21 October, 2021

LitStaff Pick: The Books That Got Us Hooked Us on Reading

A Great Big Ugly Man Came Up and Tied His Horse to Me:
A Book of Nonsense Verse
Wallace Tripp’, Illustratorgreat big

The first book I remember reading, and loving, was A Great Big Ugly Man Came Up and Tied His Horse to Me: A Book of Nonsense Verse. I remember my brother and I laughing over the silly words, pointing out funny details of Wallace Tripp’s fabulous illustrations, and trying to sound out “Slithergadee.” To this day we can be caught quoting lines and limericks (I eat my peas with honey / I’ve done it all my life / It sure tastes kind of funny / But it keeps them on my knife), and that same old crayon-covered copy I had cherished as a child was the first thing I searched for when I learned I was pregnant with my now-4-year-old daughter.

This is the book that taught me to love words, even silly, made-up words–especially silly, made-up words–and that reading can be fun. Hopefully it will inspire the same love of reading in my family’s next generation.

-Elisha Dew

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