Lynn Gardner: Day 10: Book That Changed Your Life


9.10.2011

Day 10: Book That Changed Your Life


I feel I should pick some ponderous philosophical work or something classically Literary -- something like Plato's Republic or Tolstoy's War and Peace. Something that gives me real literary credit. Instead, I'm going to go with The Mice of Nibbling Village by Margaret Greaves (illustrations by Jane Pinkney -- do click the link!).

This is the first book I remember my mother ever giving me. I would have been eight when my mother gave it to me -- either for Christmas or my birthday -- and I remember the clever poems and richly detailed illustrations of Victorian-esque mice completely enchanted me.

When other mice are sound asleep.
Belinda leaves her home to creep
Into the human house above.
A clever mouse! She learned to love
Reading when she was very small.
That cat had chased her down the hall,
Where she had fled behind a shelf
Of story-books. She found herself
Stuck tight, with nothing else to do
But eat the dictionary through!
So, stuffed with words, she found that she
Could read the stories easily.
Now, by the guttering candle's light,
Belinda Bookery reads all night.

The Mice of Nibbling Village was the first book that really felt it belonged to me and the first book that completely sucked me in -- is it any wonder I fell in love with it? And all that, of course, set me firmly on the path to becoming a reader and lover of books. If my mother hadn't given me that book, where might my life have gone, instead?

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