What were your favorite picture books when you were a child?
Every evening before bed my parents read to my sister and me. It's actually one of the memories that stands out as being the best times with my dad. Growing up my mom stayed at home so we'd see her after school, but dad was the one reading to us four times out of five. Some days we would get in bed and we would go through the Highlights magazine looking for hidden objects, other days we would read an entire book, and sometimes we would go through a few chapters of a book each night until we finished.
My favorite book as a child was the Rainbow Fish. At a base level, the colors and shimmery scales appeal to all children and made me want to reach for the book every time. Then as you read about the Rainbow Fish you learn that he is cold-hearted and beautiful. It takes some time for him to reflect on himself before he realizes that he needs to be kind to others in order to have friends.
While Rainbow Fish was my singular favorite, there were also two other picture book series that caught my attention. One of the series was about vegetables and my grandma would read them to my sister and me on her porch. This time showcased the softer side of her, which as I got older would seem to fade away more.
The last series was one about animals by Suzanne Tate. The author had books on otters, clams, and other creatures. Occasionally I still see the picture books when I walk through a gift shop at the beach. These books remind me of my mom and learning to read. I can't remember reading any books before this series although I'm sure there were some. I'm not sure how we got started with the series, but it still brings back fond memories.