Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What Is the First Book You Remember Reading?


Books are an incredibly formative part of all of our lives.

The books we read as children stick with us forever - many of us can remember trying telekinesis after reading Matilda, imagining living on our own in the wilderness after reading Hatchet or My Side of the Mountain, searching the backs of closets for a door to Narnia after reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, or dreaming of escaping into the Met after From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

But what is the first book you remember reading? Not being read to you, but actually reading yourself?

For me it's The Little Engine That Could. What about you?






144 comments:

Mr. D said...

Custer's Last Stand. Can't remember who wrote it, or how old I was, but I know it was the first real book I ever read through, and
I read it twice!

Allan Petersen said...

I'm thinking one of the Berenstain Bears books. Probably "The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV."

Stephanie Barr said...

Matilda and Her Kittens. I have never been able to find it as an adult and don't even know who wrote it.

Matthew J. Beier said...

The first book I read alone was "The Boxcar Children #21: The Deserted Library Mystery." I learned to read about a year late with Phonics, so it was a quick jump to "big books" after that. I have such fond memories of discovering all the books that came next!

abc said...

I can't say for sure, but I think it was The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes. I remember loving that world.

Jennifer Cary Diers said...

"The Big Tidy-Up" by Norah Smaridge. The main character's name was Jennifer (like me) and she was messy (also like me).

Heather Hawke said...

Go Dog Go. I just loved that dog party. Dr. Seuss' books are a close second.

Stephanie Barr said...

Holy smokes, I just found it. It's "Matilda and her Family" by Mason, 1943.

God, I'm old.

Karen Stivali said...

Pickles the Cat from the I-Can-Read series and Bread&Jam for Frances. Still love those books. I used to read them to my dog and cat when I was little, then I read them to my kids when they were little.

Arief Zainal said...

Can't remember exactly, but I think it's only of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot series.

Anonymous said...

It was a book that read: Washing machine, washing machine, washing machine wash... And this dirty little boy was taken down a conveyor belt car wash type machine that scrubbed him clean with all kinds of gadgets. Gosh, I wish I knew the name of it. My kids would love that book!

Scott Stillwell said...

I can't be entirely sure, but I think it was "The Poky Little Puppy." I can still remember thinking "Rice pudding? What is that?"

Jaimie said...

I remember reading my book that taught me how to read. I couldn't wait to get to the part where I learned about "the magic E" (the silent e) because it had a picture of a fairy I could color in. Fantasy geek from the first.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Adventures of Frog and Toad.

~ Wendy

adam.purple said...

The Haunted Spy. Still a favorite.

4ndyman said...

The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs. Dark and mysterious and exciting, if memory serves.

After that, I just kept pulling his books off the shelves, thus beginning a long life of serially monogamous relationships with authors.

Carolyn said...

It was a Sesame Street book - one of those compilation books you used to be able to buy at the supermarket? There was a story in there about Grover, and I actually remember the point when I was looking at the words and suddenly they made sense. They matched up with what my mom had read to me so many times. I ran over to her with the book and proudly announced that I could read. :)

Jaimie said...

But as for actual books... "See Tim jump. Jump jump jump! Tim is a tin can man. Tim is Tom's friend."

Etc.

Joyce Shor Johnson said...

Mei Li by Thomas Handforth. I wanted to be Mei Li and have a top knot!

adam.purple said...

And Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, of course.

Cathy Yardley said...

Heather -- Go Dog Go! I'd forgotten, but it's probably my first book, as well... and yeah, it was always all about the dog party!

Richard Gibson said...

Amazing. I thought of it as soon as I saw the blog title... then read the rest. For me also, it was The Little Engine That Could.

Katrina Strauss said...

One of my Little Golden Books. My parents thought I was "reading" out loud from memory, until I tried to sound out a word phonetically and asked for help. They were so excited, they kept me up past bedtime and made me read several more. Looking back, I'm grateful my parents thought reading was a big deal!

Ada said...

Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells!

Cassandra said...

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. It couldn't really have been the first I ever read, but it was the first to make a life-long impression.

