My favorite book when I was learning to read was called Simon's Book by Henrik Drescher. Simon's Book is the story of a sketch-drawing of a boy named Simon, a monster, and what happens when they are left to their own devices on a piece of paper overnight. Luckily for Simon, the fountain pens and ink bottle decide to help him by drawing his escape from the monster. But when that escape plan goes awry, everyone is pleasantly surprised to find that the monster is FRIENDLY! In the morning the illustrator awakens to find a book in place of the sketch he left the night before.
My original copy of Simon's Book was lost along the path of childhood. I don't remember exactly when it disappeared or what happened to it, but I often found myself wishing I could re-read it and visit my old friends: Simon, the monster, the fountain pens, and the good ole ink bottle.
One day, several years ago, I was leaving a grad school class that was held in a library, and as I often did, I stopped to peruse the pile of books the library had culled from their shelves to give away. While looking through the pile of picture books, I couldn't believe it--there was Simon! I was delighted but also sad that my friends had been discarded. I knew they needed to come home with me that day.
Over the years I have thought about gifting Simon's Book to one of my friends' children, to introduce them to the wonderful illustrations and the fun story of Simon and the monster. Every time I go to take the book down off the shelf and wrap it as a gift, though, I stop and think about how sad I was without the book. So, I re-read it "one last time" and fall in love with my old friends all over again. Back the book goes on the shelf.
Maybe someday I will be able to give them away freely, but for now Simon and his friends live on my shelf, and from time to time I take them down and have a visit just so they know that I still love them.
What was YOUR favorite book as a kid?