The value of reading at a young age has a profound impact on my formative years. And the value of the Little Golden Books, encouraging me to read with my mom, cannot be understated.
This series of books had beautiful illustrations, consistent and fun designs, and featured characters I knew and loved as a kid. Mom would read me these books every night, her beside me, under the blankets, bedside lamp ready to turn off afterward. While I had a huge collection of these books, we had to cycle and repeat because mom read to me so often.
The oddity was, this all occurred before I knew how to read - however, because of the repetition, mom says I was reciting the books by memory with each page flipped offering a visual reminder. While obviously that level of reading aptitude is probably coloured by a mother's love/bias, those nights of reading to me likely helped my ability to study an analyze as an adult, and those memories of reading with someone I loved helped me grow as a man.
In particular, the Hiawatha Golden Book was what we read the most. A story of a young boy just meeting animals and learning to be good was the perfect book to read with my mom.
I wouldn't be able to recite the lines on seeing the pictures today, but I most certainly will remember the love and peace ready afforded me so many years ago.