JaredNGarrett said...

The Poky Little Puppy. Loved that puppy. Now, as a parent, I think the mom should have come down harder on those rascals.

Vicki Moss said...

After first grade and *See Spot Run* it was probably *Rusty Rings a Bell* and after that my first child novel in 2nd grade was *Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms.* I was engrossed with Rebecca. When I later read *Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms* to my girls, they thought it was dry as toast!

Chipper Muse said...

For me, it's Dr. Suess. "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish" and "Green Eggs and Ham."

Anonymous said...

Little House in the Big Woods. I know others came before that read, but the order of titles elude me. I remember reading this book in my room when my parents were still married.

Heather Dearly

Anonymous said...

Little House in the Big Woods. I know others came before that read, but the order of titles elude me. I remember reading this book in my room when my parents were still married.

Heather Dearly

Megan Stirler said...

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. I saw a cartoon of it at church and my mother told me I was too young to read it by myself. I showed her!

Reagan Philips said...

Are You My Mother?

But the first chapter book I read was the Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot by Alfred Hitchcock.

I can't wait to read that to my son.

Sierra McConnell said...

I could read since around 1.5 - 2 years, so I can't really remember back that far. I was one of those pushed\advanced learners.

There were just so many books I couldn't get enough of them... @_@

Carrie-Anne said...

Grimm's Fairy Tales, the adult, uncensored version. I had hyperlexia at three years old, and for whatever reason decided to start reading from that book first.

CourtLoveLeigh said...

Go Dogs Go!

Still a fave, and I always give it to expecting mothers :]

Anonymous said...

Janet said "Look John. See the dog run. The dog can run fast. See the dog run fast John". . .
(or something very similar)

Adele Richards said...

Milly Molly Mandy

Mike Billeter said...

Interestingly enough, like you and Richard, mine was "The Little Engine That Could." My mom isn't sure if I read it because I could read or read it because I had memorized it from making her read it so many times, but I remember sitting on her lap reading all the words to her as a really young child.

Last year she bought it for me for my 25th birthday and I just about started crying. Funny to think that "first experience" wasn't just mine.

Stephanie McGee said...

My dad taught me to read when I was 3 or 4. The first two books I remember reading with him (I'm listing two because no idea which was first) are Champion Dog Prince Tom and TeeVee Humphrey.

Nicole said...

And to Think That it Happened on Mulberry Street.

It sparked my imagination in a way that got me creating my own worlds. I'm forever indebted to that book.

GrapeGirl said...

The Velveteen Rabbit by I think Marjorie Williams...about how a stuffed rabbit becomes real, so beautiful and symbolic

Ana said...

When I read your question I remembered exactly the very first book I read: Miss Tessie Tate by Jean Horton Berg, 1967, illustrated by Le deGroot. I still own my copy. My front/back covers are filled with my attempts at writing and drawing. It's about a woman who cleans houses for the king, in rhyming couplets. I decided to do a little search online about the book because I could not really remember the gist of the story...indeed I realized after reading what I found, that I never knew the moral of the story. It's about being true to yourself; about the power of self determination; about deciding the direction that was/is best for you and not letting anyone turn you around. I received this book when I was 4 or 5 years old by a family member who did not treat me well. Wow, I now find myself in a painful irony over the meaning of this book. This morning I was reading an article in Runner's World Magazine about the journey of a famous runner named Frank Shorter. Your question, remembering Miss Tessie Tate and that article take me back. Thank you.

Jolie said...

Dr. Seuss is the first I remember having read to me, which is basically how I learned to read. The first I remember reading on my own was when I found a Beatrix Potter book in my first grade classroom, and the teacher let me take it home after she caught me reading it during lessons. Then she talked to my parents about the importance of supporting my obvious reading addiction.

Every teacher after her preferred to discipline me for reading during class time, but dear Mrs. Eisenhower understood that I did it because I was bored and underchallenged.

D.G. Hudson said...

