Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we? I’ve always been a big reader. I learned to read at a very young age and honestly never looked back. I was an only child so I spent a lot of time reading by myself – probably why I’m such a nerdy introvert now! It’s funny that I read these books (many times) about 30 years ago, and they still impact me today. I’ve kept all of these books and passed them down to my kids so we can laugh about them together 🙂

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme where I explore different topics. If you are interested in doing my topic on your blog feel free! Here is a list of my upcoming topics if you’re interested in participating in future Top 5’s!

Top 5 Tuesday

THE BALLOON TREE by Phoebe Gilman. I was obsessed with everything about this book! A King is called away from the castle and leaves his daughter with the Archduke. She doesn’t like him at all and worries what she will do if something goes wrong. Her father tells her that she can send him a signal by releasing a balloon from the tower. When he sees them he will come home. As soon as the King leaves, the Archduke took over the castle and claimed himself the King. He locked Princess Leora in her room and destroyed all the balloons. She used a secret passageway to escape the castle but had no way to send message to her father as all of the balloons in the land had been destroyed. When she thought all hope was lost, a boy gave her his last balloon that he had hidden away from the guards. She quickly planted the balloon next to a tree in the courtyard and all of a sudden the tree had bloomed with a rainbow of balloons. They grew so quickly they took over every available space in the castle. Her father saw them, came home, and locked away the Archduke, then invited everyone over to play with the millions of balloons. The illustrations (done by the author) are just so magical!

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THE PAPER BAG PRINCESS by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Michael Martchenko. This is probably my first real introduction to girl power!!! This is a story where the princess isn’t the one that needs the saving from the prince. Quite the opposite! Princess Elizabeth is set to marry prince Ronald. He’s absolutely perfect. One day, a dragon comes and destroys everything. The land, the castle, even her clothes. She sets the dragon on a few quests of flying, breathing fire, etc. In the end he ends up so tired that he can’t destroy anything anymore, but now, Princess Elizabeth no longer looks like a princess. She’s covered in ashes and wearing a paper bag. Even though she saved everyone, all prince Ronald can see is how dirty and unproper she looks. He even tells her to leave and come back when she looks more like a princess. And being the hero she is, she tells him where to go and dances off into the sunset. This book makes me smile even to this day!

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THE TEACHER FROM THE BLACK LAGOON by Mike Thaler, illustrated by Jared Lee. It’s the first day of school and this little boy is terrified to find out who his teacher is. He finds out that he has Mrs Green who he’s heard is a real monster. She walks in the room and is literally GREEN! She has a tail, claws, and large teeth and starts doing crazy things to the kids in class. She breathes fire on a kid and turns him into ashes. She teaches fractions by biting a boy in half and says “this is half a boy”. She turns another boy into a frog and shrinks a girls head. Finally, she tells the kids that have heads left (LOL!! Seriously) to put them on the desk and nap. When he wakes up he realizes that it was just a dream and the real Mrs Green is a sweet happy human. This book is soon funny! All the crazy things that goes through a kids mind when they’re worried about what could happen. And none of them are ever in the realm of possibility!!

Miss nelson is back

MISS NELSON IS BACK by Harry Allard and James Marshall. Yet another improbable imagination story. Their teacher, Miss Nelson, announces that she will be gone for a week so they will have a substitute. The Principal steps in and he did slide shows, shadow pictures, and bird calls – they couldn’t be more bored. So to get rid of the principal as their teacher, the kids hatched a plan, They sewed together old clothes, found a wig, sat on each others shoulders, and came in dressed at Miss Nelson. The principal bought their disguise and the kids decided to have some fun. They left school, went to the movies, got ice cream and more. But what they didn’t realize is that they passed by Miss Nelsons house on the way back to school. Miss Nelson called the school to see what was happening when the principal told her that she was already at the school. So she hatches a plan of her own. The very next day they had a new replacement. Miss Swamp. Wearing all black, looking like a witch and MEAN! She quickly whipped the kids back into shape, scaring them all in the process, and left “just in time” for Miss Nelson to reappear. Let this be a lesson kiddies – don’t try to fool your teacher! You make think you’re smart but your teacher will always be one step ahead of you!!

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WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS by Shel Silverstein. This is my most read book ever. If I were to count how many times I’ve read this one cover to cover I would get it would be over 50. The cover is ripped and taped back together and still sits on my shelf. This is a book of some of the funniest and cutest poetry ever! This is actually the book that inspired me to write poetry. When I was about 10, I entered a contest and actually won! One of my poems was actually published though I don’t know where that book went. Then I had a second poem published a few years later – once again, don’t know where it is – think my parents?  Anyway, this book changed my life when I was a kid. And since then I’ve stopped writing poetry but thinking of starting again!



Spine Cracker

So those are the books that shaped my childhood. What were your childhood favourites?

Until next time, happy reading!