Unlike some authors, I was not a total bookworm as a young child. Until I was a teenager, I didn't LOVE books the way that I do now. Now, I'm always reading at least a couple books at a time, non-fiction, biography, fiction, mystery, thriller, whatever. As a young child, I read a lot. My mom took me to the library very often. But it wasn't until I was a teenager that I found that human connection, that link to the human condition in books. That's when I fell in love with books.
But I've always liked stories and I've always loved word play. One series of books I couldn't get enough of as a child was the Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish. Amelia's problem was that she always took things literally. Here's the pitch from Harper Collins' website: "Everyone loves Amelia Bedelia, the literal-minded housekeeper! When she makes a sponge cake, she puts in real sponges. When she weeds the garden, she replants the weeds. And when she pitches a tent, she throws it into the woods!"
Once children learn the literal meanings of words, then they can start to appreciate the key to a good joke: the play on words where a single word can mean more than one thing and twists things around in a funny way. This was, as I think back on it, what I think I liked best about Amelia Bedelia, and why I love to write today. I love the sound of words, the play of words, goofing around with language. I've decided to check out the Amelia Bedelia books from the library again to experience the fun again.