I grew up with my nose stuck inside a book according to my mother. Books were my friends in an otherwise normal big fat hispanic childhood. Books for me have always been an escape, a new world, a Narnia of sorts that has swung me into adventures I could never dream of. The characters of our childhood are friends we carry in our hearts forever, who will live there for the rest of your life. Here are the characters that I’ve taken with me the last 28 years of my life. Now I’m not including Harry Potter in this list because well that character has spanned into my adult life which I won’t go into now.
6 and 5. Wilbur and Templeton (Charlotte’s Web)
I know the big star of the show was Charlotte and it was well deserved but the real heart was Wilbur. Wilbur’s heart and love for everything around him was one of the first experiences I had at reading lengthy novels. His spastic qualities were something that I’ve always been able to relate to, and his love of his friends is something that should be engrained in all. Then there was Templeton who at that age was the funniest thing I’d encountered in literature, I could relate to his appetite for well everything, but most of all at the end of that long faithful fair trip his heart was just there.
4. The White Rabbit from Through the looking-glass, or Alice in Wonderland
The book is brilliant, and visually stunning in the mind of a child. The tea party is comic gold, and Alice’s bravery is just inspiring, but for as long as I can remember… well I’ve always been late, really really late! Honorable mention in this book goes to the queen for this brilliant gem: Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
3. Sara Crewe from A Little Princess
Who didn’t feel for Sara Crewe? Her father moved her from India to that snooty school in London, and she loses her father, and fortune and is forced in to basic forced service by Miss Minchin. However it doesn’t dismay Sara from being friends with the girls at school, she becomes a hard worker and she maintains a motto I will always love that all girls are princesses. Sara was also kind and optimistic no matter how grave the situation and for that I will always love her.
2. Madeline’s Paris
My love of the Madeline books isn’t necessarily about the actual character, my love is straight forward toward the illustrations. The Madeline books were my first glimpse at a city I would love for the rest of my life. The artwork in the books is just brilliant and illustrative of art movement happening at the time (I wouldn’t have known this at four and five… later on in life it explains a lot) I would become mesmerized by the art, I would study it and the city, almost a full immersion of Madeline’s mid-century pre and post Great War Paris. Oh the characters were cool too!
1. Harriet the Spy
For as long as my nose has been stuck in my books I’ve also at the very same time been a notorious people watcher. Harriet was all that and much more. Harriet made it ok to sit back and just enjoy the view, her observations of those around her and her documenting of life in general is something I’ve always been able to relate to, even 20 years after first reading her tale. Oh and my affinity for tomato sandwiches can most notably be attributed to her. She was brilliance.
Now I know you can watch all these books in movie form and trust me when I say three out of these five books turned into movies have been big parts of my viewing pleasure, nothing will ever beat the countless hours my eyes spent reading these books.