The First Long Book I Read

my Heidi book cover
Do you remember the first long book you read? 
My second grade self felt pretty proud cruising through an Amelia Bedilia book, especially when I read it fluently enough to get the joke the first time. But the first really long book I patiently worked through, soaking up every page, I was given on my eight birthday: Heidi. My 1986 edition of Johanna Spyri's Heidi is 349 pages, with very few pictures and not the biggest font on not the smallest pages. I was so proud of myself. 
illustrated by Jessie Wilcox Smith

I also enjoyed the movie, which I viewed in school, and I specifically remember yearning for Shirley Temple Heidi to be allowed to go back to the mountains where she was cared for and needed by the lonely old man! Now I've lived near mountains for a decade, but I still sometimes look up at a peak and think, Maybe I'll be like Heidi and live high in the mountains tending sheep.

It got me thinking that if I were to introduce via picture book a classic literature character to an audience not yet ready for a long chapter book, it would be my resilient and compassionate friend Heidi. 

The Story of Heidi retold by Susanna Davidson, pictures by Alan Marks

Who would you like to preview in a picture book?

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