Childhood Books Which Left a Big Impression

And I’d be delighted to read them again

By Jeff Salter

This is a topic which we’ve partly covered in previous 4F1H schedules… but not necessarily with this particular wording or specific focus. So I’ll track down my previous treatments and then see if there’s anything left to say.

Little Trapper1

But first, let me mention this book — which stands out not only as one I read and re-read as a kid, but which I also read to my own children. I think I’ve read it to some of our grandkids, too, but can’t recall for certain. It’s one of my favorites from a favorite series, the Little Golden Books. This particular story, about the Little Trapper, features a frontier boy out to prove his prowess as a trapper, in part to impress a pretty little Native American girl. Along the way he encounters a foxy fox — the animal, that is. I won’t spoil the ending for you…

This Hound Day blog – from Oct. 17, 2013 – is closest to today’s subject, although its purported topic was about visiting bookstores. In it, however, I discuss two of my favorite childhood books: Teddy and the Mystery Dog and Miss Minerva on the Old Plantation. As a grown-up, I’ve re-read the Minerva book (and others in that series). I would eagerly re-read the Teddy story… if only I could locate my old copy.
https://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/back-when-bookstores-just-had-books/

This blog – from Dec. 11, 2014 – is also fairly close to today’s topic, though it focuses on the CHARACTERS which inspired our childhood imaginations. In this column I mention – one of at least three times (here at 4F1H) – the Bobbs-Merrill Childhood of Famous Americans Series. My sister, a bookstore owner, has located and sent me between one and two dozen in this series. I can’t now recall which titles, but I have re-read some of these biographies as a grown-up. I have to confess they do not hold up as well as I had supposed they would — mainly because I now realize they featured rather highly fictionalized biographical anecdotes. A very recent example is the Bobbs-Merrill version of Abe Lincoln’s childhood. Quite different from the authentic history which I’ve just recently read in a scholarly biography of our former president.
https://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/they-captured-my-childhood-imagination/

This one – from Apr. 14, 2011 – also features a portion that deals with our topic: namely, some of my favorite children’s stories (e.g., the Little Golden books).
https://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/favorite-titles-books-ive-read-more-than-once/

This one – from Mar. 24, 2011 – includes a portion that deals with our topic: namely, the Bobbs-Merrill Childhood of Famous Americans Series.
https://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/most-influential-books-which-shaped-me-as-a-writer/

This one – from Oct. 2, 2014 – would only qualify for today’s topic if we consider “childhood” to include my ninth grade (age 14-15). If so, we’d be talking about how much I dove into (and enjoyed) the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming.
https://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/favorite-authors-andor-books/

Well, the Little Trapper is my pick for today’s topic… along with links to some other blogs which have skirted this same matter. Hope you enjoy them all.

Question: What book from childhood made the biggest impression on YOU?

[JLS # 365]

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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17 Responses to Childhood Books Which Left a Big Impression

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I grew up with a shelf full of Little Golden Books, and I made sure we had a bunch of them for our kids. They were so good at explaining life lessons in a way kids could understand. I never read The Little Trapper, though I’m sure I’d enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      wonderful series. Of the 250 or so titles, I probably have seen less than half and probably have owned less than a few dozen. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a complete set and read them from 1-250 (or whatever)?

      Like

      • Joselyn says:

        I have a friend who was collecting them. I don’t remember how many she accumulated before she stopped.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jeff7salter says:

        I spoke with a collector / dealer who focused on Little Golden books (among many other series). She had some way of determining which printing (or approx. which printing) each volume was. So she could tell the older books from the newer ones — besides the obvious method of cover price.

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  2. Charlotte’s Web is a book I read and re-read when I was in elementary school. I think I checked it out of Madisonville Jr. High School library multiple times every year from third grade to sixth grade. So that is the titile that answers your question. However, Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Surprise is the book I memorized from reading it hundreds of times to my children.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      and you read it to some of our grandkids after I bought you that replacement copy.
      The rest are already too old, probably, for this story… but when THEY have kids, we can start over.

      Like

  3. I, too, know I have had to rehash some of my past post(s) this week. I had many books, some from my brother and sister but many more were mine.When I moved out of one state to get married, (my family waited a year and a half to follow), they left many of our things and all of the books in storage.One family member didn’t follow through and all were lost.I wish I had taken more with me when I left in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      a lot of our “kids” books were donated to Goodwill by my dad when he cleaned up… after each of us went off to college. I still have a few, including the Little Trapper (I think). But most of my books are boxed and in a storeroom because I don’t have space for them in the house. Not only do I worry about their condition, but I don’t actually know which ones I still have.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved Little Golden Books! I remember them being so much better than they are now. My kids had Little Golden books that are just retellings of Disney movies. One of my favorites was The Animals Christmas Eve. I loved reading that to my kids on Christmas but I have lost my coy in our last move.
    I don’t think I ever read The Little Trapper but it sounds good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      Many were absolute classics… but quite a few are just so-so (to me).
      In fact, when I scanned some of the covers, many were books I did not recall ever seeing or hearing about (and I was a librarian for 30 yrs).

      Like

  5. jbrayweber says:

    I have a huge collection of Golden Books. My mother used to buy one for me to read while she grocery shopped at the local Weingarten. I still have the majority of the books given to me as a child and I have read many of them to both my girls. I plan to divvy the books up between them so that they can have them to read to their own children. My favorite? That’s tough. The first one that comes to mind is Tilly Witch.
    https://www.amazon.com/Tilly-Witch-Don-Freeman-1969-09-15/dp/B01FIYPDYU/

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      I don’t remember Tilly Witch, Jenn, but I am aware of some titles by that author.
      That’s terrific that your mom bought those and you still have most (or all) of them.
      Excellent idea to make them available to your kids, for another generation to enjoy. I just hope they appreciate them as much as you did.
      Remember when they used to cost 25 cents? Or was that a few decades before your time?

      Liked by 1 person

      • jbrayweber says:

        I think they were around 39 cents or maybe a little higher when they were bought for me. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • jeff7salter says:

        at my first public library job (1978), I bought a bunch of Little Golden books. At that time they were probably around $1.50 or so. We added reinforced “library” tape to the spine and added a couple of extra staples through the binding — to make them more durable for circulation to the kids.

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  6. Pingback: Revisiting Old Favorites | Four Foxes, One Hound

  7. Pingback: A Childhood Book I’m Glad I Tracked Down | Four Foxes, One Hound

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