Favorite Children’s Books

Some of the books we read as children stay with us our whole lives. Here are some of the ones from my younger years that have never left me:


Flossie and Bossie by Eva Gallienne

Maybe it was the barnyard theme of this book that appealed to me so much. Flossie and Bossie are chickens, and Bossie is just as mean and haughty as you’d expect her to be with a name like that. Poor Flossie takes her abuse and doesn’t hold it against her, even saving her chicks when maybe other, lesser chickens wouldn’t have been so nice. I loved this book. Plus, it taught me the difference between a Bantam and a Rhode Island Red.








The Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace

Betsy, Tacy, and Tib fascinated me, and not just because two out of the three of them had weird names. The girls were fearless, adventurous, and lived in a time when history was happening every day. I read and reread the whole series. Plus, it taught me what a pompadour was and set me up for disappointment when none of the boys I dated lived up to the unrealistic example Betsy’s boyfriend Joe set.








A Summer in the South by James Marshall

Again, blame it on the farm girl thing, but I loved anthropomorphic animal books growing up. I wanted to believe cats could talk and squirrels went furry-dipping. This book was a mystery set at a southern hotel with cats, chickens, pigs, owls, geese, and more. Though I couldn’t get the cats and pigs on our farm to play instruments and wear clothes, it gave me hope that it was possible. Also, this book was hilarious.








Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

I’m not one for poetry, but hands down, Shel Silverstein is my favorite poet of all time. I still reread this book and A Light in the Attic on occasion. I do find it a bit disturbing as an adult that I’ve turned into Mary Hume, copy editing documents while muttering “Almost perfect . . . but not quite.” Hey, what’s a girl to do when they don’t cross their ‘t’s just right?









The My Father’s Dragon series by Ruth Stiles Gannett

Sure, we had cows and pigs and turkeys and geese and cats and a horse nobody could ride on the farm, but what I really wanted was a dragon. (Or a dinosaur. I would’ve been fine with either.) I wanted to fly away to Blueland and hang out with my dragon’s peeps, have great adventures, and make it home in time for dinner. Alas, this childhood dream has yet to come true. But what I loved most about this series is that it did inspire me to dream.








What are some of your most-loved books from childhood? Leave your favorites in the comments below!



StaceyStacey Longo is the author of Ordinary Boy and Secret Things: Twelve Tales to Terrify. Her YA horror novel My Sister the Zombie is due out in 2016. Her stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines, including Shroud, Shock Totem, and the Litchfield Literary Review.

She is a 2012 Hiram™ Award Winner and was a featured author on the 2014 Connecticut Authors Trail.  A former humor columnist for the Block Island Times, she maintains a weekly humor blog at www.staceylongo.com.

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  1. Rob Smales

    The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron (exactly as whacky as it sounds),
    anything from the Three Investigator series by Robert Arthur, and I have no idea how many times I read The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.
    Oh, and the E.B. White collection (Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan), The Cricket in Times Square, Big Red, Where the Red Fern Grows, A Wrinkle in Time, the entire Encyclopedia Brown series, anything featuring a dapper little gentleman named Uncle Wiggly . . . I think I’m getting a little carried away, here . . .

  2. Paul McMahon

    The King With Six Friends was one I read 100 times, then lost. It took a few weeks of Internet searches to find a copy because I was remembering it as The King And His Seven Friends.
    Anyway… I have another copy now. Still as good as I remember.

  3. Dave

    Great choices all! A book I always like reading to my daughter (and wish that I’d written) is Good Night Moon.


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