From Sarah, With Joy

Writer querying two novels and some other word babies. I tend to effervesce.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z is for Zack's Alligator

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?

Sarah Allen

18 comments:

  1. I loved Socks as well! And also Ribsy by Cleary.
    All of my favorite books when I was a kid seemed to involve animals. I loved the Paddington Bear books and also Winnie the Pooh.

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    1. Cleary was really a bit of a genius, wasn't she? So good. Paddington and Pooh are awesome too!! (That sounds like a kids book title, doesn't it?)

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  2. I hardly read any books when I was a kid, so I missed out on the two you highlighted in your post. I guess I was too busy playing video games. How the times have changed.

    Congrats on making it to the end of another A to Z challenge.

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    1. Thank you so much! And it's definitely not too late, I am a FIRM believer that a book that's good for kids is good for everyone :)

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  3. I don't remember that one. The Mouse and the Motorcycle was my favorite.
    Congratulations on completing the Challenge.

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    1. Loved Mouse and the Motorcycle!! Clearly Cleary had a big influence :) And congrats to you too!

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  4. I dearly loved Winnie the Pooh and Milne's poetry. I can still recite James, James, Morrison, Morrison... Other books that have a place in my heart are the Narnia Chronicles. I read them over and over. The movies had none of the enchantment of the books.

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    1. Great ones!! And yes, I adore the Narnia books. Those are the ones my dad read to us as kids.

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  5. The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Gouge. A wonderful story which I read many times as a kid. I read lots of other stuff but that story was my favourite. Somewhere I lost my copy with all the pictures coloured in by me, so I had to buy it. Still have the story if not the original book. Glad you made it to the end, well done.

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    1. Aww, that one sounds adorable. It reminds me of the one Rowling said she read as a girl.

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  6. Congratulations! WE DID IT :) Thank you so much for stopping by at mine during the challenge xx

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  7. I didn't really read any children's books as a child. As a child, I was already into adult fiction.

    Father Nature's Corner

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    1. Ah. I'm curious what books you DID read?

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  8. Congratulations on completing the A-Z.

    When my mom passed away, my dad gave me boxes of her things. In one I found a little book titled Buster the Bulldozer. I hadn't thought of that book for 50 years but as soon as I saw the cover, I remembered every word.

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    1. Awww. That sounds like quite the moment of beautiful and painful nostalgia. I'll have to check out that book.

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  9. Nancy Drew! But if we're going younger, hmmm. For some reason Amelia Bedelia has stuck with me.

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    1. Excellent choices :D I LOVED Nancy Drew and Amelia Bedlia.

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