Either Heidi or Black Beauty, but I believe Heidi was first. I wanted to live in the mountains, and eat the same food as Heidi had in the book. (I lived in the flatlands of the south at the time)

With Black Beauty, of course I wanted a horse, and as a consolation (didn't live in the country), my mother used to draw horses for me and taught me to do the same.

I didn't want either book to end. The luxury of reading to myself was something I loved and I became somewhat of a bookworm. Still am one, judging from TBR stack.

Kate said...

Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims is the first book I read that I can remember the title. There was a picture book in the library I remember checking out in kindergarten and first grade, but I can't remember the title or even what it was about. It was always a happy surprise when I found it on the shelf again.

BECKY said...

Wow, I'm surprised that so many people remember the exact first book they read. I have no idea of mine, but I do remember one I read often: Hurry Up, Slowpoke. It was about a mouse family! I just looked and it still can be purchased on Amazon!
Thanks for the cool question, Nathan!

Meghan Ward said...

Mine is simply called "Kittens" and it now belongs to my kids. I had it memorized and would "read" it to anyone who would listen.

therealjasonb said...

I think it was "In a People House" by Dr. Seuss. Although as someone else noted, it's hard to remember that sort of thing so it could be wrong ...

Anonymous said...

Mother Goose.

M. G. King said...

FOX IN SOCKS by Dr. Seuss. Loved those beetles battling in a bottle on a poodle eating noodles.

Geoff said...

I think the standards from early childhood have stuck with me. Harold and The Purple Crayon; Goodnight Moon; Corduroy; The Berenstain Bears.

But the books I recall the most were R.L. Stein's Goosebumps. I began reading them on my own and they definitely warped my sensibilities. The first things I wrote as a young child were ghost stories and I've been fascinated with the paranormal and supernatural since. It led directly to my appreciation of The X-Files and horror movies. I still look back on Goosebumps fondly and actually managed to preserve a few run-down paperbacks for my kids to read when they're ready.

Matthew MacNish said...

This may sound like a cop out, because obviously I read some PBs before it, but the first book I actually vividly remember reading is the Hobbit.

Then I got those read PBs of TLOTR that came with audio tapes.

Kathryn Elliott said...

The Pokey Little Puppy. Mom and Dad refused to get me a dog, so this is as close as I got.

Darley said...

I'm sure it was probably a Dr. Seuss book but I honestly can't remember.

T. L. Cooper said...

The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton is the first one that pops in my head. I still own it.

Miranda "Sibo" Paul said...

I remember reading the BFG by Roald Dahl without any help from a grown up in second or third grade, I think. I know it wasn't my first book ever (not even close) - but the first one that 'stuck with me.'

Know what I mean?

MaryZ said...

The Pokey Little Puppy. I loved "Roley poley, pell mell, tumble bumble...

Kristi said...

Something by Beatrix Potter. I remember the small books with a dark olive-green cover and the style of drawings inside. We had several, and I don't remember which one was "the book". But I have a clear memory of taking it to my mom and reading it to her, and that she thought I had memorized it. I was so frustrated because I had just figured out that t-h-e spelled "the" and she didn't believe me. I was about 4 at the time (definitely before kindergarten).

Now that I have a 7- and a 4-year old of my own, I can totally understand her skepticism. My older child would read individual words by age 5. The younger one might be reading but also has a vast memory and will sometimes "read" a story almost word-for-word while looking at the wrong pages.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

I don't remember the first book I read. I want to say The Boxcar Children, but I'm not sure.

I do remember learning to read by watching the exit signs on the highway, though. That was a rather strange way for me to learn how to read.

cwsherwoodedits said...

B is for Betsy.

Loree Huebner said...

I think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte's Web, The Boxcar Children, and Did You Carry The Flag Today Charley? were the first bigger books that I read on my own.

There were other smaller books that came first.

Heather said...

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Before I could read I'd memorized the story and recited it for my dad. It sort of freaked him out :)

AveryMarsh said...

This is the House Where Jack Lives by Joan Heilbroner.

I read it so much I can recite it from memory. The illustrations by Aliki were cute, too.

TheLabRat said...

