Favorite Childhood Books

Have you ever been antique shopping or thrifting and come across a book you remember fondly as a child? Maybe I’m showing my age a bit here, but, I when I happened upon The Gateway to Storyland, by Watty Piper, I didn’t think twice about purchasing it, even though it wasn’t in the best condition. Once home I pored through the pages as sweet, sweet memories of the stories filled my heart. I remember, as a child, spending what seemed like hours just looking at the illustrated endpapers with of all of the characters in the book.Although, there are a couple of stories in there that I would not consider appropriate today or any day, there are still many darling stories and some a bit more profound such as The Little Red Hen, one I still mention to my children when they care more about receiving the end product than helping with the process.My fondest book memory is that of Little Popcorn. It was easy to find on Ebay for little to nothing. I just had to have it. After all, when I was very little, my nickname was Popcorn.I mean, seriously, how sweet is this little plump canine who only wanted to be a fire dog and in the end saved the day.My all time favorite childhood book was The Case of the Cat’s Meow. I’m not sure why, but I must have read it more than any other book ever. I also purchased it online very inexpensively.The main character in the book was loud, bossy and annoying and I adored him. It’s a sweet story of a boy’s love for his cat and the friends who came to the rescue when she went missing.
Back when I originally had this book as a child, my sister taught me how to alter it with fabric, creating a touch-and-feel book . I wrote about that and other ideas for making touch-and-feel children’s books over on SC Johnson’s Family Economics HERE. Please check it out.
What is your most favorite childhood book? If you mention it in a comment here or over on SCJ, leave me a link to it online so I can check it out!

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47 Responses to Favorite Childhood Books

  1. #1 - Nej says:

    "Stand Back Said the Elephant I'm Going to Sneeze" was one of my favorites….read again & again. My mom keeps it in her guest room so when we are there visiting I read it to my kids.

  2. #2 - Amy Loves London says:

    "Isabel's Noisy Tummy" by David McKee is just one of those little known classics. It's just one of those books!

  3. #3 - Kendra @ Domestic Princess in Training says:

    Love the illustrations! I know it would be awful to rip them up but they were but cute framed and used as décor in a play room or study.

    I really can’t remember my favorite childhood but I did have a favorite chapter book when I was in middle school…read it over and over again as did all my friends! It was titled “The Wind that Blew Backwards” I was at Goodwill the other day and found a copy of it! I was stoked; brought me back to the old days and the way I felt each time I read it. I’ve been on the hunt for a copy for a few years and has no such luck until Goodwill came through again.

    Kendra “Domestic Princess in Training”

  4. #4 - gm glimmerglass says:

    I snap up old family faves and give the to my non-thrifting siblings at Christmas and Birthdays. They love reading to them with their kids.

  5. #5 - Jess says:

    I always loved Hubert's Hair-Raising Adventure by Bill Peet.

    I always loved the illustrations in this one, I may have to get a new copy for my kids, I think my old one might not stand up to repeated readings anymore.

  6. #6 - Pattie Cordova says:

    I loved My Little "B" Book. I couldn't find it online but it's about this little girl with a big red B on her overalls and she goes around talking about things that begin with the letter B.

  7. #7 - Deb says:

    Oh My goodness, I remember the Little Red Hen. But I don't remember a lot of the others I read that were separate publications. My grandmother had a series of books called Adventures Through Journeyland. They're dated 1923 and she had bought them for my father and brother when they were small. There were 10 books starting with early childhood poems and going all the way through to King Arthur's Court, etc. They were my favorite books. My favorite story was the Snow Queen. I would take one volume home every time we went to visit her and return it for the next. When she passed away, I got the entire set and read stories to my children from them. Of course, with small children I found more wonderful stories like Goodnight Moon etc. I kept all of them and will pass those along when my children have children.

  8. #8 - Kathy-Catnip Studio says:

    I was a voracious reader as a child, so I have many favorites. For alltime visual magic, though, the puppet fairy tale books with the lenticular insert in the covers (pictures by Shiba Productions, published by Golden Press) kept me in wonderland for at least a decade of my childhood.

  9. #9 - girlfromthe_N.Country says:

    I am prob a bit younger than some of your readers but my fave childrens book was "the big tidy up" It got me to clean my room everytime. Haha


  10. #10 - Mary Bennett says:

    So funny that you posted this. I did a similar one last month! There is just something about books we loved as kids, even more I think, than the toys we had. Here is the link. I hope you enjoy it.

