When I was very young.

When I was a kid, two of the first books I ever read were When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six, both of them by A. A. Milne. Decades later, I still remember a few poems from those books and some of the fine drawings that grace its pages.

Recently I purchased both of those titles for my Kindle for the purpose of re-discovering these childhood gems all over again. As I write this, I am not yet finished reading When We Were Very Young but I can already tell you that this is a very enchanting reading experience, even in its electronic form. It’s great to see those drawings again and to discover for myself the magical poetry that has made these books so timeless.

There is a third book in the series entitled The House on Pooh Corner that introduced the world to Winnie the Pooh, and I think I had that book as well since I remember the drawings of Pooh and his friends that looked nothing like the Disney versions that we all know so well. I just purchased that book so I can re-visit these classic characters all over again in the very near future.

Other books I remember reading when I was very young were Little Bear, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Berenstain Bears along with books by Richard Scarry, P.D. Eastman, Maurice Sendak, Mercer Mayer and especially Dr. Seuss, who had the greatest impact on my childhood. His books were a welcome departure from the usual themes covered by children’s books and introduced me to imaginative characters and creatures I’d never seen before in other books. His books inspired me to expand my imagination to levels I never thought possible. I still feel that inspiration even today.

Towards the end of my visit to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving yesterday, my 5-year old nephew, still learning to read, sat on my lap while reading one of his books out loud. When he finished reading one book, he would walk up to the bookshelf to put the book away and pull out another one to read from the comfort of my lap. Sure enough, many of the books he read were the same ones I read when I was his age, the classics by the Berenstains, P.D. Eastman, and yes, Dr. Seuss. How cool that these books continue to span the decades to inspire and entertain new generations of readers.


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