Memory Lane: Favorite books from our childhood

single-meta-cal May 9, 2017

In conjunction with Mayor Battle’s Book Club event, we asked City of Huntsville employees to tell us their favorite books from their childhoods, or the books they enjoyed reading to their children. Among the responses:

“Berenstain Bears” series
By Stan and Jan Berenstain

“We had a tree house toy set (see below) when I was a kid that I loved to play with and the family of Bears lived in a similarly cool tree house.”  — Gary Gleason, Engineering

“Harold and the Purple Crayon”
By Crockett Johnson

“Imaginative, anything is possible, creating the world you want to live in through your own thoughts and actions.” — Polly Blalock, Assistant City Attorney

“Gus Was a Friendly Ghost”
By Jane Thayer

“It came to me as a child in the book of the month club.  It was a fun story about friendship found with an unlikely pair.” — Monica Battle, Legal

“The Little Engine That Could”

By Watty Piper

“I must always ‘think I can.’” — Rusty Gipson, Assistant Fire Marshal

“The Saggy Baggy Elephant”
By Byron and Kathryn Jackson

— Amanda Hearn, Finance Department

“Curious George”
By H.A. and Margret Rey

“He always seemed to be getting into all kinds of mischievous things.” — Dan Wilkerson, Fire Marshal

“The Wonderful, Magical World of Marguerite”
By Gail E. Haley

“It was a gift from a favorite aunt in about 1968.  A huge book, probably 18 inches tall and 2 feet wide, it was beautifully illustrated.  I still have it today.” — Susan C. Atkins, Engineering Procurement & Contracts Assistant

“Casey at the Bat”
By Ernest Thayer

“Technically a poem but I didn’t know that in 4th grade.” — Michael Hines, Fire Captain

“Children’s Bible Story Book”

“It taught you the Bible on an elementary level with illustrations. Made one imagine along as the story was read.” — Duane Sanders, Information Technology Services

“Llama Llama” books
By Anna Dewdney

“(They) are the best!” — Tamara Doyle, Police Grant Manager

“The Snowy Day”
By Ezra Jack Keats

“It was published the year I was born (1962), I remember reading it as a child in Hawaii who didn’t know what snow was and I guess it just fascinated me. I still have a copy.” — Ruth Blackwell, Information Technologies Services

“The Lorax”
By Dr. Seuss

— Darlene Duerr, Natural Resources and Environmental Management

“Charlotte’s Web”

By E.B. White — Lameka S. Carter, Engineering

“Oh, The Places You Will Go”
By Dr. Seuss

“It reminds us that we can do anything, be anything and our goals are never out of reach!” — Stacy Prince, Environmental Service Inspector

“Goldilocks and the Three Bears”

— Tiffany Draper, Human Resources Department

“Highlights Magazine”

It’s not a book; however, my favorite read as a child was the “Highlights Magazine” that was commonly found in doctor’s and dentist’s offices.  There was a 1-2 page ongoing series called “Goofus and Galient.”  Goofus was mischievous and always did things the wrong way.  It always made me laugh to see how Goofus would do things the wrong way.  It made me feel like a better person reading the story.  No matter what bad thing that I had done as a child, Goofus had done worse.  In contrast, Galient was always thoughtful, polite, kind to others, etc.  He always did things the “right way.”  By reading the story, I would always want to be more like Galient and not like Goofus.

— John Autry, Public Transit

“The Little Engine that Could”
By Watty Piper

“My favorite book was ‘The Little Engine that Could,’ a book about hard work and optimism.” — Tracy Rosser, Information Technology Services

“No, David!”
By David Shannon

— Melissa H. Whisenant, Court Record Imaging Clerk

“Blueberries for Sal”
By Robert McCloskey

“I grew up in the late 60’s hearing my mom read Blueberries for Sal.  I loved that both human mother and mother bear were trying to find their babies, who were wandering off eating blueberries on blueberry hill.  Both mothers were fearful of each other…but their babies showed no fear and just wanted to eat blueberries. My oldest daughter, who is now 22, says that her favorite is ‘Where the Wild Things Are.’ She remembers feeling like that could really happen, and transform her room into a forest and go to where the wild things are. My youngest, who is now 17, says that her favorite is ‘The Lady with the Alligator Purse.’  She loved the rhyming and rhythm. My girls also have very fond memories of ‘Goodnight Gorilla,’ ‘Brown Bear, Black Bear’ and ‘Strega Nona.’ And any Dr. Seuss!” — Hilary Gould, Huntsville City Community Development/HEEM Program

“Caps For Sale”
By Esphyr Slobodkina

“Became a favorite book for me to read to my children as they grew up.  Fun to read.” — Brian Williams, Legal

“Where The Palm Trees Sway”
By Janet Toole Lewis

“Great kids book. Pre-K to 2nd grade. Books about the fun things to see and do along the Gulf Coast beaches.” — Chuck Duncan, School resource officer

“The Monster at the End of this Book”
By Jon Stone

“Morris Goes to School”
By Bernard Wiseman

“I’m really too old to remember why I liked them so much, but I remember reading them over and over.  As a matter of fact, I still have both books.  I guess I found them both silly and entertaining when I was a young child.” — Chiriga Vinson, City Attorney’s Office

By Syd Hoff

“It’s a story about a wild stallion who ran the west and was so fast that he couldn’t be caught, and no matter how many people tried to lasso him he was always able to shake it off and get away. One day he wanders into the desert and gets weak and gets caught and turned into a workhorse and loses his spirit and becomes depressed so the cowboy who owns him lets him loose and he becomes free again and happy. And the fastest horse in the west again.” — Walter Rice, Water Pollution Control

“Mother Goose” rhymes, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” and “Three Little Pigs”

“None of which I’m sure children have heard of today!” — Barbara Bell, Records Maintenance Supervisor

READ: How ‘To Build a Fire” inspired Parks & Recreation’s Ray Greene