The Bear in the Boat

Who determines what a child’s favorite book is?  What if the child finds more joy in the enthusiasm of an interested parent than in her own selfish desires?

My mother told me I was a wonderful oldest child because I always enjoyed the accomplishments of my younger siblings.  I found true joy in their joy.  (I still do)

So when my father tells me my favorite book was The Bear in The Boat, by Ilse-Margret Vogel, who am I to argue?  I don’t remember the book very well, but my father does.  Even now, almost forty years later he can still recite at least the first few pages by heart.

Was it really my favorite, or was it his?  And did I ask for it over and over again because I loved the enjoyment I heard in my father’s voice as he repeated the nonsense lines or because I truly liked the silly story?

I don’t think it matters.  When I think of the answer to the question, what was your favorite bedtime story, this is the title that pops in my mind.  And all the reasons for that response are good ones, even if they aren’t about me at all.


PS. Rara did her’s a day late so I am too.  So there.

PS. Again – Now I’m going to have to read all about Ilse-Margret Vogel – She and her husband were artists living in Nazi Germany during the war. She wrote a memoir – but it seems I’ll have to go to the library to get a copy…  I want electronic versions of everything! 

7 thoughts on “The Bear in the Boat

  1. My dad read me The Bear in the Boat, too. I think he was even the one who brought it home for me. He also always remembered that book above all others and even said once that we should read it at his funeral. He died last year. I read it now to my daughter and I think I read it with the same tone he did to pass on the “significance” and she appears to understand that this book is special.


      1. No need to feel sad for me JillAnn I’m as happy as a – no I won’t finish that line – as for the why not just put it down to age – I guess I should really start to act my age rather than my shoe size if I take on board the advice of others, but it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.


  2. I think we really need to be asking ourselves: Were we a day late, or was the prompt a day early? 😉 I loved the Little Golden Books. 🙂 The answers are completely about you– you just have a preference for the joy of the reader, over the details of the book. That’s a fabulous trait in a writer. Thanks for sharing this memory, it’s so sweet! 😀


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