Howdy folks. Yes, I am skipping challenges on the Blogging Challenge. Just pretend you haven’t noticed ok?
I was a big reader as a child. From the age of six onwards, I always had my head stuck in a book. I was the annoying kid in class who always finished the assigned reading way before schedule and had to be given other books to read while everyone else caught up. Yeah, THAT kid. I was like it in high school too. It’s very possible I was the only one who actually READ the books we were assigned. But I enjoyed them – everything from
Catch-22 to 1984, To Kill a Mockingbird and Animal Farm. I loved them all.
My Mum always read to us when we were little and I suppose that’s why we always enjoyed books in general. As a child, I loved stories with animals in them, but didn’t like anything scary or dark. I remember one book I read gave me nightmares and actually made me physically ill so my Mum had to go to the school and asked for it to be removed from the library. I don’t remember what it was called, but it was a book of so-called fairy tales, and it had one story in it where a witch rips the faces off pretty young girls so she could disguise herself as them and get up to mischief. Kinda gross. A less sensitive kid might not have been bothered by it, but it frightened me and my Mum took action ha ha.
I know I had a book about a dog called Barney, that my Mum used to read to me (until it fell to pieces) but I haven’t been able to find it since. Another favourite was “The Golden Egg Book” by Margaret Wise Brown. It too fell to pieces from being read to death.
When I was a bit older, I read voraciously on my own. Enid Blyton was an early favourite, particularly the “Magic Faraway Tree” and “The Secret Seven” (my Mum won a set of these in an art competition when she was ten years old – I have them now 🙂 ). I still secretly read Enid Blyton books, when I am needing some comfort or just to take some time out. There’s a been a bit of a backlash about them in recent years, with regard to them not being very politically correct, but I love them.
Of course, Judy Blume was a HUGE favourite as I entered into that tricky pre-teen period. My best friend and I loved her books and read all of them. “Are you there God, it’s me, Margaret,” was probably devoured by more 10-12 year olds in the 80s than just about any other book ever written.
I also loved Ursula K. Le Guin and Paul Gallico, Beverly Cleary and Diana Wynne Jones. I read all the classics – “Charlotte’s Web”, “Watership Down” (a little bit adult for me but I trudged through it when I was seven, not really understanding all of it I’m sure) and “Little Women”.
I read non-fiction too. Mostly about animals and magic and art. I Loved poetry and silly rhymes, and books about mysteries and fascinating facts.
I have a favourite children’s book now though. It was given to me by a friend when I was in my twenties, and I dearly love it. I would give it to my own children, if I had any, and have actually given it as a gift to friends and family (both children and adults). My favourite children’s book is “A Little Bit of Winter” by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. It’s just GORGEOUS. The story of Rabbit and Hedgehog, best friends in the wood. It’s Winter and Hedgehog has to go and hibernate. Rabbit is worried that Hedgehog will forget about him during the long, cold months that Hedgehog is asleep. Hedgehog himself does not know what Winter feels like and so they are both missing out on something. It’s a story about friendship, mostly, but it is SO ADORABLE and the illustrations are the best. I love it. I have to do the voices when I read it, which is quite sad, but it’s just so darn cute. There are other books in this series, but this one is my favourite.
Do you have a beloved children’s book that is dear to your heart? There’s so many great ones out there, new and old, modern and classic. Don’t let the kids have all the fun – try a few titles for yourself. They’re comforting and calming and make you feel better about the world. And, if you do have children of your own, get them in to reading early – it’s SO important. My brother’s children all love to read and it makes my librarian heart proud. I’d be proud of them, whatever they did, but the fact that they love books and often can be found with their little heads buried in one is just icing on the cake.
Happy Reading Everyone x
(Picture : The Book Depository)