What's your favorite book?
That essential question, endlessly asked and answered, that often forms the basis for a person's assessment of your position as a reader. Are you a chick lit queen, a murder-mystery fanatic, perhaps a champion of comic books? Is your favorite amongst the loftier of classics, perhaps a Brontë, Poe or Melville? No favorite book is superior or truly representative of your personality, despite what some may have you believe, and so I find the most value not in asking what your favorite book is, but rather what it was. Who wrote the books that shaped you as a reader? From where did your love of your current favorite spring?
Now, it would not be fair for me to request this information without volunteering my own. And so I will now take you on a journey through time, starting with my first true favorite, Tikki Tikki Tembo.
Tikki Tikki Tembo (Age 4-7):
Tikki Tikki Tembo-no Sa Rembo-chari Bari Ruchi-pip Peri Pembo is a young chinese boy with a very long name. This name is nearly the death of him after he falls in a well and his younger brother Chang is forced to recite his full name repeatedly until he is blue in the face.
I loved this book like no other as a child. Having a middle named of 9 letters and a hyphenated last name, I had felt the sting of a name longer than anyone wants to say. It marks the first conscious empathy I can remember feeling. The illustrations also had a strong impact on my color preferences at the time, best measured in the number of blue, green and golden yellow crayons I burned through.