Ok, so there are many many ways I could go here with a favorite book. I could go intellectual, and spout off Shogun (which is very difficult to read), or try to impress you all with the fact that I read Gone With The Wind for the first time at age 10. I could bring up my fascination with Frank Peretti's books and the imagery that they bring to my mind.
BUT, I think I'm going to go old school... really really old school. I'm going to focus on three books that I have loved for many many years.
The first of which is called "The Magic Grinder" and it is a Walt Disney Book. It features Minnie Mouse and her nephews Mortie and Ferdie, and they toil away working for the Greedy Lord Gurr while they suffer in poverty. Minnie helps a dragon who has been trapped in his cave by fallen rocks, and in thanks he gives her the magic grinder that will give her whatever she needs, as long as you know the correct words to make it work, and to make it stop working. To this very day, when things get over-whelming, or when I want something to stop, I will say, "Golden grinder, stop and stay!" Sadly, no one outside my family ever has the slightest clue what I mean.
My childhood copy of this book was lost a long time ago, and so I found a used copy on Amazon and bought it a couple years ago.
The second one is called "It Could Always Be Worse." It's a Yiddish folk tale about a man who has very little, and his house is cramped and full of his whole family (in-laws included.) He goes to his rabbi several times for advice. Each time he goes, the rabbi tells him to bring something else into the house. It starts with the dogs, then the chickens, then the goats, then the cows, etc... Finally no one can rest, the house is so full, and everyone is terribly unhappy. Desperately he runs back to the rabbi who tells him to put all the animals back outside. That night everyone in the house sleeps happily and peacefully, even though things were exactly the same as they started. The moral of the story is right there in the title... It could always be worse.
I'm also on my second copy of this book because, as if to further prove that it could always be worse, my old cat Tiger got sick, and peed on my first copy of it.
Finally, the last book featured here today is the Dr. Suess classic, "Fox in Socks." I cannot count how many times I've read this book to different children I've babysat over the years. I loved it so much that I bought myself a copy. I just bought another copy to give to my friend's 3 year old daughter for her birthday, so I opened it up and perused it a little, and I wish to leave you all with these wonderful words of wisdom from Dr. Theodore Guiesel...
"And when beetles fight these battles in a bottle with a paddle and the bottle's on a poodle and the poodle's eating noodles...."