This post is motivated by naked curiosity. I just tracked down and purchased an old copy of The Magic Story Tree. This was one of my favoritest books when I was but yea high. It's a book of fairy tales that are well told and illustrated. The stories made a deep impression, especially the one about the woodpecker and the one about the big dipper.
So this got me thinking of my other old best beloved books from when I *very* first started to read. I still have some of these: Billy and Blaze; Flip; Jenny and the Cat Club; Charles Addam's Mother Goose; Momotaro, Peach Boy; Pua Pua Lena Lena (these last two were more advanced and drew me in because of the illustrations). My dad had a book that collected 100 years of cartoons from Punch, the British magazine. I loved it so much I took it to pre-school with me. I probably didn't understand a word. Oh there were so many more. My first poetry volume came from Childcraft as part of a sort of youngsters encyclopedia set. One volume was full of wonderful poems that children could appreciate. We lost the set in a move. Years later I found the set at a basement bookstore. I bought the whole thing just for that one volume. I paid for the whole set, took the volume I wanted, and gave the rest back to the bookstore. Because I don't need to learn how to make paper machie volcanoes (volume seven).
Care to share your special early readers? Extra points for more obscure titles!