2.26.2009

We have to draw names for secret Decemberween gift exchange

I never win anything. Well, that's not completely true. Once, my 6th-grade teacher, Mrs Poppenhager, held a series of little competitions - spelling bees and trivia contests and stuff like that - and she gave away cool things for prizes, like books she didn't want in her class library anymore, and cookies she didn't want in her kitchen anymore. Most of the time I lost those contests. In fact, one of my most bitter memories is of a spelling bee in which I had managed to make it to the last round. Then it was Tita Janolo and I, alone in front of the rest of the class, who had been demolished and returned to their seats in shame. So the teacher said my word: "Marshmallow." But she pronounced it the way it's pronounced, so naturally I spelled it the way it's pronounced, which is not the way it's spelled, and I got it wrong.

Then, the teacher asked Tita to spell "marshmallow", and she spelled it slowly and correctly, and I lost. That prize, which had been practically in my pocket, was going to another. I stumbled back to my seat in shock, and life was ashes and dust.

But, as I say, there were other contests. I don't know what it was I finally did well at, but whatever it was, I won. For my prize, Mrs Poppenhager gave me a used record album of Ferrante & Teicher piano music with a scuffed up sleeve that she didn't want in her record collection anymore. (I don't remember what album it was - it may have been Broadway to Hollywood, because I do remember it had "Marriage Type Love" from Me and Juliet on it, which became one of my favorite songs.) I like Ferrante & Teicher all right; I even went and saw them in concert once. But when one is 11 years old and one has one's heart set on winning a book, and one ends up with a used recording of music from one's parents' era, one is bound to be somewhat disappointed. Anyway, that's the last time I ever won anything, not counting those silly gifts at wedding and baby showers because I could unscramble things like "ripade" faster than everyone else.

So. I've decided if I can't win anything, I might as well give others the chance to win something.

Here's the prize - a hardcover copy (with dj) of Toot & Puddle: Charming Opal, by Holly Hobbie.


For a chance at this book, respond to this post (or email me) and describe one of your favorite childhood books, telling why it was a favorite. Good luck!

15 comments:

Shannon said...

i liked corduroy. i don't really know why. okok let's try that again...
i liked the 'petunia' books because the illustrations were interesting and i liked that they were about a goose.
now you have a contestant! yay. although i don't have kids so i don't know what i'd do if i won...hm.

katie said...

i liked "love you forever". even when i was really young, i thought it was awesome that the son came to his mom's house in the middle of the night to hold her. i was also amazed that she could sneak into his room so often and it never woke him up.

Marlyse said...

When I was really little, probably second grade or younger, I fell in love with The Empty Pot. I had the best Librarian of all time through elementary school and she is one reason I ever read at all when I was young. I'm sure all my siblings remember her, they all had her at Horace Mann. She's memorable and personable and friendly and she was my favorite teacher. Anyhow, one day she read us that book, she had the best way of reading aloud and showing us the pictures at the same time. She could hold a room of 23 students in dead silence while we would wait to hear what happens next. Because of her I fell in love with The Empty Pot.

In sixth grade after my family moved to South Carolina my school had a story telling competition. I signed up remembering that book and memorized it and practiced telling the story over and over again. I ended up winning only 3rd place but I was so proud and contribute any reason I "won" 3rd to her.

This lady sums the book up pretty well in her blog:
http://www.reneesbookoftheday.com/2006/09/empty-pot-by-demi.html

"The emperor decides to hold a contest to choose a successor, so he calls all the children in the kingdom to the palace and gives every child a seed. In a year’s time, they have to bring back what they’ve grown and the child who has grown the best plant will be the next emperor..." see her blog for more on the book!

Marlyse said...

I'm sorry, I wrote way too much.

Tyler! said...

@Katie - That book always makes me cry a little, probably because it's so sweet. Isn't it kind of creepy though, the way they sneak into each others rooms at night? I only just thought of that.

When I was little I really enjoyed the "Frog & Toad" books. Especially the one about cookies. Mmmmm. Then I graduated to the "Bernstein Bears" books, which I tried to collect all of as a kid, and then the "Encyclopedia Brown" which I also tried to collect all of. Who in their right mind would ever want a nickname like Encyclopedia?

By the way Lynette, I love reading your blogs. Sorry this is only my first post.

Brian & Veronica said...

The first book that comes to my mind is, "if you give a mouse a cookie." loved that book and now so do my kids. I think I loved it most b/c my parents gave it to me. I thought it was awesome b/c like "the song that never ends", the book could just keep going and going and going. . . haha.

