Saturday 29 March 2014

Childhood favourite books

For as long as I can remember I've always been a prolific reader, I'd always have my head stuck in a book whether I was in front of the TV, on the sofa or in the garden. Even when I wandered around the house to go to the loo or get a drink I'd have a book held open in front of me in case I missed precious moments in another world. I don't know whether I was always destined to be a book fanatic or whether it's a result of encouragement from my parents and Grandma who were the ones that would read to me for hours on end, take me to the library on a weekly basis and would always ask me about what I was reading. But whatever the cause I love it! I know I talk a lot about books on this blog but I don't think I've ever really discussed my childhood spent reading before, so I thought that would be a good topic for today's post. What are the ten books I read and was obsessed with as a child?

George's Marvellous Medicine
I know not many people rate this story and they prefer one of Dahl's more well known books but I loved this book as a child and I think it was the first Dahl story I ever read. There was something about the amazing concoctions that George would mix that made me laugh-out-loud and I always hoped that the weird muddy concoctions that I'd make in the garden would have magical powers just like his did!

File:George's Marvellous Medicine first edition.jpg

The Little Girl and the Tiny Doll
When my sister and I used to stay at my grandparents' house in the summer we'd sneak in to my Grandma's room as soon as we woke up and snuggle in bed with her. She'd then let us choose a book to read and we'd spend the first hour or so of the day like that. The picture book of this story was always my favourite choice. I loved the illustrations and the story of the tiny girl, especially when she was playing tennis with peas and chips!

Sweet Valley High
The only books (apart from the Topsy and Tim series) that were about twins when I was younger, so of course I was going to enjoy these books. Plus Elizabeth and Jessica were so pretty and lived in America - what's not to love!

The Five and a Half Club
This book originally belonged to my Dad but after he gave it to me it became a firm favourite. I read it so much that it split into two books and the cover wore away! When I had to chuck this book away three years ago thanks to mould I was devastated, even more so when I realised it was impossible to find anywhere else. The book was about five friends and their dog (the half in the title) and how they spent their summer holidays - they fished for tadpoles with glass jars, got into trouble, shared the chores and of course they created their own club, complete with badges!

The Babysitters Club
This series made me want to have my own babysitters club, even though I was only nine at the time. They were all such good friends, had such fun and seemed to have the best adventures. Plus there were tons of books in the series so I could never run out of books to read!

I know it's cliche for a self-confessed bookish child to have loved this book so much but that's just how it was - I simply adored this book. I must have read it about a hundred times growing up and it was Matilda who made me realise that it was okay for me to be obsessed with books, there was nothing wrong with it and it made me sort of awesome. This was the first real book that made me realise I could be transported elsewhere just by opening the thin pages of any book.

The Old Bear stories
These beautiful picture books were firm favourites for both my sisters and me. I don't think I ever read them all but we did have Old Bear, Little Bear's Trousers and Jolly Tall  and I read them a lot. Old Bear was so sweet and the author had a brilliant imagination, not to mention the illustrations were beautiful. I wish I still had those original books.

Charlotte's Web
This book is entirely to blame for me wanting to be called Charlotte and for hating my name. Charlotte was awesome, even if she was a spider, and I grew up wanting to meet her, Wilbur and Fern as I knew we'd be best friends instantly. I don't know why but I never really appreciated how sad this book is until I was much older, even reading it trillions of times as a youngster I don't think I ever cried. How is that even possible?

Another of the books my Grandma read to me. This was about two ladies who were stuck in bed and embroidered their childhood home on their bedspread. I loved how they always remembered different things about their old house and how their personalities were so different and how this was explored through the book. Yet again this book had such beautiful illustrations and if you ask me it's one of many picture books that's massively underrated.

Topsy and Tim
I was so obsessed with these books that my sister and I named our fish Topsy and Tim, even when they kept dying, I think by the end of it we had Topsy 2 and Tim 5! I loved this simple stories and vividly remember the mini paperback format they came in. We've still got a couple on our bookshelves, I think New Shoes and Post Office. They were brilliant weren't they?!

Where's Spot?
A simple book, yes I know but it was soooo good! This was one of those books that has fallen to pieces as I read it so much. Weirdly I wasn't that big a fan of the other books - Spot Bakes a Cake, Spot Goes tot he Farm, but Where's Spot? was a different story! I even had the cuddly Spot toys, but I refused to share either Spot toy with my sister so I still have both the toys and she has none - clearly I was an evil child.

Peace at Last
This picture book always made me laugh-out-loud at Mr Bear's attempts to get to sleep and was definitely a firm favourite. My copy of this is still on my bookcase and it's held together by brown, brittle sellotape. 

Phew, what a long post - sorry about that! Well done if you made it all the way down to the end. I'm very impressed. What about you, what books were your childhood favourites?

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