Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

I'm Hooked! (i.e. Best Opening Lines, Part Two)

Beyond "Once upon a time"...
Today I'm highlighting some classic books whose exceptional opening lines are "hooks" that will grab kids' attention and make them want to keep reading...

"The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another his mother called him 'WILD THING!' and Max said 'I'LL EAT YOU UP!' so he was sent to bed without eating anything." Where The Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak 

"In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines."  Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans 

"Way out at the end of a tiny little town was an old overgrown garden, and in the garden was an old house, and in the house lived Pippi Longstocking." Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren
"The Iron Man came to the top of the cliff. How far had he walked? Nobody knows. Where had he come from? Nobody knows. Taller than a house, the Iron Man stood at the top of the cliff, on the very brink, in the darkness."  The Iron Man (changed to The Iron Giant in 1968), Ted Hughes

"The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world." The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Barbara Robinson
"Up until I was fourteen years old, no boy on earth could have been happier."  Summer of the Monkeys, Wilson Rawls
"'Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,' grumbled Jo, lying on the rug." Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
"Once on a dark winter's day, when the yellow fog hung so thick and heavy in the streets of London that the lamps were lighted and the shop windows blazed with gas as they do at night, an odd-looking little girl sat in a cab with her father and was driven rather slowly through the big thoroughfares." A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett

"Most motorcars are conglomerations (this is a long word for bundles) of steel and wire and rubber and plastic, and electricity and oil and gasoline and water, and the toffee papers you pushed down the crack in the back seat last Sunday." Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, Ian Fleming

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”  The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien

It's not too early to start planning your child's summer reading list!  I love re-visiting favorite childhood books - often reading their opening lines brings the whole story rushing back into my mind!

This is the second installment of my favorite opening lines (you can see Part 1, here).  I tried to include good examples for both boys and girls...Do you have any to add?

1 comment:

  1. every illustrator prays for a manuscript like any of these to land on their desk!