Once Upon A Time by Cynthia Watson

Please welcome back my new writer and gal pal Cynthia Watson. I had the pleasure of interviewing Cynthia recently about her paranormal YA entitled Wind.  Since meeting Cynthia, I’ve come to truly enjoy her tweets and emails. She is so dear and just so much fun! I hope those of you in search of new writerly type friends will look Cynthia up. She’s a hoot and a smile waiting to happen.  Enjoy the post, then look her up! I’ll have all her stalker deets at the end of this  post! Enjoy!!

Once Upon A Time . . .

Someone recently asked me, as a writer, what books I read and treasured as a child.  I honestly had to stop and think about that one—it’s something I hadn’t ever been asked before.  So, after stretching my memory back quite a few years (never mind how many!), here goes:

The first one that came to mind (not surprisingly considering the celestial theme of my YA Paranormal Romance, Wind) was, “The Littlest Angel” by Charles Tazewell.  First published in 1946, it’s the story of the youngest angel in Heaven who acts as though he were still a little boy on earth—untidy, loud, awkward, perpetually late—and is homesick for his box of treasures still on earth.  He eventually redeems himself with the help of “The Understanding Angel,” who retrieves his treasure box, and mentors him in the ways of Heaven.  The story is incredibly sweet and beautifully written.

Another much-loved book that springs to mind is, “The Story of Little Black Sambo,” by Helen Bannerman in 1899.  Sambo is a Tamil boy who comes across four hungry tigers, and gives them his new, smart red jacket, fancy purple shoes, blue shorts, and large, green umbrella so they will not eat him. Eventually, the tigers chase each other around a tree until they melt into a pool of butter.  Sambo then retrieves his clothes, and his mother makes pancakes from the butter—a simple, but delightful story.

I know now it was a controversial book, but as a child, I wasn’t aware of the racial connotations.  All I knew was that I loved (and still do!) the unusual story and wonderful illustrations set in a jungle.  It sold over 1,000,000 copies before being yanked off the shelves, but it was eventually re-published by Golden Books under the title, “The Boy and The Tigers.”

The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams is another favourite of mine from childhood.  The beautiful story of how a toy becomes real through the love of a child was first published in 1922.  It is the tale of a little boy who is given a stuffed rabbit who longs to be “real”; “real” is what happens when you become your true self.  This little gem promotes the timeless values of love, and self-acceptance, causing it to remain a beloved classic.

I think my all-time favourite childhood book was, “Go Dog Go,” by P.D. Eastman.  This humorous yarn is all about a variety of dogs, driving cars and other vehicles ultimately to a huge “dog party” that takes places at the top of a tree.  I especially love the girl-dog who keeps asking, “Do you like my hat?”  The boy-dog replies, “No, I do not like your hat.”  She re-appears several times in the book, donning a different hat, asking the same question, until the boy-dog finally approves of her hat.  The illustrations are colourful and humorous, and the simplicity of the story is delightfully reminiscent of the books of Dr. Seuss.

What were your favourite childhood books, and why?

Author Bio:

Cynthia lives with four young adults, and a Cocker Spaniel, Symon, a Daschund named Lucky, and five rescued cats, Daphne, Buddy, Sparkles, Angel and Evy.

When not writing, she work for a large Paramedic Service.  In her spare time (hah!), she’s a gourmet cook, loves watching movies and, of course,  always has her nose in a book.

You can read more about Cynthia, her thoughts and tips on writing and all about her YA pararom Wind by stopping by her site Cynthia Watson, Young Adult Paranormal Fiction, and if you tweet – if you don’t, seriously get yourself in gear – follow her @CynWatson. You’ll love  it! I did!

6 comments to Once Upon A Time by Cynthia Watson

  • Harry Potter hands down. The series got me reading and inspired my first forays into longer fiction. It took me years to find something that I loved as much. I think the major draw was the promise of magic and a fantastical world. What kept me reading were the characters, as richly-drawn as they all were. Some people think Harry is less-developed than the others, but I just think he’s a different kind of character from most of them. While most of the people around him are eccentric and larger-than-life, he is more reserved. I think that helped keep me interested as well. I was a quiet, shy kid and I felt I could relate to both Harry for that, and to Hermione for her skills in academia that didn’t always translate well into the outside world.

  • I read sooooo much as a kid (I still do), but three books I had to buy as an adult because I loved them so much as a child are: Mrs. Frisby and the rats of NIMH, James and the Giant Peach and 21 Balloons. Such great imaginative stories. I LOVED that 21 Balloons had elements of realist history in it (there really was an island of Krakatoa that blew up from a volcanic eruption)

  • What a great topic – made me nostalgic thinking of all the childhood books I loved.

  • Thanks for the comments, and thanks for having me over, Julie!

  • Hi there!
    I have an award for you waiting for you on my blog! If you would like to accept it, you may find it here:

    I couldn’t tell if you accepted awards, but just in case you do…

    Have a great weekend!


  • I loved reading everyone’s answers to this question!

    My favorites as a kid were series, because I was a voracious reader and didn’t want the story to end too soon. I liked all the usual suspects: Oz books, Narnia, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, A Wrinkle in Time.
    I didn’t really discover picture books until I was an adult. My parents thought they were too “babyish” Now, as a children’s librarian, I really have too many favorites to name!

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