Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Book That Made Me Realize I Was Going to Love Books and Reading

Do you know that this year marks the 50th Anniversary of a book that my children loved when they were little? Well I say a book they loved, but actually, I don't believe they ever read the book, they only saw the movie. The book is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

Do you know this book? Have you read it? Or maybe you have only seen the movie? The one starring Gene Wilder in the role of Willie Wonka or maybe the one with Johnny Depp in the role?

Most people probably only know this book because of the movie, which is a bit sad because the book is so much better! All books are so much better! You never hear someone read the book and then watch the movie and say "the movie was better"! Nope, you always heard them coming out of the theater and saying ''that was disappointing, the book was so much better!"

Which is why I am glad that I never got to see movies as a kid. We always lived out on the ranches my dad worked at and usually they were always 20 or so miles from the nearest towns, making it crazy to go just to see a movie! So I read books instead. Tons of books! I devoured them like they were M&M's!

Great Expectations, Little Women, Little Men, Charlotte's Webb, Alice in Wonderland, The Nancy Drew Mysteries, The Wizard of Oz, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Heidi, Swiss Family Robinson, Black Beauty, I could go on and on!

But my very favorite, the one I still remember to this day, the book that made me realize I was going to love books and reading forever was The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney.

As I remember, this was the cover of the book I had. The Five Little Peppers had such great adventures and they were so kind to each other and they always did things together and even though they were poor they were happy. I would read it over and over again.

I didn't realize it but this was not the only book written about the Five Little Peppers. After this one there were 11 more books about the Peppers, 12 all total. Sad to say I only knew about this one. I'm think I need to keep an eye out at my favorite used book store to see if I can find the rest of them.

I hope that parents continue to read to their children and that they let their children see them reading. My mom read a lot, and we followed her lead. Turn off the TV and hand your child a book and just let them spend some quiet time getting lost in a another world, another time. Nurture a love of reading and books. Maybe go out and buy the 50th Anniversary copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and read it with them!

What book was your favorite as a child, or which book do you remember reading most?

This post was inspired by the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To celebrate, Penguin Young Readers Group, in partnership with Dylan’s Candy Bar, the world-famous candy emporium, and First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides books for children from low-income families, is launching a year-long international celebration.

Head over to From Left to Write to learn how you and your child can have a chance to win the Golden Ticket Sweepstakes where the grand prize is a magical trip to New York City plus much more! For every entry submitted, Penguin Young Readers Group will make a donation to First Book. Then, join From Left to Write on July 24 as we discuss Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. As a book club member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.



  1. The book I remember the most reading as a child? All About the Human Body by Bernard Glemser. Specifically the last chapter. Good God the rumors are true! The stork crashed and burned that day. To a nine year old growing up in the 50s it was like learning the earth was round instead of flat.


    If you are interested, you can get many of Margaret Sidney's works in a 99 cent kindle edition.


    I know! You don't have a kindle. but you can get the free Kindle apps for your PC, smart phone, iMac, iPad etc etc. These apps work very well and are absolutely free. You will have to set up an account with Amazon. If you already have an account established, just download the apps to which ever devices you may have and voila you can be reading many of your beloved books for 99 cents. Sure it is not like having the book...but then again you have nothing to store any you can find it instantly.


    That said, you may be able to find paper copies from Amazon's secondary sellers. Another place I have found old titles is an outfit called Alibris.


    Very good post. You are right, children should have the opportunity to read and time to digest the book on their own terms. I have read that today's kids do not get enough time to themselves away from prescribed activities run by adults or social media. They do not learn how to think for themselves. I think reading and analyzing the story on their own without being force fed ideas by adults are critical for independent thinking. Great post Alicia!

    1. I googled the author Bernard Glemser and clicked on a random link for a review of the book and guess which one popped out? Kismet dude! It was your goodreads review of the book. What a great story, I enjoyed it thoroughly!

      I do actually have the kindle app on my phone and on my lap top. But God love me...I just can't handle not having a physical book in my hands! I guess I'm just an old soul and some things are meant to be on paper and some on these electronic gadgets and gizmos! But just for giggles I might try downloading them and seeing if I can regress back to my childhood...which was perfect!

      Part of the fun for me is the hunt. I think I was meant to be born a hunter, but I was not Great or White...get it? Great White Hunter? Well anyway, I love going to my little Goodwill Bookstore and searching out treasures and when I find a title or author I've been looking for well there is dancing the streets!

      Glad you enjoyed the post and I agree wholeheartedly with you about kids not having time to themselves to just think. I can remember just sitting by the bank of an irrigation canal, listening to the water and just day dreaming of what the future held for me. No TV, no computer, no video games, no 24/7 schedule of activities. Just sitting in the sun enjoying life, many times with a book in my hand. Those were the days my friend!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, always an honor!

    2. The Kindle link I sent you is a collection of 9 of her works for 99 cents for the whole shebang.

      This edition contains 9 Works;

      ● Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
      ● Five Little Peppers Midway
      ● Five Little Peppers Grown Up
      ●The Adventures of Joel Pepper
      ● Five Little Peppers Abroad
      ● Five Little Peppers at School
      ● Five Little Peppers and their Friends
      ● Ben Pepper

      Indeed, hunt for and buy the paper copies, but for meantime you can read them on your computer or phone for next to nothing.

      Yes we got to spend a lot of time by ourselves as children and I think it was formative.

      Glad you liked the review of All About The Human Body. It is kind of scary that my review come up when you googled it.

    3. Wow thanks! I did download the books! Let's see if the rest of them are as inspiring to me as the first one was.

  2. The Oompa Loompas last rant in the book hits just the right note on this topic-- THEY. READ. BOOKS! :) Always a good reminder!

    1. Definitely! Thank you for commenting and just keep reading (and writing of course)!

  3. I love all of Roald Dahl's books. When I taught third grade, that's all I read to my children after lunch. I had many students over the years tell me that his books were better than the movies. The only movies I've ever watched - under duress - were James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I loved Esio Trot. Have you read it?

    1. Hi Grammy! I bet you were a great teacher! I have only read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but I'm intrigued to read more of his books as every one has such high praise for them. I have not read Esio Trot but I googled it and I have a little grand niece that would probably love for her Auntie to read to her. Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. You've brought up a very important topic: that of book reading- children- parents.
    Book reading is a great gift which expands a child's imagination and brings many worlds into his life. Parents should use all means available to encourage their children to read.

    As a a child and adolescent I was a voracious reader. As I grew older I gradually (and naturally) became more selective ; switched from quantity to quality, from fiction to mostly non-fiction, looking not so much for entertainment but more for help in real life.

    1. My daughter is a big reader, but my son only reads online articles on sports or music. My sister and one of my brothers are also big readers. Mom doesn't read as much as she used to, she says she has trouble seeing the words. I've tried getting her the books that have the large print but I think it's just difficult for her to concentrate. She does watch a lot of television.

      When my kids were growing up I always picked a special book for them for Christmas. My daughter always loved and read hers, my son just played with his book, using it as building blocks for his cars and trucks.


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