Do you have a cherished childhood book? One that can evoke special memories of your past?
Books are more than just words on paper. They can be a friend, a journey we get lost in, or even a cherished memory. What is it about your favorite storybook that holds on to you?
One of my favorite childhood books of all time was my Little Golden Books, Dumbo. It even beat out my big book of Nursery Rhymes. It is also the earliest book I can recall.
What made this book so special? It was just a simple story. The illustrations were colorful, but not so unique as to make them more distinguished than any other. Why was this book so important to me?
The answer is easy. It is because it had the power to evoke powerful childhood memories. I was blessed to grow up living next door to my grandmother. She and my grandfather had a large three-story Victorian. On the top floor was my bedroom. Yes, I even had my own bedroom! I think I would sleep at my grandparents' home as much as I did my own. I loved the way my grandmother would always tuck me in at night. The pattern was always the same. I would jump into bed and she would ask what story I wanted. I always picked Dumbo. In the beginning she would read it to me. As time passed, I would read it to her. Her patience was endless. She never tired of hearing the same story. Before drifting off, she would always tuck me in snugly, give me a kiss, and sing, "Mr. Bluebird on your shoulder.."
For me, Dumbo equated to love. I wish I had the book today--sadly, I do not. One day I will come across a well-loved and worn copy of Dumbo. When I do, I will smile, look at the pages filled with memories, and buy it. It will find a special place in my home where every time I pass by it, it will make me smile.
I hope you will pass a memory like this on to your child. What book will you read to them tonight? What cherished memory will you give them that will evoke a smile in the years to come?