October 07, 2017

Rachael Tom

Early Literacy: Our Favorite Childhood Books

Topics: Learning at Home

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To foster a love for reading in children, we often turn to our own favorite childhood storybooks. ThinkFun staff members were asked what their beloved stories were as children to help inspire you and your early readers. Research shows that early literacy creates a foundation that not only empowers children to understand the relationships between reading and writing, but also helps develop life skills. To learn more about early literacy development, check out our Milestone Series blog post. We hope some of our favorite childhood stories may become favorites in your home too! What was your favorite story as a child?


Beezus and Ramona

“I think I identified with Beezus, as a fellow big sister.  Ramona’s an irresistible heroine though and I used to love reading all about her hijinks!”

- Melissa, Accounts Receivable Specialist

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Beezus and Ramona is so good, they made a movie from it! Nine-year-old Beezus Quimby has her hands full with her little sister, Ramona. Sure, other people have little sisters that bother them sometimes, but is there anyone in the world like Ramona? Whether she’s taking one bite out of every apple in a box of secretly inviting 15 other 4-year-olds to the house for a party, Ramona is always making trouble- and getting all the attention. Every big sister can relate to the trials and tribulations Beezus must endure. Old enough to be expected take responsibility for her little sister, yet young enough to be mortified by every embarrassing plight the precocious preschooler gets them into, Beezus is constantly struggling with her mixed-up feeling at the exasperating Ramona.


Go Dog GO!

“This is one of the first books I remember my Mom reading to me at night. We always had a dog when I was a kid so, I guess that stuck. Plus, the idea of dogs in cars was kinda cool when you’re a little kid.”

- Tim, Credit Manager

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Whether by foot, boat, car, or unicycle, P.D. Eastman’s lovable dogs demonstrate the many ways one can travel in this condensed book, perfect for babies and toddlers. This book has become a staple in many family households. You can also enjoy a reading of Go Dog GO!On YouTube:


Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping

“Amelia Bedelia was always one of my favorite series of books as a child. The books always made me smile. Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping was the first book I picked up in the series.  I loved how she took things so literally.  I remember laughing uncontrollably as a kid when Amelia Bedelia was told to “hit the road,” so she picked up a stick and started hitting the road.”

- Jessica, Customer Service Representative

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Amelia Bedelia has never been camping in the great outdoors before. She’s trying her best to do exactly as she’s told, but pitching a tent is not the same as throwing it into the bushes, and catching a fish with your bare hands isn’t easy. As usual, the mixed-up housekeeper makes this camping trip one hugely entertaining adventure!


Ramona the Brave

“I enjoyed all the Ramona books that Beverly Cleary wrote. However, Ramona the Brave was my favorite because Ramona was starting 1st grade and went through a series of events where she had to learn how to be brave. I could relate to that remembering my first day of Kindergarten at the age of 4.

- Shannon, Customer Service Supervisor

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For a girl as enthusiastic about life as Ramona, starting the first grade should be easy! But with a teacher who doesn’t understand her, a tattletale classmate, and a scary dog who follows her on the walk home from school, Ramona has a hard time acting like the big girl everyone expects her to be. But when she shows up to school with a missing shoe, Ramona gets a fresh grip on her courage in order to make it through a mortifying situation.


Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is my favorite childhood book. The awesome colors and illustrations tell a story of a little caterpillar who eats his way through a variety of foods, spins himself a cocoon and becomes a butterfly. All with hole punches for each bite! My kids loved this interactive classic and still have it on their shelves. I hope they continue the obsession, it’s a special one.”

- Cristina, Marketing & Communications

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Did you know that this book is somewhere in the world every 30 seconds? The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the all-time classic picture book. Its imaginative illustration and clever cut-out detail charts the progress of a very hungry caterpillar as he eats his way through the week. Be sure to have something to tasty to eat on hand, this book is known to make people feel hungry!


Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

“I remember LOVING this book growing up.  I had my mom check it out from the library numerous times… so many times that I ended up spilling something on it and we had to buy a new copy for the library.”

- Mark, Account Executive

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Mike and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne, dig deep canals for boats to travel through, cut mountain passes for trains, and hollow out cellars for city skyscrapers. When Mary Anne is destined for the scrap heap, the duo must dig their way out of trouble in this timeless tale of friendship, old-fashioned hard work, and ingenuity. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel actually became a 25-minute animated movie:


Babysitters Club Kristy’s Great Idea

“I love the all of the books in The Babysitter’s Club series, however, this one is the very first that introduced all of the members in the “club.” It was very memorable because I got a feel for all of their unique individual personalities and I was looking forward to seeing all of the shenanigans they would get themselves into!!”

- Natalie, Project Manager, Sales

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In the Babysitters Club Kristy's Great Idea, Kristy and her friends decide to start a babysitting club! Whatever comes up- cranky toddlers, huge dogs, scary neighbors, prank calls- you can count on them to save the day! Babysitting isn’t always easy and neither is dealing with strict parents, new families, fashion emergencies, and mysterious secrets. But no matter what, the BSC have what they need most: friendship.

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