Last week we published a story that featured our team members favorite childhood books. These stories each told imaginary tales that calmed childhood hearts and inspired young dreams. Our team enjoyed reminiscing to simpler times and thinking back to the books that were so special to them.

The response we received for this project was so great that we decided to divide the blog into two parts. Last week we shared the first half of our list, and today we are sharing the second. Read on to find out which books were chosen!

Dr. Seuss Collection
Team Member: Jen Jorgensen, Family Service Worker in the Respite Center

Book Summary: Jen loves all of Dr. Seuss’ many books! There are just too many to choose a definitive favorite, but she notes Hop On Pop as being one of her top choices. The famous author penned numerous childhood classics and included his signature rhyming style in nearly every book.

Reasons It’s Loved: Our Family Service Worker loves Dr. Seuss because his books are whimsical and fun. Now that she has children, she appreciates Dr. Seuss’ ability to help young people read. Her son was motivated to read Dr. Seuss because his books are silly and include simple words. She loves that the same author has helped her and her children learn to read.

Good Night, Lewis!
Team Member: Michele Bergman, Parent-Child Home Program Coordinator

Book Summary: Good Night, Lewis! features a little lion who is afraid of the dark. To cope with his fear, the lion finds ways to stay up later to avoid turning off the lights.

Reasons It’s Loved: Michele loved this story because of its vibrant illustrations and the elaborate tactics used by the lion to avoid bedtime. She was also afraid of the dark as a child, so she could relate to the lion. She still has the copy she received as a three year-old from her grandmother. The pages are wrinkled, and the binding is held together by aging tape, by the book is proudly displayed on a shelf with her fellow childhood favorites.

The Huge Bag of Worries
Team Member: Becky Berry, Service Facilitator, Comprehensive Community Services Program

Book Summary: The Huge Bag of Worries details the story of a girl named Jenny. She begins to worry about situations in her life, which is illustrated as a big bag that she carries with her. This begins to weigh Jenny down and make her sad. At first she feels as though she cannot confide in anyone, until one day she talks to a neighbor. This helps Jenny release some of her worries and find healthy coping mechanisms to lessen her stress.

Reasons It’s Loved: Becky loves this book because it’s relatable to people of all ages. Everyone has worries that can overwhelm, and this book helps overcome those anxieties. Becky appreciates how the book portrays worries as a bag that follows us around because it provides a visual and introduces us with a way to talk about our situation. She believes The Huge Bag of Worries serves as a tool to encourage talking and create coping skills.

Little Critter Collection
Team Member: Sara Flugum, Children Come First Care Coordinator

Book Summary: The Little Critter stories follow a family of critters as they manage day-to-day life. The primary protagonist is a young boy and the stories are written from his perspective. Many of the books teach valuable lessons and are filled with learning opportunities.

Reasons It’s Loved: Sara loves these books because they are short and easy to read, which makes them appealing for young readers. They also feature colorful and engaging visuals, which add to the story. Finally, the books relate to children and detail the common struggles of growing up. Sara still has a few books stashed away to give to the children in her life!

Oh, The Places You’ll Go
Team Member: Kelsey Imberg, Children Come First Care Coordinator

Book Summary: Written by Dr. Seuss, this book features plenty of rhyming and imagination. Encouraging the reader to take on new adventures and explore the world, the book provides readers with hope as they dream of the places they will visit and the things they will discover.

Reasons It’s Loved: Kelsey connected to this book when she was diagnosed with a learning disability in first grade. Instead of being with her peers, Kelsey spent a lot of time in pull-out groups and in the special education classroom. She found it difficult to adjust and felt behind in school. To help her, Kelsey’s parents would read her this book and remind her that her dreams were attainable and she could accomplish anything with hard work.

The Velveteen Rabbit
Team Member: Tanya Graham, Human Resources and Payroll Specialist

Book Summary: The Velveteen Rabbit revolves around a stuffed rabbit given to a boy as a Christmas gift. The boy, wowed by his mechanical toys, does not pay much attention to the rabbit. These toys snub the rabbit, but the wisest toy in the nursery, the Skin Horse, tells the rabbit about toys magically becoming real due to love from children. The rabbit is awed by the idea, but feels his chances are slim. One night, the boy is given the rabbit to sleep with in place of a lost toy. From there, the rabbit becomes the boy’s favorite toy. He is taken everywhere by the boy, and learns that he cannot hop like the real rabbits. One day, the boy comes down with scarlet fever. The doctor tells his family to disinfect the room and burn the toys, including the velveteen rabbit. While waiting to be burned, the rabbit reflects on his life with the boy and cries real tears. A fairy appears and makes the rabbit real because he was real to the boy who loved him. The fairy takes the rabbit to a forest where he meets more rabbits. At the end of the book, the rabbit returns to see the boy and the boy recognizes him.

Reasons It’s Loved: Tanya loved The Velveteen Rabbit because she saw how value is perceived in different ways. When we look at each other with love, the world has a different meaning.

Where the Wild Things Are
Team Member: Asha Wartgow, Lead Family Support Specialist in the Early Childhood Initiative Program

Book Summary: Where the Wild Things Are focuses on a young boy named Max, who is sent to bed without dinner. Once in his room, Max immediately falls asleep and is transformed to a forest where he is greeted by ferocious, but tame creatures. Max is named king of the wild things, and he instructs them to “let the wild rumpus start.” While Max enjoys being in command at the beginning, he grows tired of his authority and sends his subjects to bed without dinner. Max then realizes he misses his mom, and he understands that being in charge is hard word. He then smells his dinner and sails back home, where he is loved the most.

Reason It’s Loved: Asha loves Where the Wild Things Are because her dad read the book to her when she was a child. She remembers him using different voices and making the story a tad scary, but very memorable. Asha believes this book shows imagination and reminds us all to be creative and think outside the box.

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