My father gave me The Book of Goodnight Stories on April 13, 1988. I know this because he wrote it on the inside of the cover. I had just turned nine.
There are 365 stories in this book, one for each day of the year. I never had much discipline, however, and plowed through a week’s worth of stories at a time. The author is Vratislav Stovicek and the stories were all translated into English. Beautiful illustrations, tales that charm, tales that horrified. When I was misbehaving, my parents punished me by hiding this book on the top shelf of the coat closet. I couldn’t reach it even when standing on a chair.
The stories within helped to shape me. I remember curling up and reading The Glass Fairy and The Boy Without Eyes. The binding is coming apart, but I still read it to my own children, hoping that it will inspire their imagination the way that it inspired mine. Sometimes I think it’s worthwhile to stop and revisit the things that we enjoyed when we were young. It’s surprising how many things stay with us.