The Berenstain Bears ~ The first series aired in the the books have been in print for over 40 years. That doesn't change the fact these bears were a big part of my childhood. I read the books and watch the series on my VHS tapes for years.
Sideways Stories from Wayside School: Louis Sachar. An incredibly quirky children's book. A quick, easy read that emphasized, to me, the importance of imagination making the world a place of wonder for children.