Observe life at its best, Listen to life’s songs, Embrace life’s bounties, Breathe the breath of life, Savor life to its fullest!


on April 22, 2013

HeidiWhat was my favorite book as a child? That is a question which requires little to no pondering. The one which most impacted me is the story of Heidi written in 1880 by Swiss author Johanna Spyri. Now don’t get confused here…that does not mean I was a child in the late 1800s. Let’s see, that would make me 133 years old. Nah! Not yet ❤

If you are not familiar with Heidi, it is a story of a young girl who at five years old was placed under her grandfather’s care because of the early deaths of her parents. Suddenly she found herself living in the Swiss Alps in the clutches of an old man who really did not want to be bothered. Her grandfather was a reclusive. Events of the story, however, warmed the old geezer’s heart and his life forever changed. Heidi became a ray of sunshine and a breath of fresh air marking the end of a secluded life.

It has been a lo-o-o-ong time since I read this little story but it will always have a place in my heart. I think I was saddened from the beginning because of the loss of her parents. I could not understand what life would be like without parents since I was so close to my dad and mom. Then, of course, there was the imagery. I can still envision the beautiful mountains, the grassy hills as Heidi playfully ran, the goats and simply the essence of serenity. Even Heidi’s room is vividly planted in my mind with the tiny single window through which she viewed her wondrous new world.

Anyone reading this brief memory about Heidi is encouraged to find a copy for your child or perhaps grandchild. It teaches compassion within a simple life without any of the modern amenities of today. It is childlike innocence in its purest form. Having written this, I find myself wanting to read Heidi again, only now it will be as a grandmother reading it to my granddaughters.

I have always had an affinity for Switzerland and I attribute my feelings to reading this heart-rending story as a child. In the early 70s, I did get the opportunity to travel to Europe. During my travels, one of my most memorable sights was the Matterhorn. Perhaps sights of the Swiss Alps were calling me home to memories long ago established but never forgotten.

 What’s in a Book?


Pictures, stories, poems and more
A world opens up to explore
Animals, insects and frogs thrive
Visions of numbers come alive

Bedtime stories and fairy tales
Sugarplums and fairies cure all ails
Mystery and amazement to ponder
Imagination makes one wonder

Lessons to be learned, places to practice
Respect, charity, humility and justice
Love and honor, experiences to encounter
Emotions bring tears or laughter

Travel back in time, forward into the future
Much to explore about life and nature
So many questions, where to find answers
Turn the pages for new adventures

Watch the gleam in a child’s eyes
For a ‘novel’ idea, try this exercise
Find a book every chance you can
Place it right into a child’s hand


©Echoes 2004
Sharla Lee Shults

What was YOUR favorite book as a child? I would love to hear from you!

13 responses to “Heidi

  1. Teepee12 says:

    Me too! I also loved the movie, the made-for-TV movie and the dolls that came out after the movie. I never knew any of my grandparents, which made the story especially precious. My other favorite books were Walter Farley’s “The Black Stallion” and “Sara Crewe: A Little Princess.”

  2. bobmielke says:

    It’s amazing to me that a lot of our personal character can be traced back to the influence of one book. I’m an avid Science Fiction reader because of “Doc” E. Smith and the Grey Lensman series of novels. I became keenly aware of the struggles of the blind because the autobiography of Louis Braille. I got an inside look at the struggles of the early years of Pat Robertson in his autobiography SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS – 1987. I was educated at the walk of a black American in this country from a mind blowing autobiography by Dick Gregory – 1964. And the most profound book I’ve ever read started with a little pocket New Testament of the Bible. It led me to salvation and dominate my life. Reading is Fundamental!

    • catnipoflife says:

      WOW! How awesome, Bob…Thank you for sharing such wonderful blessings on your life! Learning from and about others is such an intricate part of the blogging world. 🙂

  3. Oh Sharla, yes, I remember Heidi ! I loved it, along with Black Beauty, and then a bit later, LIttle Women, and Anne of Green Gables – so, one written by a Swiss, one by an English girl, one by an American and one by a Canadian!!!
    Black Beauty taught me about loving animals.,Little Women about goodness, and Anne of Green gables about Courage….

  4. “Heidi” was my favorite book, too! Hmm….great minds.

  5. Heidi was a fav of mine. Even to this day, when I am layered and layered in clothes in the middle of winter, I think to myself, or say to whomever, I’m dressed like Heidi!

  6. Heidi was a favourite of mine too. I am so surprised that if someone had asked me I may not have come up with the title! All of the books in that format held a special place for me. Times were really simple and I loved my little library. Little Women was another fav – I think there was a Little Men but blah to that one!

  7. Raani York says:

    I LOVE your poem, Sharla. I did NOT like Heidi. To me it was weird. *sigh* here that little girl coming to a grumpy old man, getting everything except maybe a kick in the butt… working for him, freezing her butt off and spending her free time with an analphateic boy and a hand full of stinky goats.- and in fact, it still is weird…
    I hate to burst your bubble, but the mountains are a quite rough place to live! Even nowadays there are families that live up there, having old wooden houses with overage heating systems which are often even dangerous to the families living there!
    No TV (which normally means the family grows and grows, no matter how small the hut is…)
    They’ve got a hard time making their living!!!
    Charming cute little Heidi… HAHA…
    I loved the stories of Marie Louise Fischer about a girl who left home to search her father in the wild west. LOL ADVENTURE HERE I COME!!

    • catnipoflife says:

      That is what makes us individuals! If we all liked the same things, what a boring world we would live in. BTW I love the Westerns also. Hard to beat the Wild Wild West!

  8. utesmile says:

    I read Heidi too and liked it as a child, saw the film too, which was good then. My favourite book was a Christmas book , where father Christmas lost a teddy from his sack and found it again later and it was given to a sick boy. I don’t remember the name of the book , but I loved it so much and almost made me cry out of gratitude that the sick boy got the lovely teddy. I still can see the great drawings in front of my eyes now!
    There are such lovely childrens books around now, it is hard to find a favourite these days.

  9. Micki Peluso says:

    I loved Heidi and read it many times as a child–funny how I can’t remember a book I read a feq weeks ago, but can remember every detail of Heidi and Peter and her grandfather. Beautiful poem.Sharla, thanks for another wonderful post.

  10. coastalmom says:

    I loved C.S. Lewis’s The Lion The witch and the Wardrobe. I think that after that book, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I loved Beverly Cleary as a kid. Years later, I found her auto biography and loved that too! Great post! I am wandering through the back door having fun reading! Praying for your hubby. How are things!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: