Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Snow Leopard


When I tell friends I've started collecting kids' books, they ask excitedly if I'm pregnant, so I'll preface this post with the words: no I'm not expecting. I just love children's books.
My latest purchase is The Snow Leopard, a superbly illustrated book on a topic that is dear to my heart, the bond between humans (in this case, a little girl) and animals. Snow leopards are extraordinary and elusive big cats that haunt the Himalayas. A few years ago, my mum took my sister and me on an unforgettable road trip through Ladakh (Indian Himalayas), where we reached 19,000ft (5800 m), visited mysterious Buddhist monasteries and marveled at the landscapes; Buddhist pilgrims leave countless prayer flags along the road, and if I too had tied one onto a tree, I would have wished for a glimpse at the beautiful feline creature.

Among the books I have collected so far are some of my childhood favorites, such as Le journal de Delphine (the story of a little ballerina!), novels by Judy Blume and Roald Dahl, and other gems like Charlotte's Web, poems for kids by one of my favorite poets, Joseph Brodsky, a Maurice Sendak, Alice in Wonderland...
I must get a copy of Enid Blyton's Noddy, the book that got me addicted to reading; so absorbed was I in my books as a child that one of my teachers told my mum she should take them away from me! Fortunately, she disregarded this advice.
What were your favorite books when you were a child?

21 comments:

marie said...

oh that book looks beautiful..i read alot too when i was little, lots of dahl too!
i also had a book from a family friend about a magical birthday party and it had me as the main character!
oh and i loved miffy and a series of books about a hippopotamus and a little boy (my favourite being 'there's a hippopotamus on our roof eating cake')
nice memories no?

Jill said...

Favorite children's book...great question, hard to answer! Charlotte's Web would have to be my all time favorite, also anything by Rumer Godden, Elizabeth Enright, or Astrid Lindgren...it could take days for me to finish this list, so I'll stop here :). Thanks, Mary-Laure for adding me to your blogroll...I feel honored to be in such awesome company!

Laura said...

My favorite adolescence book(s) were Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey; marveling at travel, already.

Taocito said...

While there is now a TV channel dedicated to my species, there are not any books out there for pups(hint hint for your writers!).
But I understand my mistress was rather fond of the Sun Wu Kong collection of stories about a monkey with a magic stick who goes on fabulous adventures in old China.
As a side note I would like to say I am very little surprised by Laura's answer...

artycho said...

I love Maurice Sendak picture books! and Roald Dahl is one of our favorites ! If you don't know him yet here is a great inspiring author/artist: ALEXIS DEACON, maybe one day I will be among them...

Esti said...

When I learned to read my favourite were the TEO books by Violeta de Denou (no much stuff to be read there, though). But then I went on to comic kinda books like Tintin and (as preteenager) Esther y su mundo by Purita Campos.

Mary-Laure said...

Marie, I can't believe you were the main character in a children's book! It must have been so much FUN! I hope you still have it...

Jill, I had forgotten about Astrid Lindgren, whose books I also adored; I must try to find a few of those. Charlotte's Web is so adorable yet it tackles issues like death, in a very sensitive way.
(BTW, it's my PLEASURE to have to wonderful beautiful blog on my blogroll...)
What are Lucy's favorite books?

Taocito, I think your mistress also loved the Bernstein Bears! Ask her about that...

Artycho, I'll definitely look up Alexis Deacon, thanks. I hope you also read French books to your cute little girl...?

Etsi, did you also read 'Platero y yo' as a child? I just LOVE it. "Tan blando que se diria todo de algodon, que no tiene huesos..." I know it by heart!

ALL THE BEST said...

So beautiful! I still can't read The Giving Tree without crying!!

Joanna Goddard said...

oooh this is fantastic. i loved good night moon and richard scarry books.

pia said...

another thing we have in common! i have a few faves too and still collect them, this book looks gorgeous, i love the artwork.

Lala said...

My favorite book was Noddy (in French OUI OUI). But when I grew older, may be 7, and as my mum asked me to choose a book in a bookstore, she told me " Lala, dont you think you are to old to read Oui Oui" and of course I had to nod.

josephine said...

what a cool post! i love children's literature, too. it's hard for me to pick a favorite. maybe "snowy day" by ezra jack keats and "round trip" by ann jonas (when you get to the end, you flip the book around and read to the beginning. round trip, get it?). for the current generation, i think gail carson levine is a brilliant writer.

Kwana said...

I always loved, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle as a child. The colors amazed me. I'm also still a huge Dr. Suess fan.

Marie-Laure I posted a photo of, Jack for you today. He's a little scruffy since he needs a haircut:)

Esti said...

mary-laure, platero y yo was a compulsory read at school. You know how it was when someone forced you to read something, I don't remember a word! I guess I should get myself to read that to my daughters.

Mary-Laure said...

Kwana, I can't believe I don't have any Dr Seuss books! They're so fabulous...
Must also get a Shel Silverstein.

Josephine and Joanna, thanks for your sweet words. I don't know any of the books you mention, so I'm looking forward to checking them out!

Lala, il n'y a pas d'âge pour lire Oui-Oui! Noddy is timeless!

atelier said...

the book looks beautiful. My favourites were "Los fruitis" I don't really know its name in English, it was about these fruits who could talk, one was a banana with a bag which has anything you can imagine in, the other was a cactus, and it was a human girl called Kimba. I love it so much!

mansuetude said...

can't believe a teacher would think to take a book away from a child. Maybe you hid them in your clothes, or something--like one of Flannery O'Conner's characters? That trip you took sounds amazing; do you post about that as well? Its rare to see one of those animals, isn't it?

pve design said...

Joan Anglund Walsh - "What it means to be a friend"
I want to check the only copy out of our local library, because I cannot find it anywhere and for years have been in love with that book. I spent hours drawing the girls from that book, simple black line but the sweetest illustrations.

pve design said...

I correct myself, it is "Joan Walsh Anglund"
A Friend is someone who likes me.
You inspire me to post on this!

Bexy said...

the hungry catapillar. again - it's all about the illustrations and interactive fun with this book - the story is almost irrelevant.

have a look for it - it's amazing

beXy

My Notting Hill said...

The Secret Garden. And I can't believe it's taken me this long to find out about your blog.