Author Laurel Snyder asked of the blogosphere, “What is your favorite book from childhood?”, and I couldn’t wait to answer. I have, on my bookshelf, right here in this apartment as I type, a few of my very favorite books from my own childhood, and I’m tickled pick to name them because, let’s be frank, dear readers– how often do we get the chance to talk about books we loved as children? Not nearly enough.

But first, let us talk about Laurel Snyder, because she is quite a force. According to her, she always wanted to write books for kids, but grew up and pretended to be a grownup for a while, went to Iowa Writers’ Workshop, attended too many conferences, published in a lot of magazines and websites. Then, she got knocked up and quit her job, and that caused her to dust off her old manuscripts and send them out and, if I may say so, the world of children’s books is far better for her having done so. She has two adorable little boys, and is on a personal mission to force writing colonies to admit authors who want to work on quality books for kids (which they hardly ever actually do, so this mission is a very worthy one in my book). And, and, and she has two books for children coming out:

a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FDown-Scratchy-Mountains-Laurel-Snyder%2Fdp%2F0375847197%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1221353124%26sr%3D1-1&tag=bigmindestria-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325″>Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains, the story of Lucy and her best friend Wynston (who happens to be a prince, though that’s not really his fault). As Lucy and Wynston grow up a bit, the King insists Wynston devote his attnetion to the overly-complicated process of princess-finding. Her feelings hurt, Lucy (by law an unsuitable match for the prince) sets out to find her long-lost mother, on the Scratchy Mountains, accompanied only by a sniffly prairie dog and an obstinate young milk cow. Together they learn about friendship, and how to bend, but not break, the rules. Governmental oversimplification? Alleviating passive-aggression? Bending rules? Yes, please.

…and….

Inside The Slidy Diner, a fantastically scary and creepy picture book coming out around Halloween. (Inner child Me jsut did an enthusiastic giggle at the mention of something both creepy, Halloweeny and book-y!) The book is about Edie, who lives at The Slidy Diner as she steers us clear of pumpkin asparagus pie with crunchy-bit toppings (ew!) to give us a seriously greasy spoon experience. Laurel Snyder’s words, Jaime Zollars’ illustration.

Now, why, you ask, am I so positively delighted about a Halloweeny book? Because when I was a kid, my very favorite books in the world were the late 1960s/early 1970s fabulousness that was the Dorrie The Little Witch series by Patricia Combs. Dorrie was a witch, as was her mother, Big Witch, who, by the by, was a single mother and took care of business, stuck it to the man in every story, had a strong sense of what was good and right and just, and lived in a castle. Correction, a magic castle. And Dorrie was a skinny little girl who was very silly and very magical (though she wasn’t always sure how to use her magic properly) and she had brown hair and she and her little black kitty, Gink, has many adventures on their own. (Hello, ringing bells?) 1964’s Dorrie and The Blue Witch was my absolute favorite, and, sadly, it’s one I don’t have.

What about you, citizens of blogistan? What was your favorite book as a kid? Now, I’m not going to tag anyone to participate, but rather let you answer for yourselves on your blogs as you see fit. Simply say: Author Laurel Snyder asked of the blogosphere, “What is your favorite book from childhood?” and take it from there…

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