I have decided to start a new blog series called Friday Firsts. Each post will feature a first book-related experience like my first mystery read, my first scary book, the first time I really fell in love with reading, etc. For my first Friday First post, I would like to talk about the first book I remember reading by myself.
The Adventures of Frog and Toad!
My mother instilled a love of reading in me at a young age. I remember my mom letting my older sister, younger brother, and me crawl into her bed in the evening and get comfy while she opened a book to start reading to us. I remember piles and piles of books on the little shelf in the hall. They were well-loved books with worn spines, fingerprint smudges and stains on the pages, little rips and tears here and there, and faded covers. My childhood was filled with books.
The first book I remember reading on my own was Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel. The Adventures of Frog and Toad sits prominently on my bookshelf today. Sometimes I take it down and flip through the pages, recalling the stories of these two friends. My favorites are still the one when they tried to have will power to stop themselves from eating too many cookies and the story when Toad was embarrassed by his bathing suit.
I remember these stories with such fondness not just because they were funny stories but because reading them was my first sense of independence. While I loved having my mom read us bedtime stories, it was such an incredible feeling to be able to pick up a book and read a story whenever I wanted to!
I share this Friday Firsts experience for a couple of reasons. One, it is a nice memory that I enjoy sharing and I imagine I’m not the only one with a soft spot for Frog and Toad. Two, I think it is so important to read to children. Read books to them, real books. Take them to the bookstore and library and let them browse the aisles, seeing all the different kinds of books there are. Spend a few minutes at the end of the day teaching them what incredible worlds exist inside books and that their imaginations have no limits.
Teach them that letters become words and words become sentences and sentences create entire worlds filled with adventures. I learned this early on from my mom, and I am so grateful.
Now, all these years later, she and I still share books and talk about what to read next. I am so grateful for a mom who read to me and helped me learn to read. I have no idea how many books I’ve read or how many I will read in my lifetime. But I do know that my first books were from her as was my love of reading. So I’d like to take this first Friday First post to thank my mom and Frog and Toad for starting me on an adventure that continues even today.
What is the first book you remember reading all by yourself?