Years and years ago I worked for a bookstore, Book Warehouse. I loved this place in Batesville, Mississippi. Even though I was a part-time employee, it was a coveted haven for me. Who could not be happy to be surrounded by books? I found so many new authors, enticing stories, beautiful gardening ideas, delicious recipes, weird biographies, super-weird beliefs, and the list goes on.
On slow days we spent time rearranging the tables to make them more presentable...or alluring to the customers. Shelves were switched around so that multiple titles would be forward facing. I loved the fiction, gardening, classics, and science section. But I avoid the children's section.
One reason was because it was always a mess. It had to be divided by age, by content, and shelved alphabetically and the section was huge! Another reason was that I didn't want to spend all day back there in the corner with the children's books. I would browse it with my son, but I didn't want to be the employee who had to work in it.
I had vowed then that if I ever became an author, I would not write a children's book.
Oh, the young and foolish always think they know the future.
Even though I love writing my fiction novels, which one has been published (Mississippi Nights) and the other is in the editing process (Alabama Days), and even though I have a devotional on the market (30 Days: A Devotional Memoir) and I'm writing another nonfiction book, I have found a love in writing for kids.
I might have thought back when I was in my twenties that I would never write a children's book because that seemed too beneath me. But the young is always foolish. Now I see the wonderful results of writing for children. It were the books I read as a child that prompted me to dream of being an author. Those writers seeded a dream. My parents and teachers nourished that dream. And through God's timing that dream became a reality.
Now it's my time and my turn to give back to the children. Maybe my book will seed a dream within a child, too. It's a good thing that I didn't listen to my younger self. God knew then that I would need to be more mature to understand my gift He gave me.
And I'm am happy and dare I say, proud, to be able to write for children! By the way, they are the harshest of critics so I must make sure I write the best I can for them.
Here are some of the top books I remember as a child and that I loved: