Last year, when I was doing research to begin writing a children's book, I sought some advice from a former editor. She wanted to know what my early literary influences were as a kid. She asked me, "what were your favorite books to read as a child?" I honestly don't think I've been asked that, or even thought of that, in a long time. And surprisingly, I had quick answers come to mind.
In this blog article, I'll discuss one of my favorite childhood books, Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein. There are so many great children's books out there, and this one particularly made an impression on me.
I vividly remember getting this book as a present, which at that time seemed so special because it had lots of pages, was a hardcover, and was brand spanking new! It was like I was given the opportunity to explore a vast universe of quirky thoughts and ideas in one "big" book.
I recently re-read it, and it still has the fun, unique, thought provoking poems and drawings that I remember as a kid.
Here are some of my favs:
Where the Sidewalk Ends has a simple aesthetic with imaginative content. With a solid white background, short poems, and simple black and white drawings throughout the book, I think it's easy to be immersed in the words since there's not many other bells and whistles to be distracted by. To me, the creativity is in the simplicity, as this is often the most challenging thing to do.
I also think this book made such an impression on me because it was one of the first books that I remember reading that used words so cleverly. Shel Silverstein has fun with finding inspiration from everyday objects and observations and I admire his use of play with words.
It's been an interesting exercise to reflect back on how books made me feel when I first read them as a child and think through why they resonated with me.
Have you gone back and reflected on a childhood book? What were your favs as a kid?
In the next blog article, I'll discuss another of my childhood book favs. Subscribe to my blog to get alerted when the next one comes out!