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A Dry Read: A Flood of Children’s Book Memories

June 27, 2010

A Dry Read, Partnered with the Pencil Foundation of Nashville

As I’ve written here before, I’m working with Rebecca Brothers to boost the signal for A Dry Read, a project to get children’s books into the hands of needy kids in Nashville, after their stock of books got destroyed in the flooding there.

I’ve been thinking about the books I grew up reading. Or having read to me. I know I was really lucky to have my parents reading to me every night. And surrounding me with books. Before I learned to read, there were always books and Highlights magazines all around me.

I might have learned to read by osmosis. It wasn’t like it was any giant revelation or event. I think I remember having The Random House Book of Poetry for Children read aloud. (I just checked, and it’s still in print! Hooray!) My memory is that there was a poem about Augustus who would not eat any soup and then he died. I remember recognizing the word “soup.”

I still have that book. I also still have the illustrated copy of The Wind in the Willows that my dad used to read to me. He’d make notes in the margins of where we stopped reading each night. The paintings are gorgeous.

The thought of either of those so much as getting rained on spooks me. I can’t even imagine a flood.

Browsing the list of books on A Dry Read’s Wishlist I find more favorites I can’t believe I didn’t remember! Mercer Meyer’s little monster! The Secret Garden, (which has been on my mind, courtesy of Lizzie Skurnick.) Shel Silverstein.

Anyone up for putting together a matching-books donation with me? I’ll see your Mercer Mayer and raise you a Shel Silverstein? Who’s in?

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