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Core Memories Unlocked!

May 2024

The Books That Made Us Love Reading

Growing up, it was easy to believe in magic. It made sense to us that bears could talk, that monkeys were curious to a fault, that adventure happened wherever you found the end of the sidewalk. Our world was made up, in part, by the books that were read to us and later learned to read for ourselves. Some people, like myself, have clung to the sense of wonder and adventure that can be found between pages. As many of you know, I’m an avid reader. I’m currently on my 26th book of 2024, so clearly, that is what I largely do outside of work. Though my book choices have changed, my love of reading, like so many others, started at a young age, reading picture books and going on adventures with curious monkeys, hungry caterpillars and little girls from Paris. Since Children’s Book Week is coming to a close, we thought we’d share some of our favorite childhood books here at Local Vyntage! Afterall, books like these were some of the first things we ever felt nostalgic for.


“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines. Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines…” Madeline might be an obvious first choice as an LV favorite, since my name is spelled almost the exact same way. But these girls have made a big difference in the lives of women for generations. Grandmothers read it to moms, who read it to their children, who will probably read it to their kids one day. This book makes the LV faves list for many reasons, but mostly because we got to travel and go on adventures with Madeline and the most noble dog in all of France, Genevieve.

Cars and Trucks and Things That Go: (Chet’s Pick)

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Cars and Trucks and Things That Go is another Local Vyntage favorite. It somehow manages to combine information on all your favorite things that go, while also giving us some “I Spy” fun, and taking us on a fun and funny adventure. Nearly every kid must have learned their love of things that go from this incredibly interesting book. Every time we flipped through it, we had to buckle up to learn or see something new!

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel:

This story follows Mike Mulligan, of course, and his trusty sidekick Mary Ann the steam shovel. The plot revolves largely around the dynamic duo working tirelessly to dig a cellar in one day, a job that should take 100 men a week according to the town selectmen who hire them. However, through hard work and the occasional mishap, they get the job done! Mary Ann is then turned into a boiler so that she and Mike can remain together, as he had forgotten to build a ramp to get Mary Ann back out of the cellar. While the moral and educational lessons might not be as apparent in this book as compared to some others on this list, this book still made a lasting impression. As kids we all wanted to have friends like Mike and Mary Ann!

Amelia Bedelia:

These stories are, quite literally, classics. Amelia Bedelia, the maid who takes everything a bit too literally. With ridiculous responses to chores such as “dust the furniture” and “put the lights out” in which she puts dust on the furniture and takes lightbulbs outside, Amelia always kept us guessing. Not only are these books a fun way to learn the nuances of the English language and some of the more ridiculous phrases we have, they are also hilarious. As a kid, you couldn’t help but crack up whenever our protagonist messed up each task more thoroughly than the last.

Story of Babar:

This book gave us great inspiration that no matter how poorly things go, life has a great propensity to get better. At the beginning of Babar’s story, his mother is killed and he is left an orphan. However, with some help from friends and distant family, Babar made it to Paris where he became quite invested in his learning. So much so, that when he returns to the elephant realm, and the king there dies, he becomes the next king! This is just the beginning of Babar’s story. As he continues through life, he gets married and goes on more travels and adventures.

Winnie the Pooh: (Maddy’s Pick)

As kids, or even as parents of young kids, many of us spent long hours in the 100 Acre Woods with Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga, Roo, and the rest of the gang. Sometimes, we even encountered a Heffalump! A. A. Milne wrote these stories for his son, based on the toys the real-life Christopher Robin Milne had. But, in doing so, he made a tale that we could all relate to, with words we could live by. Since it was originally written in 1925, Winnie the Pooh has become one of the most quoted works of children’s literature. Some of our favorite quotes here include “yesterday, when today was tomorrow, it was too much day for me” and, of course the classic “oh bother”.

Curious George:

Curious George has been a family favorite since it was first published in France in the 1930s. The Man In The Yellow Hat and this curious little monkey could always be found making a scene and having a great time across the city. Or, well, at least George was always having a good time. Traveling from Africa to America, our two protagonists had quite a journey. Since then, these books have been remade, movies and TV shows have been made, and we’ve had the opportunity to go on even more adventures with them. 


So many of these books and characters have been around for generations, bringing laughter and adventure to families across the globe. We might not be the carefree kids we once were, but these books let us slide back into the kids we once were, if only for a moment. While these are only some of our favorites, there are certainly many more we have missed. Let us know your favorite books as a child, or as a parent of a young child!

- Maddy


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