A Peanuts book about genetics and reproduction that I got when I was 3 or 4 (I read it just before kindergarten). I've been trying to remember the name of it for years. It starts off why Lucy pushing on Linus's head to keep him from getting taller than her. For a children's book, it was rather long. By the end of it I knew what the various male and female internal and external anatomical bits were called, what a period and wet dreams were, all about different types of twins and the very basics of hair/eye dominant/recessive genes. Honestly, I'm still a little shocked my grandmother let me read it. She must not have realized it had sex ed stuff in it. Seriously, has anyone ever heard of this book? I read back in like '79 or '80.

Mira said...

Fun topic and answers.

Like many others I can't be sure, although I do remember the Jane and Dick book I got from school when I learned to read. It annoyed me even then because the story was so dumb. See Jane run. Bleh.

The first book I remember making a real impression was "Where the Wild Things Are". I was simultaneously scared and fascinated by that book, and I kept re-reading it to work it all out. And thus started my reading about fantasy worlds.

I also remember "Are you my mother?" That made an impression, too.

When I think of it, picture books stirred up very primitive emotions and helped me work them out.

Tamaradw said...

The Plump Pig. Which I've never seen again. It was about...oddly enough...a plump pig who lived with a plump family and a plump cat and a plump dog. I remember pestering my sister to teach me how to read. I think I was around three and I was SO proud when I conquered that book.

E. VERNA TURNER said...

The first book that I ever read and remember back in childhood is the hard bound book green cover "YOUR COUNTRY and MINE."

Sara said...

Dr Seuss's Go Dog Go

My parents didn't know if I was really reading or if I had memorized it.

Chuck H. said...

Not sure. But I like to think it was Heinlein's Have Spacesuit, Will Travel.

Kate Larkindale said...

I can't remember the first book I read, but I'll never forget the book I read when I realized you could read silently. It was Dick Whittington and his Cat, a Ladybird edition. I read it aloud to myself, then whispered it because it felt weird reading aloud to myself, then realized I didn't have to move my mouth at all.

Breakthrough!

Steph Sinkhorn said...

Hmmm... I think it might have been either The Hungry Thing or Fox in Socks.

Tara Incognita said...

I remember my parents bought my brother and I each a very large, hardbound book when I was in first grade. His was Treasure Island and mine was Heidi. I kept it for years and years, but alas, it was lost in moving.

RGian said...

Where the Wild Things Are. First long chapter book-Heidi.

Kari Marie said...

I think it was The Monster At The End Of This Book featuring Grover.

Matthew C Wood said...

Volcanoes for kids. I was a total geek and read nothing but Non-fiction until halfway through Primary School...

Christi Goddard said...

The Poky Little Puppy for sure, but I soon graduated to comic books right out of Golden Books. I had quite the collection by the time I was seven.

Jen P said...

My first memories are of my Father reading me bedtime stories - though I couldn't tell you what they were. I don't recall learning to read and those books - but I do remember the first stories that made a lasting impression on me and even more importantly my teacher (when I was aged 8-9) who would take back the to-read-in-your-own-time books I had taken home and eagerly feed me another, disregarding classmates incredulity that I digested that whole book overnight. I clearly remember the Enid Blyton Famous Five adventures, The Animals of Farthing Wood and all of the Anne of Green Gables. Miss B - you are still an inspiration!

Marta McDowell said...

The Princess Who Never Laughed. It was a Golden Book, and it's probably downstairs on a basement bookshelf. Me, a book hoarder?

Lauren B. said...

I don't remember which picture book I read first on my own, too many to count. But I do recall that the first chapter book I read in school was Freckle Juice, closely followed by the Little House On the Prairie series.

L. Shanna said...

Curious George. I couldn't get enough of that little monkey.

Bobby Polo said...

One of the Goosebumps books, can't remember which one though.

Sean Thomas Fisher said...

The Zombie Survival Guide.

Was the last thing we had to do to get our Wolf badge.

Clwedd said...

