One of the reasons I love writing for kids is that the books we read when we're young are the books that stay with us and shape us for the rest of our lives. For me, one of those books was Zach's Aligator by Shirley Mozelle.
There is something so delightful about this tale of a tiny, key-sized alligator who, once soaked in water, grows into a full-size reptilian pet. This book combines a bit of magic with fun adventures with an exotic pet, and what kid doesn't want that? I know I grew up wanting my own pet Chimpanzee, but an alligator is almost as cool.
The books we start reading just as we're able to really start reading inform us forever. One book I remember absolutely falling in love with and reading over and over again was Socks by Beverly Cleary. I've always been obsessed with animals and their relationship with their people and the story was just so endearing and engaging and now that I'm thinking about it, I can see how a lot of my current aesthetic and tonal choices have been influenced by that book.
What about you? What books influenced you as a child?