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Thursday, January 24, 2008

First Book

My mother is about to move to Austin, to be with my father, who already lives there. He got a job teaching high school journalism and yearbook a year and a half ago, and she stayed behind in Virginia to finish out her last few semesters as a college professor before she could retire. I thought it was a pretty kooky scheme, myself, but it seems to be working out okay. The main thing is that they both love Austin (they met and fell in love there; I was born there) and have always wanted to live there again. And at the end of this school year, they will be. In a smaller house than the Virginia brick two-story--and since my dad's been living in the little ranch-style place for a while, it's pretty fully furnished.

Needless to say, my mother is having a yard sale. Most of my Christmas presents from her were things like china that had been hand-painted by my grandmother; I'm also going to end up with my grandmother's four-poster bed. Mama is paring down as much as she can--so when her 60th birthday rolled around earlier this week, I had to deliberate quite a bit about what to give her. Anything physical would just be another thing to pack. Eventually, I decided on a charitable donation in her honor, and the organization I picked is called First Book.

Such a cool group! They have a very simple mission: to give underprivileged kids and their families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. It got me thinking about the first books I remember reading and loving: Pat the Bunny, with all the tactile images. Anything by Maurice Sendak, although I loved Max and the Night Kitchen the best. And of course, the classic, Goodnight Moon. Although my memories of that one are forever overlaid by that hilarious Simpson's episode where Christopher Walken shows up at the Springfield Library to read it to the kids. You haven't lived until you've heard "Goodnight, Moon, goodnight, spoon" in that unmistakable Walken voice. Crazy.

So what was the first book you remember reading?


I love that! What a great organization. Must remember this for future stuff.

My first book? Bears In The Night. My 34-year-old brother and I STILL talk about it. We did over Christmas as a matter of fact. Because we're big geeks, mostly.

I never heard of that one!

I've never been to Austin, but I totally want to visit. I've heard it's a great town.

The first books I remember falling in love with were by Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie and Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gablesnovels. My dad used to read them to me before bed. I loved it.

Remember Ramona the Brave? I tore through those when I was in first and second grade.

Oh, the Anne books...I've read those so many times, the entire series, I think I might have the first one memorized. And Ramona! Hell yeah.

Hop on Pop... It's one of the Dr. Seuss books.

Hey, I lived in Austin for two years! On Barton Springs Drive overlooking Zilker Park. Have we talked about this before?

I think the first book I read had to have been something by Dr. Seuss, although, I do remember having a book that was shaped like a birthday cake. Can't remember the plot, though.

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