Horton Hatches the Egg
Have you ever been asked this question? “If you were stranded on a desert island and could only choose one book to have with you, what would it be?”
I see no islands in my future for uninterrupted reading bliss. But that question did come my way, so to speak. My biggest fan (sweet David) asked me to blog about my favorite books. Great idea. Stories decorate the journey of real-life adventures like treasured milestones along the way.
Over the next several posts, I’ll parade stories that sit permanently in my bookcase (or on my Kindle). A few made appearances in previous posts. Some form my earliest memories (we’ll start there), some gave me a character to buddy up to. Others simply tickle the funny bone. Many paint sweeping sagas of another place and time.
Today we start with the great philosopher Dr. Seuss and the classic Horton Hatches the Egg (Random House, 1940). By the way, reading as a kid reminds me of this quote from one of my all-time favorite movies, “You’ve Got Mail”:
…When you read a book as a child, it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does. -Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly
Horton the elephant moved into our home wrapped as a Christmas gift from our next-door neighbors, the Bakers. Soon he became a bedtime favorite. You see, God saw fit to give me parents who love reading and passed that love on to me, beginning with bedtime stories read by my dad when I was little.
No doubt Daddy tired some of my reaching for the same book for the umpteenth time. But he never complained. We opened the book to discover again the loyal elephant who promised to hatch an egg for a lazy, absent bird-mom. Snow, captivity, voyages, a traveling circus…nothing deterred him. We read his motto out loud together throughout the story: “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent!”
I took for granted, at the time, this funny yet profound story, as well as the precious time spent reading as a family. But I now treasure those memories and the book that sits on my all-time favorite list.
Question for you: What’s one of your favorite early-childhood stories?