Day 20: Favorite Childhood Picture Book

As a kid I’m sure I suckered my mom into reading Stellaluna to me a thousand times. I’m not sure exactly why now, when you give the bare facts of what happens in the story it seems about as contrived as any children’s book. Not that I understood “contrived” as a kid.

Stellaluna is a baby fruit bat the gets separated from her mother when an owl attacks (pretty fearsome actually for a children’s book). She finds herself in the nest of a mother bird and her 3 chicks, and she is allowed to stay only if Stellaluna behaves like a bird, eating bug and flying during the daytime. While Stella and the baby birds become close friends it doesn’t take long for her to break the rules and flies at night. All turns out well though, as she runs into her mother on her night voyage. When Stellaluna returns to the nest to try and show her friends how to fly at night they fail miserably and Stella has to save them, and they agree that they may be different but they would always be a family. The end.

It was definitely different from most of the stories I was read as a kid, but for some reason I loved this one the most. I’m not going to lie, bats and owls are pretty awesome. I think the name appealed to me too: Stellaluna. Say that name five times fast and in a French accent and suddenly it’s a great name for a kid. Or perfume. Or even beer.

Ok, so it’s a cute story to read to little ones. It’s kinda even has a new twist on the ugly duckling story, without the whole beat-them-at-their-own-game, you’ll-be-pretty-one-day shtick. I’d say it has a better message: let people love you for who you are.

If I rephrased that to “you’re fine just the way you are” Lady Gaga starts playing Born This Way in my head. (Now I’m picturing a children’s book written by Lady Gaga and its scaring me and scarring the children.)

And like all my favorite books as a kid, this one was made into a short movie too; except they added a jumping spider, a toucan, and a parrot for curb appeal. I say that’s stupid and I’m glad I never watched the short as a kid.

Looking back at books I was read as a kid, I have to say that I probably still like this one, so if you feel like rereading kid’s books, go for this one.

Written by
I graduated with a BA in English and minors in Film, Women Studies, and Religion and Culture. I adore fantasy and sci-fi, especially when it comes to the YA section, but that doesn't mean I don't read anything else. When I'm not reading, I'm writing, biking, taking my dog for long walks or watching anime.

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