  11. #11 - Karen says:

    What sweet finds! Love those illustrations. I remember Corduroy, Paddington Bear, Babar, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, and Raggedy Ann. My kidlets have so many books today, they could have their own children's library. It thrills me that like their Mama, they have a love of books! :> Great share!

  12. #12 - Splash says:

    I still remember all the "Billy and Blaze" books. The illustrations were wonderful. Even to an adult's eye.

  13. #13 - Joyce Joneschiet says:

    Oh, I just love The Case of the Cat's Meow! I totally forgot about that book and you're right – the memories just flood back. The illustrations were the best! There is one fairy tale book that disappeared from my bookshelf when I was growing up (it must have been falling apart and my mom threw it away) and I've been looking for it for years. The illustrations looked like photographs – they were done so well and had the look of ceramic figures. Well someday I will find it again!

  14. #14 - Aimee says:

    My favorite is Seven Little Rabbits. I still have my ripped up copy, and I still know the rhyme.
    "Seven little rabbits went walking down the road to call on old friend toad."


  15. #15 - Lori E says:

    I seem to remember something about Ferdinand the Bull.

  16. #16 - Lori E says:

    I seem to remember something about Ferdinand the Bull.

  17. #17 - Country Dreaming says:

    There are soooooooooo many books that I remember from my childhood
    to name a few:
    Cat in the Hat
    Put ME in the Zoo
    Ten Aplles Up On Top
    Ramona the Pest
    Little House series
    I could go on and on!!!!!


  18. #18 - Taís Marçal Diniz says:

    Amei o blog…já estou seguindo.

  19. #19 - Tanya says:

    i loved 'corduroy.' just today at work, i saw a mother reading it to her little girl and it made me smile. my husband even bought me a copy when i commented how it was my favorite childhood book.

    also loved 'goodnight, moon.' my mom read that to us all the time. i'm probably forgetting a lot…i loved reading as a kid!

  20. #20 - Kim says:

    I loved "The Little Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings" as a child.

    It's got a great moral and the old copies are so beautiful.


  21. #21 - Chelsey - The Paper Mama says:

    Those are some great little books!

  22. #22 - Peggy Alborn says:

    Oh, The Case of the Cat's Meow was one of my favorites! You made me smile!

  23. #23 - kathysews says:

    I still have lots of the books I loved as a child. One of my favorites was called Katie No-Pocket. It was about a kangaroo who did not have a pocket to keep her baby in and used an apron instead. I took one of my Mother's aprons and sewed a pocket on it when I was little. My grown daughter just graduated from college and used some of her gift money to get the books she loved as a child.

  24. #24 - Alex says:

    Happy Hollisters by Jerry west. Great series of books!


  25. #25 - Tamra says:

    I love vintage childrens books! Stone soup was one of my favourites and still is. I just love the pictures in these old books. The little red hen is adorable.

  26. #26 - If Toys Could Talk says:

    My favorite is Rupert and Polly, by Jody Silver. Unfortunately, you can't find it anywhere these days… not even an image of the cover! It was a book that my dad used to read to me all the time, which is probably what made it special to me. 🙂

  27. #27 - Caroline B says:

    Pookie the Flying Rabbit – wonderful little stories with illustrations that fascinated me – these books were old even when I was small!

  28. #28 - Collaborations says:

    Loved "The Plain Princess"

    And, Nej, as a kindergarten and second grade teacher I read your favorite, "Stand Back Said the Elephant I'm Going to Sneeze", every year on the first day of school!!

  29. #29 - Ann says:

    I love old children's books and have been collecting them for years. I'm sure I remember that little red hen illustration. Those I remember loving were books illustrated by Hilda Boswell – fairies and small animal illustrations I adored. I've got a few and my favourite is her Fairy Tales – A Pixie Book, published by Collins – small and perfect!

  30. #30 - CraftCrave says:

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [16 Jul 12:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  31. #31 - Jenn Erickson says:

    What beautiful books and wonderful finds. I'm not familiar with any of those titles, but I do have another book from my childhood library by Crosby Bonsall. My favorite books from childhood are The Meanest Squirrel I Ever Met by Gene Zion (have it) and The Sugar Mouse Cake (also by Zion). I don't have a copy of Sugar Mouse, and unfortunately it's out of print and now sells for over $100 even in bad condition. I'm hoping to have one of those miraculous thrift-store moments some day with this book!

  32. #32 - EmandaJ says:

    Hi Cathe,
    When I was young my folks bought a huge (dictionary sized) children's book chock full of classic childrens' stories with classic illustrations — Kate Greenway, Caldecott, Beardsley, etc. I don't have children, but still loved the book.

