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- Grahame, Kenneth — The Wind in the Willows
- Dahl, Roald — James and the Giant Peach
- Lewis, C.S. — Out of the Silent Planet
- Lewis, C.S. — Perelandra
- Milne, A.A. — Winnie-the-Pooh
With all the upheaval in my life the past few months, it's hard not to allow myself to become a little cynical. Maybe this is why I've been reading so many children's books lately. I guess I'm looking for something to help me restore my faith in people. I like to believe that most people are good at the core, not heartless bitches who care only for themselves. Reading these children's books helps keep me from slipping into the latter mode of thought.
I don't remember whether I read Winnie-the-Pooh on my own as a child or had it read to me, but obviously one or both happened. These stories were all familiar, in the way an old friend from elementary school in Panamá would be: I recognized them, knew I had once known them better, and recalled all sorts of childhood associations.
Everybody, adult and child alike, should be acquainted with these stories. They are so simple and yet so beautifully told, infused with so much warmth. It was so nice to become reacquainted with Pooh and Piglet and Rabbit and Owl and Eeyore and Kanga and Roo. I wondered where Tigger was until I peaked in The House at Pooh Corner's table of contents and saw he's just a little late, that's all. This actually kindled a desire to write stories about some of my friends: Gorilla and Panda and Teddy and Pengui and Isabella Boobs and Testudo and Elephant. (I used to have a lovely picture of the bunch of them, but I either never scanned it in or have lost it forever.)
It's hard to resist the urge to dive right into The House at Pooh Corner next, but I've decided to set that aside until I feel the cynicism making inroads again. For now, my spirit feels sufficiently restored.