Book DNA: Fairy Tales & Poetry

Thank you for joining me on this adventure and challenge of mapping the connections between the books I have read and why these stories have had a personal impact – positive and negative. The books read to me in the early days lay the foundation for the characters and stories that would become my best friends and the safe places to escape.


  1. Serendipity Book Series by Stephen Grove, with illustrations by Robin James: I worry a lot. As a kid, I worried even more. My mother told me to shut my eyes and create an enchanted forest in my dreams and bury my fears. The place that took shape in my mind was inspired by the illustrations in this series.
  2. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein: Many children gravitated to the popular Silverstein collection, Where the Sidewalk Ends. I enjoyed those poems, but preferred the single story of the giving tree and the lesser known collections like, Runny Babbit. I have always wondered what the older version of me would tell the younger Lauren.
  3. The Bremen Town Musicians by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm: I clearly remember this being the tale that had me running back to the library for additional stories to capture the imagination and flame the requests of penance.
  4. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter: As a child living in England, you could not escape the adventures of Peter Rabbit. This story opened the door into a parallel English countryside where I could get into mischief with Benjamin Bunny (my favorite of the clan) or learn grace and discipline from Miss Tiggy Winkle.
  5. The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson: When I think of a fairy tale, I shy away from the Disney interpretations and focus on the moral tales and short stories of legend. Despite the limited length of the story, there was more to the tale than what you read. I learned to read between the lines and look beyond the surface of the story for the lessons to be learned and insights into the culture at the time the story was told and written.

Each week we will explore the next five all time favorite and impactful books that have shaped my book DNA. For additional reading recommendations, please review the Book DNA category.

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