September 27, 2012

Childhood Story Books that I Loved

YaYa (my grandchildren call me that instead of grandma) tell me a story is often requested while driving in the car or when they are trying to avoid bedtime.

When I was growing up I was taken to the local library weekly by my father, my mother was the story teller in the family reciting famous fairy tales with her own twist. Often my mother would tell me about her childhood growing up in Mooseheart the City of Children, run by the Loyal Order of Moose, who provide a home for children of deceased members of the Moose club. That story will be in another post.

I remember sitting in the living room with my parents, my father in his red leather recliner, my mother on one end of the couch, while I sat on the other end, reading in the golden glow provided by the lamps on the end tables.

Many of stories that I was told, read to, or read myself have stayed with me and have become my go to stories that I tell my grandchildren.

One of my favorite stories is The Story of Little Black Sambo, I don't have a copy of this book, but I retell the story to the children about the little boy dressed in his fine new clothes who is surrounded by tigers. The little boy gives his beautiful clothes to the tigers so he won't be eaten, each tiger thinks he is the best dress and the most handsome. They began to chase each other around a tree they run faster and faster until they melt into a puddle of butter. The boy gets his clothes back and takes the butter to his mother who makes pancakes.  

Today this story is not politically correct, and when I tell my grandchildren this story little boy has no name, I just call him;  the little boy. 

To this day I can see the illustration of the tigers running around the tree melting into butter. How I wish I had that book.

My most requested story to be told is; The Three Billy Goats Gruff, if I deviate from the story the children will immediately tell me, "...that's not how it goes."

I enjoy learning about new stories to read or tell my grandchildren. What is your favorite childhood story?



  1. 2 stories I remember my Mom reading to me!

  2. How wonderful to be raised in a home of readers and storytellers. My mother used to take us to the downtown library here in Augusta. I can remember how excited I would be to get to check out my favorite books. I loved reading as a child and still do. I passed this on to my boys. Not only are you creating wonderful memories for your grandchildren but also introducing them to the wonderful world of reading.

  3. My mother gave a little copy of 'Little Black Sambo' to my daughter when she was little. It is SO politically incorrect, but a cute story. I always loved the story of Epaminondas, and the story could be changed to represent any kid. SO funny and cute. Fun to read of your favorites. :-)

  4. My daughter just absolutely loved Three Billy Goats Gruff when she was little. Does anyone remember when Denny's used to be 'Sambo's' based on the book and they had to change it, I think in the early 80.s The decor was Sambo and the tigers.

  5. My maternal grandparents came from a family of story tellers. As a young adult it was fun to be around my grandfather and is brothers and sisters telling their stories.

  6. Of course the biggest story teller of all was my grandfather CP who was so good at it that he an immigrant from Poland passed himself off as a Canadian.

  7. The book you mentioned is easy to find and purchase. I always thought Sambo was an Indian from India. Three Billy Goats Gruff was too frightening for me.

  8. Oh yes, I loved this story, too. I must confess it's because I loved (and still love) butter and pancakes. No wonder I was a chunky little girl!

    My big treat as a child was when the library's bookmobile would come to our neighborhood during the summer. And then when I would spend a week with my maternal grandparents I could always count on getting several new Nancy Drew books.

    The love of reading is such a gift to share with others. Your grandchildren are blessed to have a YaYa who loves to read and to share with them!

  9. I will be sure to pick the book up for you if I ever run across it at a rummage sale! ;)