of, here’s a few:

  • Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • Green Eggs and Ham
  • The Cat in the Hat

The Berenstain Bears series by Stan and Jan Berenstain (did you know they wrote over 300 books in this series?)

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (and several other Potter books

Curious George by H.A. Rey

Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry (and other books by him like What Do People Do All Day?)

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Rudolf Wyss

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm

The Little House collection by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories (I read most of the collection) by Carolyn Keene (a pseudonym for a collection of paid writers who each wrote a book; starting first with author Mildred Wirt Benson)

Hardy Boys book series by Franklin W. Dixon (I will admit, I didn’t read all of this series, but I read most of the books)

What About You?

Share some of your childhood favorites. I sprinkled in some from my toddler years through early elementary school. I will save middle school and high school for future posts. I can’t wait to reminisce with you. Comment below or tag me on social media!

~Natasha