I loved this book as a child, however, most everyone I know has never heard of it. I gave it to my nephews for Christmas, and no one there had ever heard of it. The friends we were at the movie with had never heard of it either. I’ve had the same experience with other books and authors from my childhood: William Steig (he wrote Shrek, by the way, but also lovely books like The Amazing Bone and Dr. De Soto), James Marshall (Miss Nelson is Missing, Miss Nelson is Back - hilarious), Tomie dePaola (Strega Nona = love for me), Nancy Carlson (meeting her was an elementary school highlight) and so many more.
The one thing all these books have in common? My first grade teacher, Mrs. Larson. I’ve always held a special place in my heart for Mrs. Larson. I think her class is where I got my love for reading. Also writing. She had us write about our weekends every Monday and I loved those assignments (Over the weekend I…). She was encouraging. You always wanted to get your paper back with a little pop bottle drawn on it, because that meant she’d buy you one from the teacher’s lounge for doing such a good job. She was fun. I always wanted to make her proud.
I owe a lot to Mrs. Larson, perhaps more than any other teacher I had, and she taught first grade. First grade. It goes to show you how experiences when we’re young can truly shape us.
Do you have a teacher or another adult who shaped who you’ve become or who guided you toward who you are now?