For those of you blessed with a mom who could read books in such a way that makes all the movies and their special effects fade in comparison, you must have some favorite memories of certain books. Here are my top three:
1. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi – by Rudyard Kipling
Here’s Wikipedia’s summary of the book…
An English family, who have moved to a bungalow in the British Sugauli (former British sp. Segowlee) cantonment in Bihar State, India, discover a young mongoose half drowned from a storm and decide to keep it as a pet. The young mongoose, called Rikki-Tikki, soon finds himself confronted by two dangerous, murderous cobras, Nag (the word is Hindi for “cobra”) and his even more dangerous mate Nagaina, who had the run of the garden while the house was unoccupied. After that first encounter with the cobras, Rikki’s first true battle is with Karait, a dust brown snakeling who threatens the boy (Teddy). Although Rikki is inexperienced and the snake, because of its deadly venom and small size, is an even more dangerous foe than a cobra, the mongoose defeats him.
I loved this book. I loved the way my mom would hiss Rikki-Tikki-Tikki-Tikki-Tik….mimicing Nagaina’s voice. I remember the terror in my little heart when the battles between Rikki and the cobras occurred.
In Maui, we saw…hmmm, if it’s more than one is it Mongeese? Mongooses? Mongoose? Several of the species known as Mongoose? Anyway, we saw them! 🙂
Another great book to have been read by my mom. With a tear-choked voice we all cried when she read how Bambi’s mom died. Again, though Disney did a great job with the film, noone could top my mom reading the book out loud to us!
The first half of the movie mainly involves Bambi’s fawnhood, such as a walk through the woods, a day in the meadow, and his first encounter with snow.
The pivotal scene in the movie involves Bambi’s mother and her death at the hands of a hunter. The scene is set in late winter, and Bambi and his mother struggle to find food as mournful music plays. Joy is felt as they discover a patch of new grass, signaling the arrival of Spring, and joyful music is heard on the soundtrack. However, as they feast, the mood changes again, and we hear Man approach off-screen, represented only by his theme music (a low, three-note motif). Bambi’s mother suddenly catches Man’s scent, and orders her child to run, but she’s too late. As they flee across the snow field, shots ring out. The camera stays with young Bambi as he runs through the forest, finally stopping to catch his breath. He notices at this time that his mother is nowhere to be seen…..
3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Each of the March girls displays a major character flaw: Meg, vanity; Jo, a hot temper; Beth, shyness; and Amy, selfishness. They overcome their flaws through lessons learned the hard way. Most of the flaws are in check for a time after lessons are learned, but even as young women the girls must work out these flaws in order to become mothers, wives, sisters, and citizens.
In the course of the novel, the girls become friends with their next-door neighbor, the teenage boy Laurie, who becomes a particular friend of Jo’s. As well as the more serious and sadder themes outlined above, the book describes the activities of the sisters and their friend, such as creating a newspaper and picnicking, and the various scrapes that Jo and Laurie get into. The story represents family relationships and explores family life thoroughly.
I remember becoming one of the Little Women in my mind…which one was best, though? It was always a hard choice. And I remember really weeping when Beth died. This book read to me by my mom, had extra memories wrapped in to it because my mom read it to me the summer I was recuperating from a serious bout with hepatitis in Bolivia. I remember her soothing voice and the escape the story provided me from the pain I was having.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD STORIES?