In the Keep of Time by Margaret J. Anderson. I remember it clearly 30 years later, and even reading about it just now I'm surprised at the level of detail that remains in my brain. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/InTheKeepOfTime). It was the first book that I choose to read.

Good question Nathan, thanks for raising this one.

MJR said...

I think the first books I read were HOP ON POP, ARE YOU MY MOTHER, and a picture book about a horse called BIG RED or something like that.

Wendy said...

I can't remember exactly, but I know it was a Roald Dahl book!

Joanna said...

You won't believe this... it was "Lives of the Saints" (I went to Catholic school) It's a wonder I ever wanted to read a second. But, happily the offerings broadened.

Nancy Kelley said...

My dad taught me to read with Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss. While he encouraged my reading habits, he definitely discouraged my attempts at a dramatic reenactment of the title.

Portia said...

Where the Wild Things Are. I remember thinking, "This book must have 100 pages, it's sooo long!"

janesadek said...

"My name is Sam. I am a dog." I have no idea what the real title is, but a favorite uncle gave the book to me and it was about a sad-eyed dog named Sam. My poor parents! I memorized every word of it and all they heard for a year or two was "My name is Sam. I am a dog."

Haley Whitehall said...

I'm with MJR, my first books were Dr. Seuss- One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and The Cat in the Hat. I also had a giant golden book collection.

Backfence said...

Probably one of the Dick, Jane and Sally readers. First "Chapter" book was probably one from the Weekly Reader Book Club and is still one of my all-time favorites: Follow My Leader. It was about a young boy who was blinded by a firecracker and had to learn to "see" in other ways, including getting his own seeing eye dog. Loved that story. Anyone else out there old enough to remember that one? :-)

Sheri Fredricks said...

The first book I read to myself was Mimi, The Merry Go Round Cat. And I still have it.

Sheri Fredricks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jongibbs said...

I'm pretty sure it was Michael Bond's A Bear Called Paddington

Excellent :)

The English Teacher said...

Never Tease A Weasel.
Here's where you can look at one if you're curious:
http://www.amazon.com/Never-Tease-Weasel-Conder-Soule/dp/B001VYPZM2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1315436912&sr=8-2

CG Blake said...

I think my first book was, The Cat in the Hat. I loved all the Dr. Seuss books.

Anatole said...

The 1st books I ever read by myself were the Sailor Moon chapter books, when I was 6 years old. They're not even in print anymore! But I loved the show, and ended up loving the books. (so psyched that the manga -- which is different from the novelizations -- comes back this month!!)
I went directly from those to Harry Potter . . .

cgblake said...

I think my first book was, The Cat in the Hat. I loved all the Dr. Seuss books.

Barbara said...

I don't remember a first book, but I remember being small and going to the library and discovering books by Thornton W. Burgess. I can still recite a poem: Bobby Coon is very neat/ washes both his hands and feet/ before he ever starts to eat.
And then later I read all the Borrowers books.
These are the first books I loved.

Simon Haynes said...

After I turned four or five my mum used to take me to the library every week, and I was allowed to pick four books. They had to last all week so I used to pick the ones with the most pages ...

Marilyn Peake said...

Dr. Seuss books! Loved them! (I'm pretty sure I read other books before those, but Dr. Seuss books are the first books I remember absolutely loving!)

MThomas said...

Hop on Pop, Dr Seus. Or was it Are You My Mother? Always Seus

Karen A. Chase said...

The Tiny, Tawny Kitten. The Saggy, Baggy Elephant. Both by Golden Books. Both about growing into yourself.

Kristin Laughtin said...

THE VELVETEEN RABBIT, although I'm certain my parents had also read it to me before. I became very scared for my toys, especially if I had a cold. I'm only glad I had already had the chicken pox by that point!

Barbara Forte Abate said...

Dick and Jane. My uncle was the principal at an elementary school and he gave us an entire set of readers that were being discarded. I was crazy in love with Baby Sally and that cool little pedal car she had. I read those books for years.

Bookish said...

A Wrinkle in Time.

