The Yukon Imagination Library — a local non-profit organization that gives free books to Yukon children once per month from the time they are born until they reach age 4 — is turning 10 this year. To celebrate the milestone we have collected stories from families who have used the library and from a few well-known Yukoners. We will be sharing them over the next few months.
To kick off this series, we asked MLA Geraldine Van Bibber to tell us what her favourite book was when she was a child. Here’s what she said:
“When I was asked to name a favourite book, I could not. Because to me each book had magic and secrets in it that only I could unlock.
“A very quiet, shy girl, I loved disappearing into the pages and imagining I could be any one of the characters — especially the princesses! I could be the character that saved the whole village or the one who discovered where the secret treasure was hidden.
“I loved the classic fairy tales, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Rumpelstiltskin and Pinocchio, but Cinderella holds a spot that is best — the magic, the mice, the pumpkin coach, the horrible step-sisters and step-mother — it had everything.
“Reading was, and still is, my favourite hobby. If given a chance for TV, internet, or books, books win every time! There are life lessons in every one. I have read all types: science fiction, romance, history, autobiographies, westerns, classics and well-written mysteries.
“I did read to my children when they were in grade school, each night at bedtime we read together and spoke about the story or characters. Until they were of an age to read on their own; now they both love books.
“Words are so important. Not only how they weave a story, but how they make you feel and how you eventually express yourself.
“Books are limitless, there is something written about any subject you can probably think of and these books are just waiting for you to begin turning the pages. So take time to read and immerse yourself in the wonder of stories.
“Reading is important. It unlocks your potential and gives you knowledge and the ability to expand your thoughts to new horizons.
“Bless all those who continue to write and give us some amazing stories to enjoy and share. So keep on reading!”
Geraldine Van Bibber is a Member of the Order of Canada, the former commissioner of Yukon (2005-2010), and the former Administrator of Yukon (2001-2005). She served as the Senior Community Adviser to Premier Darrell Pasloski in the Yukon government Cabinet Office and formerly served as the Chancellor of Yukon College. She currently sits in the Yukon Legislative Assembly as the MLA representing Porter Creek North.