I have yet to read Under Magnolia, but it's on my list because I love the way your writing brings me into your world. I am very interested to see the ways in which people's favorite books as a child have shaped them, so I wonder what yours were and how you interacted with them.
The earliest "influences" I remember are a row of orange library books about twins in various countries--The Polish Twins, The Mexican Twins, etc. I think that was the first I knew about the wider world beyond the small southern town where I grew up. I devoured those books. Another was HEIDI. A little girl in the Alps with her grumpy (at first) grandfather. I wanted to eat cheese, too, and play with goats.