My mother recently converted a guest room in my parents’ home to a nursery, in order to welcome her rapidly-growing number of grandchildren. While I was home, I wandered into this nursery. I loved seeing the crib, the rocking chair, the little collection of dolls that I remembered playing with myself.
But, best of all, was the bookshelf that housed the hundreds of books that my siblings and I had loved. Books about animals who come to life, villains who meet their just desserts, brave kids who teach adults a lesson or two, and vice versa. Beloved tales that will once again be read in our home.
I’ve spoken about this with several friends recently – there’s something about cracking open a book from childhood, a book that you loved so much and remember so fondly. There’s a feeling of returning, of nostalgia. An innocent happiness that washes over you, like you’re seeing a cast of old friends and familiar places after years away. You may have changed, but they are exactly as you remember them.
I spent more time than I had intended to in this new nursery where my nieces and nephews will sleep. I could not seem to pull myself away from these bookshelves. I was so happy to see once more The Bearenstein Bears, the Gold Spine Classics, The Velveteen Rabbit, Amelia Bedelia. Beatrix Potter’s cast of furry characters. C.S. Lewis’ beloved Aslan the Lion. It made me really excited for the years of reading these beloved stories once more.
And it made me more certain than ever of the indisputable benefits of bedtime reading for children of all ages.
Do you have a favorite book or collection of books from childhood?