Monday, March 14, 2011

Musing Monday...My Favorite Childhood Book is...a Mystery.

This week’s musing asks…
Do you have a favorite children’s book? Either one that you loved as a child, or one that you discovered later, and still enjoy? Tell us about it!

Oh, once again I am forced to travel back to the dark, distance, vague days of my youth.
Now, as I have recounted before, I was reading as far back as I can remember. I remember going to the library as a wee child with my mother. I know I was young enough that she held my hand as we walked there. I know I would go upstairs to the children's section to wander as she made her selections downstairs and then she would come up to check out my books on her card. I was too young to get my own card yet, so I was not in school yet.

But what I was actually reading, I am not sure.
I see people mention beloved books of their childhood and none of them look familiar to me. Our host, Miz B, mentions in her post that her favorite book, one she still loves, is The Poky Little Puppy, a Golden Book. I do not remember reading them, any of them, but surely I must have. That one, along with 11 other, was published in 1942, so yes, they even predate me. But if I read them, they made little impression.

The first books I actually remember reading were in grammar school, and they were mysteries. Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes and Nero Wolfe were my slightly scary, creepy companions. Before that, I only have vivid memories of one book...and...I have no idea what it was!
I think I have told this before, but when I was very little, my mother used to read to me before I went to sleepytime. I am sure we must have read many, many books but the one I remember was a collection of stories, some fairy tales, some 'classic' stories. It was a fairly big book with a blue cloth cover with a darker spine. It had drawings, all in color and full page and its name was...I have no idea. :-0

One story of the many in the book that I remember clearly, the one I requested again and again for her to read, was "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". Do you know the story? According to Wikipedia...
"The story is set circa 1790 in the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town, in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow. It tells the story of Ichabod Crane, a sycophantic, lean, lanky, and extremely superstitious schoolmaster from Connecticut, who competes with Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt, the town rowdy, for the hand of 18-year-old Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer, Baltus Van Tassel. As Crane leaves a party he attended at the Van Tassel home on an autumn night, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman, who is supposedly the ghost of a Hessian trooper who had his head shot off by a stray cannonball during "some nameless battle" of the American Revolutionary War, and who "rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head". Ichabod mysteriously disappears from town, leaving Katrina to marry Brom Bones, who was "to look exceedingly knowing whenever the story of Ichabod was related". Although the nature of the Headless Horseman is left open to interpretation, the story implies that the Horseman was really Brom Bones in disguise."
A charming story for a wee child, right? Well, I though so, and I guess my mother thought so too since she kept reading it to me. I just loved it!
Perhaps it explains my present fondness for fictional murderers, mayhem and serial killers....or maybe my fondness for things a bit dark and scary explained my delight with nightly reads of the tales of the Headless Horseman. A literary Chicken and the Egg thing..


  1. We had a collection of Grimm's fairy tales and I used to read that over and over but I do remember some of them scaring me. My favorite book when I was a kid, which I still have to this day, was Marcella: a Raggedy Ann Story by Johnny Gruelle. That book was given to me when I was three years old and after 60+ years I still treasure it.

    The Headless Horseman used to terrify me but somehow I can see it would be your cuppa tea.

  2. I don't have my book anymore..{{sob}}

  3. My mom read this to me too. It didn't seem to scare me, go figure :)

  4. Wow, you were quite the precocious reader!

  5. I had the Grimm's fairy tale book, I guess that was where I read about Cinderella and fell in love with her story.

    Thanks for stopping by My Reading Corner today.

  6. I wonder if someone will be able to come up with the title for you. I'm amazed at what you read as a kid. Nero Wolfe particularly is pretty dense material - all those businesses and orchids. I can't imagine those books appealing to a child. It makes you very interesting! :<)
    I was scared of fairy tales as a kid, and didn't read them to my own kids cause I was still afraid. :<)

  7. I would LOVE it if someone could figure out what that book is. I have looked online a bit, with no success.

    and pehaps I was an odd child, reading wise. I didn't realize it at the time...

  8. OMG Love Agatha Christie's books :) amazing! and love this story, only heard it a few times though...

  9. I too have a much loved mystery book from my childhood! I can envision everything about it...except for the title! One of my wishes is that I find it some day.

    And it seems like your love of the creepy was instilled from very early on.

  10. The earliest I remember reading were books with Trixie Belden and Donna Parker as the young heroines, which I think were all mysteries. And I loved going to the Bookmobile and checking out this entire series of Wizard of Oz books. I was so enraptured with the land of Oz!


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