This is the first of a series of posts that will last until I can't think of any more picture books that I used to enjoy as a kid.
The first picture book in this series is clutch. I don't know exactly why, but The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper had a profound influence on me. It's probably been 20 years since I've opened this book, but I can tell you with certainty that this book was good for me as a kid. From what I remember it's all about determination, confidence, and giving it the old college try. I remember enjoying the illustrations immensely, but it seems that now they have multiple versions out by different illustrators. The version that I enjoyed was originally illustrated by George and Doris Hauman, but it seems reviewers on amazon.com praise the new illustrations too. If I could only recommend one children's book in my lifetime, it would be this one. I firmly believe that people should keep trying things even when they seem really hard to do, or if they are in doubt of their own capabilities.