I have always been drawn to the thrills, mystery and drama found in literature.  I was reading about the Hans Christian Anderson Awards, see 2) below, and thought about some of the stories I got lost in as a child.  I did not have a happy childhood and preferred the fantasy world of books to the reality of the world I lived in.

1) The first story I can remember was a combination record and pull-out book, about the tug boat Little Toot. I found part of the recording, from 1948, on Youtube:

A link to a YouTube video of the Disney cartoon movie about Little Toot:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsUJLlXTh74

What was the first book you can remember reading?

My first hero was Tom Swift. 

 Tom Swift and His Outpost In Space

From Wikipedia entry:

“Tom Swift (in some versions Tom Swift, Jr.) is the name of the central character in five series, totaling over 100 volumes, of juvenile science fiction and adventure novels that emphasize science, invention, and technology. The character was created by Edward Stratemeyer, the founder of the Stratemeyer, a book-packaging firm,. His adventures have been written by a number of different ghostwritiers over the years. Most of the books are published under the collective pseudonym Victor Appleton. The 33 volumes of the second series use the pseudonym Victor Appleton II.”

“A number of prominent figures, including Steve Wozniak and Isaac Asimove, have cited “Tom Swift” as an inspiration. Several inventions, including the taser, have been directly inspired by the fictional inventions.”

Who was your first fictional hero/heroine?

2) The Hans Christian Anderson Awards for 2010

First a question.  If you do read to children what is a favorite book?

British author David Almond is the 2010 winner for children’s books.  From an article in the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/mar/23/david-almond-hans-christian-andersen-medal

“An international jury of children’s literature experts this afternoon decided to award the world’s most prestigious prize in children’s literature to British author David Almond.

Almond, who won the Carnegie medal and the Whitbread children’s prize with his first children’s book Skellig, the story of a boy who discovers an angel in a derelict garage, was selected as winner from authors around the world, seeing off finalists from Iran, Brazil, Sweden and Denmark to win the medal. Given biennially since 1956 by the International Board on Books for Young People for an author’s complete works, the award comes with no money but much honour: past winners include much-loved British children’s writer Eleanor Farjeon, Pippi Longstocking creator ”

The winner for illustrators was Jutta Bauer:

“Jutta Bauer from Germany was also announced as winner of a parallel medal for illustrators this afternoon. The jury highlighted her “philosophical approach, originality, creativity as well as her ability to communicate with young readers”, and described her as “a powerful narrator who blends real life with legend through her pictures”.

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