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The earliest book I can remember reading a a child was Heidi by Johanna Spyri (had to look it up) about an orphan who gets sent to live in the mountains with her grandfather. I loved the story and it opened up the world of reading for me, taking me somewhere besides my hum-drum existence (or what I thought was hum-drum back when I was 8 or 10 or however old I was when I read it). It was so beautiful in it’s imagery and I could so see myself on that mountain with Heidi and Peter and Clara.
I had a good grasp on the English language by that time and being around adults most of the time, had a very good vocabulary. Mom said I was talking at an early age (shocker, huh?) chattering like a magpie and being this tiny thing, toddling along beside her, had people gasping in surprise. These days you see that all the time though.
I started reading voraciously once I finished Heidi and the next books I can recall reading were Freckles and the story of Helen Keller, (The Story of My Life?) and you could always find me at the library, checking out more books to read, although, I can’t remember all the titles right now. I remember being mad at my Mom when she wouldn’t let me read “adult books” like she had on her shelves, some floor to ceiling beauties my Dad built her for her voracious reading habit. I think it was Jaws that I wanted to read or something, but my first real “adult” book I remember reading was Coffee, Tea or Me…oh my!
Anyway, I’ve gone way off topic here, as this was supposed to be about my favorite childhood book. So yeah, it was Heidi. I don’t recall the exact cover, but found one to illustrate. I also remember now, that I read Charlotte’s Web and Little Women, however, I’m pretty sure Heidi was my first. I could be wrong though, my memory is not that great. 😉