Daydream Believer

Welcome to my first blog post! My first post will be about how I came up with the title for my blog. It is also about some of my favorite books when I was a child and my childhood memories. I believe I am passionate about teaching children and children’s books because of those early experiences. We are made up of the memories we hold and the books we read.

Along with my passion for children’s books, the title for my blog  comes from my young love for Davy Jones from The Monkees. I had a huge crush on him when I was a child. Of course, I didn’t know at the time that I was already watching re-runs of the show. That crush lasted throughout my life. Just like Marcia from The Brady Bunch, if Davy Jones would have kissed me on the cheek…I would have never wiped it off either.

That is why I was sad to hear about his death this year. I still remember hearing about it on NPR on my way home from work. They played a clip of him talking about his life.  He sounded as happy as ever. And that is the clip that will always stay in my mind. Even though I didn’t know Davy Jones personally it sounds like he was indeed a daydreamer and followed his bliss.

Click on the picture of Davy Jones to hear the NPR broadcast.

Davy Jones reading

My childhood was not just filled with starry eyes for Davy Jones but also much daydreaming (and reading). No homecoming queen here. Instead, I would stomp around on my stuffed animals in my red boots to “These Boots are Made for Walking”.

Or pretend with my friends to be in a scene from the movie Flash Gordon!

So my early experiences shaped who I am today. And many of my fondest memories from childhood included books I read at school and with my family.  I felt indeed like I was dreaming while reading.

I can trace my passion today for children’s books back to three books from my childhood. In fact, I have shared these books with my students and they are as loved today as they were when I read them as a child.

Where The Sidewalk Ends

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein is made up of hilarious poems and pictures that will never stop being as touching as they are funny.

James and The Giant Peach

I will never forget when my third grade teacher read James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl aloud to the class.  I can still remember the vivid pictures in my head of the peach as she was reading. I was from that moment on hooked on reading.


When my fourth grade teacher (and also my favorite teacher ever) read Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, it was hysterical. The memory of Fudge and his antics stayed with me. I loved the book so much I read it every year to my 4th grade students.

So my childhood memories and fondness for children’s books have led me to create this blog and share my passions. What about you? What are some of your fondest memories or favorite books from your childhood? How have those experiences helped to create the person you are today? I look forward to hearing from you in the comments section.

A huge thank-you goes out to all my Nerdy Book Club friends for their help and support on getting my blog up and running. I especially want to thank David Etkin and John Schu for their technical  support and Shannon Houghton for my amazing blog title. Thank you so much.

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42 Responses to Daydream Believer

  1. David E. says:

    Yea! You’re up and running. No stopping you now!

  2. Niki Barnes says:

    Thank you David! 🙂 And thanks again for all your help!!

  3. Teri Lesesne says:

    Welcome to the blogosphere. Loved this post. Loved the Monkees (though Peter for me and not via reruns since I am OLD). Looking forward to more posts.

    • Niki Barnes says:

      Thank you Teri! I think Peter is pretty cute too! 🙂

      • I’m with Terri, a total Peter girl myself 😉
        Congratulations Niki! Can’t wait to read more, love the title and theme. I too was a book nut, and still am. Not as many children’s books these days but brain candy is brain candy!

      • Niki Barnes says:

        Thank You Michelle! I think Peter is cute too! 🙂 Books are awesome! I’m glad we both have the reading bug! It makes life more enjoyable.

  4. Deb Day says:

    Niki, this is a great looking blog! I love when bloggers post how they named their blog. It gives such an insight into them as a person. I’m rather jealous of your title–it’s perfect. And loving the Monkees and Davy Jones as I did, you had me hooked! Here’s to a long blog life and the wonderful conversations to follow.

  5. Wonderful first post! Davy Jones was also my favorite too. I didn’t realize I was watching reruns either! Congrats on the first post!

  6. What a wonderful blog, Niki! I loved your reminiscences and the visuals, too. Books indeed have made us who we are. Thank you for sharing!

  7. A fine first post, Niki. I’ll share with you the memory of the earliest book to fire my imagination. Being a card-carrying member of the elder set, mine goes way back to an early Dr. Seuss called McElligot’s Pool. A boy with his fishing line dropped into a small pond imagines all the fantastic fish he might catch. It’s still around and still wonderful.

