The most formative books may be those of your childhood: Dozens of Real Simple readers remember beloved children’s books that turned them on to reading. They reveal why in their own words. Visit RealSimple.com to read the full list.
Here are the first five books:
As a child I loved the simple story and it has resonated with me more and more as an adult. —Samantha Sadler Layman
To buy: Ages 1 to 8; $17, amazon.com.
(More from Real Simple: 6 Funny Movies to Watch This Weekend)
My dad read it to me as a baby girl recovering in the hospital. We read together until his grandsons were born. And then we read to them. “Just quietly under the cork tree.” —Cindy Lee Claplanhoo
To buy: Ages 3 to 5; $4, amazon.com.
My grandma would read that to me when I was little. I was so proud when I could finally read it by myself. —Charmin Garst Savage
To buy: Ages 3 to 7; $4, amazon.com.
(More from Real Simple: Banishing Life’s Little Annoyances)
Are You My Mother? showed love and opportunities were everywhere. —Denise Thompson
To buy: Ages 3 to 7; $9, amazon.com.
(More from Real Simple: 50 Great Books That Will Change Your Life)
I was so inspired by Harold’s imagination and realized that books could take me anyplace I wanted to go, just like Harold. —Leslie Fischer
To buy: Ages 3 to 7; $7, amazon.com.
(More from Real Simple: 5 Ways to Stay Cool Under Pressure)