You never quite appreciate what you have till it’s gone, right? Think of all those free summer afternoons you had as a kid — all that time to just read. Turns out you don’t get that as an adult. Faced with grim realities, we at EBYR are trying to make do, trying to find ways to read with the time we do have. We’re sharing what we plan to read — and sometimes where and how — in our Summer Reading Series.

Today’s post comes from Vicky Fanning.

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As I await the arrival of my first grandchild — a baby girl due August 10 — I can’t help but think about the books that I loved to read when I was a little girl. My grandmother gave us books for every occasion, and we looked forward to seeing what title she would give us next.

From my Grandma Fanning (this was back when we called our grandparents by their surnames, not “Grandma Betty” or “Grandpa Joe”), each grandchild received a set of Beatrix Potter’s delicious books featuring Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, and the like. I’ve already started picking up copies to keep in the “grammy nursery” that I am making in my home (which I plan to decorate Beatrix Potter-style).

My favorite book as a little girl was a story by Morrell Gipson called The Surprise Doll. In this sweet tale, a young girl named Mary receives several dolls from all over the world from her father who is a ship’s captain. When he decides she has gotten enough dolls, Mary takes it upon herself to have a new doll made by the local doll maker. I don’t want to ruin the story for you, but I will say that the ending is as sweet as Mary. I ordered a new copy of this book (which seemed much bigger when I was a little girl!) and can’t wait to read it to my granddaughter.

Another of my favorite books when I was young was a Peanuts book titled He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown. I’ve always loved the Peanuts gang, especially Snoopy, and this book always made me laugh. I still have my original copy. It will be a great read for future granddaughters and grandsons alike.

One of the first books I plan to give to my granddaughter (whose name will not be published until the day she is born) is Before You Were Born, written by Nancy White Carlstrom and illustrated by Linda Saport. It tells of a family’s love and anticipation of the birth of their child and the joyful blessings they receive when that child finally arrives. Not only is this story beautifully written, but the deep, rich artwork will draw you into the story as well.

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to meet my first grandchild and how much I am looking forward to taking on that role of the “grandma who gave us books.”