I remember loving the roberta books. the wierd thing is I can't remember what they're called, I googled them (web and images) and I can't find anything! hmmm. I remember "roberta stone" or "roberta goes to school" or something, (what is that series?! she was a real trouble maker or something--hmm, wonder if my parents were trying to send a message--haha) I wanted to own all those too. In the book where she starts kindergarten she was told to go "a quarter" after to be on time. . . after she arrived late and on the defense, she was taught that "a quarter after is only 15 minutes in time, not to be confused with the quantity $.25--money does not coorelate with time like that." I thought I was so smart to learn that from a book instead of have someone teach me about time! haha. Then I loved "James and the giant peach"--just a fun adventure--and I always wished I could eat that whole peach. (funny why I like certain things).

Janeite42 said...

shannon - I plan on having more contests (although I haven't decided how often yet), and offering a variety of books, even some for grups. so stay tuned!

Janeite42 said...

marlyse - you didn't write too much! I love your story.

brian&veronica - could you possibly be thinking of the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary? I don't remember the quarter episode, but it sounds like something Ramona would do.

katie and tyler - "love you forever" made me cry a little the first time I read it, although I tried very hard not to. but then I started thinking about the creepy aspect of it and that cured me - except whenever I see that picture of the grown man holding his mom...ulp!

Gary said...

My favorite children's book would have to be "Charlotte's Web." I read it to my class every year I taught and still get all emotional thinking about when Charlotte died alone at the fair after everyone else had left.

Leah said...

Reading these comments and thinking about "Love You Forever" made me a little teary. Anyone suprised? I really liked the "Encyclopedia Brown" books too. I remember my 4th grade teacher reading the class "My Side of the Mountain" and really liking it and thinking how cool it would be to live in the woods and catch my own fish and stuff. But I think my favorite book as a kid was "The Ghost of Dibble Hollow". It's about a kid who solves an old mystery with the ghost of his great-uncle. In it, they find an old note in code and it showed in the book how to break the code. Even tho it was simple, I thought that was so cool, so Elice and I started writing notes to each other in code.

eric and adrien said...

i always loved the boxcar children books. all of them. i think the pull for me was that they technically had no responsibilities and could do whatever they wanted (at least they way i remember it...) but still had all these adventures and solved all these mysteries when they were just kids.

i also really loved ginger pye. i don't remember much about it since i haven't read it in forever, but i know it had the two important things for books in my childhood: mystery and a dog.

katie said...

yeah...i remember being in high school and telling someone about "love you forever" and their reply was, "that's weird." i thought about it and i realized that it was actually kinda creepy. i didn't think much of it though; i kinda like creepy soemtimes. well, it depends on the type of creepy...and i think this type is ok.

Jared and Megan said...

I wish I could remember the books I read as a little kid better... I remember loving the books I collect now, like Marguerite Henry books, East of the Sun, West of the Moon (or was it the other way around?) and Paul Goble books... but those were almost 50% because of the illustrations - not just the story. So... I'm going to say Julie of the Wolves, even though I think I read that when I was closer to 10 than 5. I felt like I could really relate to the main character (even though I was never forced to marry a guy I didn't know and if I was left alone on the tundra I'd probably die within 2 days... but whatever) and I wanted so badly to go out and live by myself in the middle of nowhere and be friends with wolves because it all sounded so soothing and peaceful. I mean, not peaceful in the way that sitting on the beach is peaceful, because stealing meat from angry lone wolves and skinning rabbits isn't. But peaceful in the way that only being in the middle of nowhere can be. Wow. Okay that was really convoluted and long-winded. Sorry.

Brian & Veronica said...

Yes! That's exactly it! the Ramona books. hahaha. I was talking with Brian about it afterwards and he told me it was Ramona too. I forgot to "come back" and correct myself. haha. ;)

Yes, I loved the boxcar children too. And I just have to make a correction about "love you forever." We have that book and read it frequently, and the son does not go to his mother's house in the middle night of his own will. He is cooking dinner when she calls and says, "come and see me I am old and sick." Then he goes there, holds her, goes back home, thinks and then holds his own baby. I don't know why I feel like I have to make that correction, but there, it is done! haha. Fun contest, thanks lynette. I think this is an AWESOME way for us to grow more united as a family and learn more about each other! Maybe I'll have to think of something to have a contest for, just for family. . . fun fun fun. I don't have much to offer, but let me think a while on this!

Marlyse said...

That was fun going back and reading everybody's comments. It made me want to go read all those books I read when I was a kid!