Asking me to pick a favorite book (or movie) at any point in my life has no single answer.
There are many from growing up that I was fond of, for various reasons. I loved hearing my Grampa read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (or any of the three Christmas Little Golden Books they owned). The Monster at the End of t his Book was always a hit, and I have great memories of my mom reading from Paddington, though we never finished it, and it went back to the library.
My gramma would read most of the books to us. (I’m speaking of my dad’s parents, here. My mom’s dad didn’t read us anything, and I’m sure her mom did, as she adored me above all the grandkids and was an avid reader herself, but I don’t remember it.)
She worked for years and years at an elementary school (office), so she had a lot of books, probably discarded from the library, classrooms, or from book sales.
We think her personal favorite was The Mitten. I’m pretty sure it’s based on an Eastern European story and it involves a mitten, lost by a child and found/inhabited by creatures seeking warmth, starting with a mouse and growing increasingly bigger until the largest, a bear, possibly, stretches it to its utmost and it breaks. The mouse comes back and lives in the thumb.
I did enjoy this book as well as many others, one including a zerbra in striped pajamas – a precursor to Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good, Very Bad Day, a very colorful and 1960s version of Three Billy Goats Gruff and others.
However, probably the most requested book by me was called Miss Suzy.
I have no idea why this was a favorite, but I think I liked the concept of a happy little squirrel living a simple but lovely existence in her own tiny little home. (Her acorn cake sounded really good, and who wouldn’t want a firefly lamp? Plus, I thought her tail was really pretty.)
She runs away to an attic in a nearby farmhouse and makes her home in an abandoned dollhouse (probably my favorite picture in the book), which she quickly cleans up and makes her own, making friends with some old toy soldiers along the way.
Miss Suzy was kind to them, like a mother, and let them live with her in the doll house.
These toy soldiers decide to help her get her house back by engaging the bad squirrels in battle. Afterwards, they remain friends, and Miss Suzy put her house back in order and lives happily ever after.
I dunno, there was just something about this book, and my gramma and I didn’t always get along – too much alike in all the wrong ways and too different in others. The love was there, but we didn’t understand each other as much as we should have. The younger I was, the better we got along, and that also means the harder it is to access those memories.
I did rescue this book (and The Mitten) from her house when she passed. The pictures are from the internet, though, partly for ease, but mainly because I’ve got them tucked away in a place that still smells like her house…and I’d like to keep that as long as possible.