What was my favorite book as a child? That is a question which requires little to no pondering. The one which most impacted me is the story of Heidi written in 1880 by Swiss author Johanna Spyri. Now don’t get confused here…that does not mean I was a child in the late 1800s. Let’s see, that would make me 133 years old. Nah! Not yet ❤
If you are not familiar with Heidi, it is a story of a young girl who at five years old was placed under her grandfather’s care because of the early deaths of her parents. Suddenly she found herself living in the Swiss Alps in the clutches of an old man who really did not want to be bothered. Her grandfather was a reclusive. Events of the story, however, warmed the old geezer’s heart and his life forever changed. Heidi became a ray of sunshine and a breath of fresh air marking the end of a secluded life.
It has been a lo-o-o-ong time since I read this little story but it will always have a place in my heart. I think I was saddened from the beginning because of the loss of her parents. I could not understand what life would be like without parents since I was so close to my dad and mom. Then, of course, there was the imagery. I can still envision the beautiful mountains, the grassy hills as Heidi playfully ran, the goats and simply the essence of serenity. Even Heidi’s room is vividly planted in my mind with the tiny single window through which she viewed her wondrous new world.
Anyone reading this brief memory about Heidi is encouraged to find a copy for your child or perhaps grandchild. It teaches compassion within a simple life without any of the modern amenities of today. It is childlike innocence in its purest form. Having written this, I find myself wanting to read Heidi again, only now it will be as a grandmother reading it to my granddaughters.
I have always had an affinity for Switzerland and I attribute my feelings to reading this heart-rending story as a child. In the early 70s, I did get the opportunity to travel to Europe. During my travels, one of my most memorable sights was the Matterhorn. Perhaps sights of the Swiss Alps were calling me home to memories long ago established but never forgotten.
What’s in a Book?
Pictures, stories, poems and more
A world opens up to explore
Animals, insects and frogs thrive
Visions of numbers come alive
Bedtime stories and fairy tales
Sugarplums and fairies cure all ails
Mystery and amazement to ponder
Imagination makes one wonder
Lessons to be learned, places to practice
Respect, charity, humility and justice
Love and honor, experiences to encounter
Emotions bring tears or laughter
Travel back in time, forward into the future
Much to explore about life and nature
So many questions, where to find answers
Turn the pages for new adventures
Watch the gleam in a child’s eyes
For a ‘novel’ idea, try this exercise
Find a book every chance you can
Place it right into a child’s hand
Sharla Lee Shults
What was YOUR favorite book as a child? I would love to hear from you!