It's the first book that I really LOVED. Still remember wrapping my mind around the concept of the title. I was fascinated!

e_journeys said...

Two books stand out the most, though I don't remember if they were actually the very first that I read. One was a fabulously illustrated collection of Japanese folk tales. I forget the name of the collection, but those tales appear in the Mukashibanaski Library. The ones I remember best are "The Gratitude of the Samebito" and "The Boy Who Drew Cats". The other "first book" I remember is my favorite from Dr. Seuss, On Beyond Zebra.

Karen Adair said...

It was a Little Golden book called Nancy plays Nurse. Loved that book...

Ishta Mercurio said...

Spot! The first one. I was so shocked and excited when those letters and words finally made sense, I couldn't wait to get home and read it to my mom. And it hit me so suddenly, too - like someone had flipped a switch in my brain. I can still feel it in my hands, and see the pages...

Thanks for the happy reminder!

Diane Landy said...

Where the Wild Things Are (the only bookstore book my mother ever gave me), Fletcher Hatches an Egg (a dog "hatches" himself to compete with cute chicks), The Carousel (where horses come to life, leap off the carousel, and take two sisters on a New York adventure), The ??? Boys to the Rescue (woodland animals rescue an oh-so-very-hungry baby bear's mama from the circus), and Dick & Jane (oops... I just dated myself!).

Sanna said...

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Suzie F. said...

Two books I first loved and read --Frederick by Leo Lionni and Crictor by Tomi Ungerer

Mark said...

Little Toot and/or Big Max. I read both many times.

Linda Godfrey said...

The Cat in the Hat. The rhymes sounded like magic and I wanted to learn to read the magic by myself.

Deri said...

I had an enormous library of children's books already accumulated at birth, since I'm the youngest of six and my mom really appreciated the value of books and saved them all from each of my siblings. The earliest ones that I can remember having an impact on me are the Barbar the Elephant books. I adored them. My mom got me a stuffed elephant with a pink bow that I named Flora after Barbar's daughter. She's the only toy from childhood I still have.

Madeleine said...

The Giving Tree by Shell Silverstien. :)

J. L. Mbewe said...

"I knew an old lady who swallowed a fly, I don't know why she swallowed a fly perhaps she'll die." wow, how morbid...I remember this book as one I'd check out from the school's library all the time. I think I made my mom read it to me first until I could read it for myself. Then the rest was history... Grimm's fairy tales and anything I could get my hands on. :-)

Courtney Price said...

Grover's Alphabet.
Boom!

McKenzie McCann said...

I don't remember the exact title, but it was in pre-school. Something about the moon and a rocking chair, but I don't know if I was actually reading it or if I had just memorized it.

Mihnea said...

I remember reading an abridged version of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" - the Romanian edition. Strangely enough, it is the book I kept rereading later on in life, to the point where I even used it (alongside "Through the Looking Glass") in my MA thesis...

marion said...

My mother read to me Peter Rabbit & other Beatrix Potter. Also a lot of A.A. Milne. Not just Pooh, but also Milne's poems (which I liked better.)

My favorite that she read to me--and still a fave--was Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass. Confirmation that grown-ups act irrationally, not just as individuals but in their institutions.

Word verification is mysten. A beautiful word. Should be English. Meaning: moisten, but by means of a mist. Perfect for fairy tales & fantasy novels.

Whirlochre said...

I was a sucker for Brer Rabbit. The very idea of a talking rabbit outwitting all those naughty talking foxes and bears and wolves made me laugh out loud and clap my hands with glee. Why, on a good day, I even peed my pants.

PatG said...

"The Water-Babies" by Charles Kingsley, a great British classic.

Christina said...

The Sun is Up. It was the first book I was able to read in first grade. It felt like magic. I went on to read over 300 books that year!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Actually, I remember, and still have it, the first book read to me by my step-soon-to-be-adoptive mom. Black Beauty. I was a little young for it maybe, but I loved that book. My brother received Grimms Fairy Tales and I have that book as well. Two of the few things I have from early childhood and they're precious to me.

phoenixfallacy said...

I have a very vivid memory from when I was 3-4; I was sitting in the living room with a book, and I kept shouting to my mom, who was in the kitchen, "what's the letter that looks like..."

The first book I remember reading completely on my own was the children's bible that was given to my sister for her christening.

Anonymous said...

The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree, followed by Bears in the Night. These simple, repetitive stories are great for a beginning reader and the pictures are almost scary which makes them exciting.
NMC

Unknown said...

I have a very specific memory of being so proud that I was reading Green Eggs and Ham all by myself that I walked around the house performing it for everyone. But I secretly wasn't sure if I was truly reading, or of I had just memorized all the words. I was a weird, introspective little kid.

CricketWilliams said...

Big Dog Little Dog

Will said...

Hey, same here! That was my favorite book until I was about seven. I still have it somewhere, I think...

EKBalesteri said...

"Danny and the Dinosaur"

There may have been readers that I was helped through, but the one that clearly stands out in my mind is this one. I remember thinking that I had to read every printed word to have read the entire book! (the title page, publishers, the spine!)

I read it over and over and over to my little brothers, too! And then came "Sammy the Seal"...

Thanks for asking! I just noticed that I haven't stopped smiling since I read the question!

Becky Levine said...

I have to say, my strong memories of reading aren't the first books I read, I know--because my reading memories are all tied to the "new house," where we moved when I was nine. And I was reading before that. BUT...what I do have is those books that are on my shelf today because I came across them in a bookstore and went into an immediate flashback of the story and/or the pictures--even if I can't remember the actual act of reading them. A few of those are: THE LITTLE HOUSE (Virginia Lee Burton), "I CAN'T" SAID THE ANT (Polly Cameron), and IN THE FOREST (Marie Hall Ets). Fun post!

Brian said...

I'm pretty sure it was 'The Giant Jam Sandwich', by Janet Burroway, illustrated by John Vernon Lord. I still remember the pictures of the villagers with the enormous slice of bread. Good times.

Tres Buffalo said...

Bears on Wheels

ElaineH said...

Can't remember first book but first book that stands out was biography written for children about Louise May Alcott . There was a whole series of these biographies at the library and I read them all. The librarian would tease me about reading only biographies.

John Kelly said...

PD Eastman's 'Are You My Mother.' I still want to tell that little bird, 'C'mon, how can a steam shovel be your mother...!'

The Stray said...

I think there may have been other books before this (I started reading early), but the one I remember was "The Snark Out Boys and The Avocado of Death!" by Danial Pinkwater. I remember that was one of the first things I read for the Book-It program, where if you read a book in a week you got a whole personal pizza from Pizza Hut.

hmbouwman said...

Ferdinand the Bull, by Munro Leaf. I can remember the bed I was lying in, and the crisp white pillowcase. I still love that book.

Beth said...

The Story About Ping, by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese. It was the first book I checked out with my own (children's) library card. My Dad helped me pick it out.

Beth said...

The Story About Ping, by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese. It was the first book I checked out with my own (children's) library card. My Dad helped me pick it out.

Valerie Willman said...

I was always reading as a child. I even read the books my mom picked out for me, and we were always at the library.

So I don't remember ONE book ... I remember a slew of books that stick out in my memory. A Sesame Street book on sign language, a book on volcanoes, all the Nancy Drew books, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and the Anne Of Green Gables series.

Melissa Haworth said...

I can't remember not being able to read so I've no idea what I first read but I clearly recall sobbing over "Where the Red Fern Grows" and LOVING the Black Stallion but no idea how old I was at the time.

Scarlett said...

i cannot remember my first book and im not even a child yet...i cant remember the first i read on my own(maybe if i csn dig up reading diary from infants i might find out)but i remember my mum reading me sheltie books...

Donald Heller said...

I started reading at 2, newspapers & magazines. I'll never forget my first book, my sister's "Our Hearts Were Young and Gay", by Cornelia Otis Skinner. At 77, I can still feel emotions from recalling scenes. TV wasn't invented 'til I was 11, so it was constant books since then...

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