At some point - and perhaps more than once- I have been asked to write a reading biography about myself. I always liked this assignment, looking back at books that were important to me while growing up. While there are many, many books that I don't have any lasting memory of reading, there are others that I read and re-read, books that I think of even today as an adult. Now that I have children of my own, there are so many books that I want my daughters to experience. My experiences with books and reading and my parents and teachers helped shape the reader I have become. I finally started compiling a list of the titles that I remember well, those that have stuck with me through the years.
My plan right now is to write a post each Thursday about one of these books. As an adult I have talked about some of these books with friends and am always excited to find a title that we can both reminisce about.
Summer Pony by Jean Slaughter Doty was the first chapter book read to me. By now I remember little more than that it was about a girl and the pony she had for the summer. What I do remember is having my dad read a chapter of this book to me each evening after supper. He would sit in our red bean bag smoking his after-supper-cigarette (ugh! but it was the 70s), and I would stand next to the bean bag while he read. So much for cuddling up with a good book. However, I appreciate that my dad took the time to read to me. It seems like that often falls to the mother. I will admit that I love reading to my girls at bedtime and my husband has more of a "guest reader" status. While my dad didn't sit around reading books, he did read each night before bed, and by reading to me he was able to convey that reading was an important activity, and something that was done for pleasure.
Summer Pony came out in 1976, and while Amazon only has used copies available, I am surprised to see the same cover I remember so well on the Amazon page. One of the public libraries I frequent also still has this title available, so despite the fact that it was published over thirty years ago, there is something within it's pages that has stood the test of time.
I wonder what book my children remember as their first chapter book? I have read so many more books to them than my parents ever read to me, that some times we have even re-read books that I read to them when they were much to little to remember these stories.
What was your first chapter book experience? Who reads to your children?