When I was a youngster, I often visited my grandparents. Often I stayed overnight with them, and my grandmother would tuck me into bed and then read me a chapter of Mother West Wind’s Animal Friends by Thorton W. Burgess. I loved to hear her read to me, just as she had read the same stories to my father when he was a little boy.
When I got older, my mother introduced me to the “Freddy” books by Walter Rollin Brooks. I got thinking about those books recently, and found the following about them:
“The delightful detective story about the beloved animal characters on Mr. Bean’s farm, whose adventures have entertained so many children. Freddy the Pig has been reading Sherlock Holmes and knows that he, too, can apply his brain to solving mysteries, beginning with Farmer Bean’s son’s loss of a toy train. Freddy becomes very efficient in the apprehension of criminals. In the end he not only solves the case of the murdered crow, but successfully acts as defense attorney for the falsely accused Jinx the cat. How often did Sherlock do that?”
I loved to think about those talking farm animals, and I used to wish that I could meet them all. Reading those books made me feel that animals, especially pets, spoke their own languages that only they could understand. As a child I was positive that my cat, Henny, could talk if she really wanted to. However, every attempt I made to catch her talking just made her bored.
Then I discovered the *Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories. I read them and re-read them over and over again. This started me on re-reading books that I loved. It exasperated my mother to no end; she felt that re-reading was just a waste of time. She felt that one read was enough and that I should just go get more library books. However, I loved re-reading just the same; I still do.
So all that said, what children’s books did you love when growing up? (Go ahead, read them again; I won’t tell.)
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series is about a small woman who lives in an upside-down house in a lively neighborhood inhabited mainly by children who have bad habits.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has a chest full of magical cures left to her by her deceased husband, Mr. Piggle-Wiggle, who was a pirate. In the first two books of the series, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (1947) and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic (1949), Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle provides parents with cures for their children’s bad habits. Cures range from the mundane (the “Won’t-Pick-Up-Toys Cure”, allowing a small boy to continue leaving his toys scattered about his room until the room becomes so cluttered that he is unable to escape) to the fantastic (the “Interrupting Cure”, a special powder that is blown on the interrupter, which causes the person to become temporarily mute every time he/she tries to interrupt someone).
(Don’t I just wish that there really was an “Interrupting Cure”!)