The rather fabtastic Louise Arnold, author of 'The Invisible Friend' (which you should really all read- if you haven't already) did a wonderful blog post on her life in books, itemising each book that had made a difference to her and writing about why.
Go to her myspace page and read her blog here- Oi! Not yet! Stay right here and read mine first!
Anyway, I thought it was such a great idea that I'd do my own (I'm also loving the excuse for another one of my lists too- some sort of psychological throwback from writing letters to Father Christmas, I think....
Trouble for Trumpets - Peter Cross
My Dad bought this book for me when I was two and, looking at Cross's lavish images, I knew from then on I wanted to 'do that-' Okay, okay! There was a five-minute madness when I wanted to become a fashion designer... and a barely mentionable insanity when I wanted to go into advertising... but for the most part, I remained faithful to my fantasy to create fictional worlds, just like the great Peter Cross. Looking at this book again and again, still has that effect on me.
Faeries - Brian Froud
This book met me when I was in my early teens. It had a diary-like/sketchbooky format that so appeals to that age and it had the most beautiful artwork, worth keeping secret. This was the book that introduced me to a new love; Dadada-DAHHHHHH! Introducing..... THE PENCIL! It was one of the first books I'd seen that contained black and white drawings and I fell totally and utterly for the purity of these pictures. There were colour plates too, but I wasn't nearly so interested in these. I've had a deep and ongoing 'love affair' with my pencil ever since.
The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster
I remember listening to this on audiotape, sat on a sunny floor and eating tutti-frutti's. This was one of the first audio tapes I ever listened to and one of the most perfect memories I have. There were the Famous Five and Narnia, of course, but this is the first one I remember listening to for the sake of it, with nothing else in the world I needed to do.
Oddly, I'd just discovered how grown up 'being bored' made you feel. It's a strange thing, as people almost never actually feel bored as adults, do they? There you have it though- and this book was all about (and completely was) the antidote to boredom.
I re-read Phantom Tollbooth recently and it's just as good without the tutti-frutti's.
I'm going to continue adding to this list as I think of necessary additions.