    Love your article about altering books with fabric. I would use fusible webbing from the fabric store instead of glue.


  33. #33 - InMyOwnStyle says:

    Hi Cathe-

    I am super sentimental when it comes to things I had in my childhood, so I just love this post. I have been looking for a book I had as a child- it had gorgeous color Arabian lithographs in purples and gold. It definitely influenced my "visual" ness early in my life. I have no idea what it was called, but I look for it at every used book store I come across. It had a purple cover. It was probably from the 40's.

    My favrotie book to read was The Little Red Caboose. I just loved the colorful illustrations. I can still recite the whole book.
    Hope you have a nice weekend.

  34. #34 - Uhleah says:

    My favorite book from childhood (I'm not that old) was Corduroy. And a close runner up was a book from my Mom's childhood – called Ping. http://www.amazon.com/Story-About-Ping-Marjorie-Flack/dp/0140502416 🙂

  35. #35 - Kimberly S. says:

    cMy goodness, I was an avid reader as a child . . so I had many favorites . . .

    The Ordinary Princess – MM Kaye

    Dancing Shoes, Theatre Shoes and Ballet Shoes – all by Noel Streatfield

    The colored fairy books by Andrew Lang

    The Anne of Green Gables series by LM Montgomery

    A Little Princess and A Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

    The Cricket in Times Square by Georges Selden

    Socks by Beverly Cleary

    Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

    I could go on and on:).

    I am also the "crazy book lady" who yearly gives the kids in the family books for Xmas – and they love it – all are avid readers too. The little girls in particular I'd get some beautiful illustrated fairy tales. I found that Kinuko Y. Craft (http://tinyurl.com/kinukoycraftbooks) had some beautiful work out there. Her website is: http://www.kycraft.com/index.html

  36. #37 - Persis Shah says:

    my fave is the wonderful story of henry sugar by roald dahl…its for slightly older kids though. but it is what instantly came to my mind =)

    just stumbled across your blog and i have to say its LOVELY! do drop by mine too when you have some time. perhaps we can follow each other! =)


  37. #38 - vanessa @ silly eagle books says:

    Little Popcorn looks like a book my daughter would love! She is really into anything fire-fighter related: fire dogs, cats, cows, etc. We also love vintage books–I've never read any of the ones you shared today–I'm excited to hunt for them!

  38. #39 - Campbell says:

    I know exactly what you mean about finding the old books from childhood. My problem is that I cannot recall the title of the book which was my favorite as a 6 or 7 year old, but I recall the adventure the main character had when he was riding his wagon, and ended up heading out of town…would love to come across it someday!

  39. #40 - Tammy says:

    How fun! You brought back images of our school librarian reading to us in a large circle. I always loved story time as a young girl. The illustrations were always so neat with the use of black and white with only color here and there. Thanks for taking me back.

  40. #41 - Bonnie says:

    The Something by Natalie Babbitt. When I was little I remember checking this book out from the library several times. There was just something magical that drew me to this book. The main character. a little creature named Mylo, had some kind of mysterious hold on me or something.

  41. #42 - Terri ( Meterr) says:

    I read so many books as a kid (Trixie Beldon, Bobsy twins, Nancy Drew) but the books I could look at all day were

    ME AND MY FLYING MACHINE by Marianna and Mercer Mayer

    I dreamed of building my own flying machine too!

    and GRAMPAS GHOST STORIES by James Flora
    the scary stories were so cool, but i LOVED the illustrations so much!


  42. #43 - Terri ( Meterr) says:

    oh, and how could I forget one of my all times faves…

    THE FIVE CHINESE BROTHERS by Claire Huchet Bishop.

    I actually found this book for 10 cents at a yard sale, which made my day!
    A cool place to keep track of books you've read ( then and now) is Shelfari! Add me as a friend there if you join! Its a really cool place for bookworms!!

  43. #44 - mitziscollectibles says:

    Cathe, my favorite book was "The Wuggly Ump" by Edward Gorey. The drawings intrigued me so much, and it frightened me to no end, because the Wuggly Ump eats a couple children. It's not pretty, let me tell you! Scary and fun at the same time.

  44. #45 - livingonair says:

    The 'Goops And How To Be One' was our childhood Miss Manners. Those Goops were so ill behaved!!! My brother and I realized at an early age the book was meant to teach us how NOT to behave… but I think my oldest brother missed that lesson and actually became a Goop!

  45. #46 - Janette says:

    Not quite a children’s book but I can’t resist every old copy of Jane Eyre I see. I now have 12 very old versions. These books are beautiful