  8. Wonderful, reflective beginning! James and the Giant Peach was the first novel that I remember a teacher reading aloud in class… Think that your title will sing me to sleep tonight though!

    • Niki Barnes says:

      I am glad you love James and the Giant Peach too! I know. When I wrote this post I had to then go listen to my Nancy Sinatra CD and sing while doing the dishes. It couldn’t be helped! 😉

  9. Yay! So excited to see this up and running! I guess I’d better go add something to mine! 😉

  10. Becky Wilson says:

    Nicki, This is a wonderful first post. I look forward to reading many more.

  11. Congratulations on launching this fine-looking blog!
    (The first album I ever bought was the first Monkees album, and I still might have a little crush on Marcia Brady.)
    Looking forward to more posts like these!

  12. scopenotes says:

    Yeah! Enjoy your new blog – consider me subscribed

  13. Lovely blog! I have so many, but today I’ll share one: I remember being sick with the stomach flu and my mother reading CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN to me throughout the day. What a great escape it was!

  14. Kathy Martin says:

    Great first post. I was a Monkees fan too (and I didn’t see them in re-runs). While Davy was cute, Peter Tork was my crush. Guess I’m a fan of the quiet type. I don’t remember any of the books that were read to me in class but I do remember loving The Four Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright when I was an elementary student.

  15. Allison Jackson says:

    Niki, this was such a fun read- so nostalgic for me; truly a walk down memory lane! I was just thinking a couple of days ago that it’s so hard to believe that Davy Jones died this year. I love all the clips (video & audio) you included; and, of course, I loved reading about some of your favorite books. Such a personal connection to make with your readers!
    As for my early memories of books, I know that we just always had books and magazines in the house. One of my earliest memories is the first time I stepped inside a library- it was an old house, and I remember the smell so well, and the luxuriousness of being surrounded by all those books! It was closed shortly after that when they built a new library. While I missed the quaintness of the first one, the new one was within walking distance of my house, and I distinctly remember walking home with a huge stack of books- as many as I could carry- and trying to decide which to read first.
    Looking forward to hearing more from you! (Esp. since you teach 2nd grade- I teach 3rd. So many people I follow on Twitter teach older grades, so it’s good to have someone closer to my grade.)

    • Niki Barnes says:

      Thank you Allison! I know, I was so sad when he died. He seemed way to young! I also have really fond memories of going to the library! It is a magical place in my opinion. I try to take my son there at least once a week. We should connect about teaching on Twitter! 🙂 I have also taught 3rd and 4th grade in the past and loved it.

      • Allison Jackson says:

        Sounds like a plan. You can follow me at @azajacks. I’ve taught 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades, so we’d have a lot to share with each other.
        Congrats again on your new blog. Happy New Year!

  16. Pam Horton says:

    Hi Niki, Thanks for helping me to think about myself as a young reader. I remember listening to James and the Giant Peach too and How to Eat Fried Worms had just come out. Our “media specialist” as he was called then, read it to us each time we went to the library. I loved listening to him read and laughing with my classmates. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

  17. Yay! I’m so excited to read and see more postings from you! (more than 140 characters!)

  18. Forgot to leave you a memory: My daddy read so many “classic” books to me even after I was old enough to read alone. We shared Little Women, Jo’s Boys, 5 Little Peppers, Huckleberry Finn…those memories are so special to me. I know the time he spent reading to me and seeing he and my mom read so much are very much the reasons why I love to read as well.

    • Niki Barnes says:

      Thank you Sherry! I feel the same way! It is so powerful and wonderful when you can have such great memories of your parents reading! I know I also love reading because my parents love reading! We still talk to each other about what we are reading and recommend books to one another! I got my dad hooked on Percy Jackson! And my mom hooked on Divergent! 🙂

  19. Karen says:

    Congratulations on your blog! You are most definitely inspiring me to get my blog kick-started again. I have neglected it for a long while. Can’t wait to read your thoughts along the way,

  20. Awesome blog and awesome post! Look forward to reading more from you, friend.

  21. Congrats Niki. What a fun read. I was a Mike fan and also loved watching H. R. Pufnstuff I look forward to reading your future posts. Nicely done.

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