Monday, 21 June 2010

Children's Books

It is imperative that the modern mother is well dressed at all times, especially when reading to one's young charges . In addition, one should also read in the clipped manner of a 1950's BBC TV presenter. Court shoes must be worn.

My two girls love to be read to and there's nothing more enjoyable that reading a good book with your children. It's very companionable indeed. I know that there are other benefits, it opens the world of reading to them, it increases their vocabulary, etc. But the main joy has to be that special time I have with them, sharing something we both enjoy.

But it's awful if the book is boring! Lol. I remember as a child loving the Enid Blyton books, The Faraway Tree series and, The Wishing Chair series. But by my life I find them tedious now. The girls love them though, so we are persevering. Enid Blyton was one of the most prolific children's authors ever. I've made an agreement with my eldest (8) that she will read the rest of the Wishing Chair books to herself and we are going to move onto the Adventure series also by Enid Blyton - I recall loving these as a child. The Malory Towers series was successful, we both loved reading those together. So much so that I took the books to bed with me after to see what happened! Lol.

My favourite book that we have read together was A Little Princess; love that book. The chapters are very long though, I went away hoarse every night. And we love the Lost Sheep books, great Christian books for children.

For my youngest, now 6, I have loved books like The Gruffalo and A Squash and a Squeeze and the Mog books. But her vocabulary and reading ability are expanding, so she's on the Faraway Tree books, so hey-ho it looks like I'm going to be reading them all over again! *sigh* :P

I remember as a child I loved The Large and Growly Bear so much that my Mum hid it and told me it had had to go back to the library (even though we owned it)! Oh the deception! :) I have felt the same about You Choose and the Faraway tree books many a time!

Some books that I'm looking forward to sharing with the girls include. Frog and Toad are Friends (though I need to be quick my 6 year old will be too old soon), The Wind in the Willows, Little Women, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (though she's read this at school), and The Children of Green Knowe.

What children's books would you recommend?
Are there any that your children love but you hate?
Are you an Enid Blyton fan?
Questions, questions!


  1. Lovely new blog my friend! And *love* the Amy Carmichael quote above.

    I can't really remember which books I liked as a child.

    I do think it's so important to read with your children so good for you! (o:

  2. The "My Naughty Little Sister" books are a firm favourite in our house. Also, the "Paddington" books. When I read these books to my youngest, the eldest one always sits on the bed and listens, she enjoys the subtle humour and gentleness of them...also perhaps the memories of when she was read to.

    My youngest is reading "The BFG" at school atm. She keeps asking me, "is this the witching hour, mummy?" because that's when the BFG pokes his big nose through your window.

    My eldest is still a massive Blyton fan, just "The Famous Five" and the school stories, though. She no longer reads them but collects first editions! (Like mother, like daughter).

    My eldest has skipped the "teenage" section of bookshops and library. She couldn't get on with the Twighlight novels and other popular teenage fiction. She's reading (and loving) Bill Bryson atm. However, when she was elevenish she really enjoyed Micheal Morpurgo. She also very much enjoyed "Skellig" (it's a set text) and "Holes" (another KS3 set text). She loved "Goodnight Mr Tom" and "Carrie's War" but got slightly upset by some of the narrative. "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" made her cry, but again she loved it.

    Try and You can download the first chapter of any novel you fancy and they have great reading lists for differing age groups abilities.

  3. Michele, thanks, I think it's a beautiful quote.

    Dulce Domum - My eldest loves to sit and listen too when I read to my 6 year old. But I have to chuck her out sometimes because she takes over telling us what happens next and asking endless questions. Lol.

  4. me thinks this was spawn a blog posting on my blog. :) I know one of the books that really got me going on reading as a child was Heidi. I don't remember too many others before that. I know I liked Secret Garden. And of all books...Wacky Wednesday. Not much of a reader that book, but it was finding stuff in the pictures. :)

  5. Let the blog posts multiply. :) I never read Heidi, except for the shortened Ladybird board book version I read with my eldest.

  6. I snuck our Blyton books out of the house. I got tired of them and the girls did not.

    We are currently reading a Brian Jacques book (Taggerung). My youngest loves his stuff.

    On our trip we listened to the unabridged audio book for Lord of the Rings. Again my youngest loves it.

    My oldest daughter prefers Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables and other such stuff.

  7. The Selfish Giant & The Railway Children [these make me cry!] The Secret Garden, Ann of Green Gables,
    What Katy Did, Narnia series
    Liz adored anything with a pony in it, Steph loved anything with ballet in it [all books still packed in loft for future generations] I used to enjoy Blyton school stories.
    Oh and Winnie the Pooh of course!

  8. I still buy children's books, and all my children are grown. !!
    (I wrote a tune to the poem/song you have in your blog title)
    We sing it in Sunday School.

  9. Thanks ladies, there are some great suggestions there and some that I've not heard of for some good ol' investigation.

  10. We love Naughty Little Sister too - the Book People were selling a 5 book set for £4.99 recently. I bought them for Cherub as our old ones were in various stages of tattiness (and also weren't a complete set). They are Cherub's current favourite, and the first non-picture books she has been ready to listen to.

    Love the Gruffalo and the Mog books (and Judith Kerr's Tiger That Came To Tea is probably the all time favourite picture book in this house.

    Enid Blyton? My mother hated her with a passion so I didn't read them as a child - except Noddy, for which she was inexplicably prepared to make an exception. Angel was an Enid Blyton fan, Star not so much, and Cherub is still in the Noddy stage. Secret Seven, Malory Towers and Naughtiest Girl in the School were Angel's favourites. Ah! And Star liked her Amelia Jane books (aimed at younger children - say four to six or seven?).

    Way back in the early days of my blog I wrote a list of my 100 favourite children's books, which you can find here. Think I may write a blog post too.