I am sure that we all have at least one book from our childhood that we have fond memories of, and the wonderful thing about children’s books is that they can be enjoyed by all ages.
As I work with children’s books everyday I wanted to share with you some of my favourites.
1. Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
It is probably of no surprise that Roald Dahl was going to feature in my top 5, and rightly so. Roald Dahl was an amazing author. I have fond memories of reading this book at Chigwell Row School. I think I must have been 8 years old. I was totally gripped by the story. I was fascinated about Danny driving his dad’s car and catching pheasants with raisins!
2. Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel – ‘The Journey’
This is a short story about a mouse that wanted to visit his mother, so he bought a car and drove it until it broke, so then he bought some roller skates and rolled as far as he could until the wheels fell off. He then buys boots, some trainers and eventually has to walk barefoot until his feet are too sore – so he buys some new feet! As you can imagine at the age of 6 or 7 I found this hilarious! Considering it was written in the Psychadelic Era (1972) it makes perfect sense!
3. The Story of the Little Mole who knew it was None of his Business by Werner Holzwarth / Wolf Erlbruch
I first came across this book whilst on holiday in the Lake District, only a few years ago, despite it being first published in 1989. Basically a mole pokes his head out of the ground and a poo lands on top of his head! So he then asks a lot of animals if they were the culprits, each of them then giving the mole a sample to show they were not to blame! Eventually he realises it was a dog and gets his own back! This book had me in tears of laughter in what was, a very quiet book shop!
4. A Bit Lost by Chris Haughton
This comes in a gorgeous board version and I just adore Chris’ artwork. In my previous job running a museum, this book featured in one of my lesson plans for my monthly toddler groups. A baby owl falls out of a tree and starts to look for his mummy. A similar format to the mole story, a friendly but not very clever squirrel tries to help the baby owl by introducing him to a variety of woodland animals until he eventually does find his mummy, all thanks to a frog.
5. ‘Well-Loved Tales’ Sleeping Beauty retold by Vera Southgate
In particular this 1970s version illustrated by Eric Winter. There is one picture in this book that stuck in my memory and it’s not because it’s beautiful, far from it! Although I should add that the illustrations are absolutely amazing, the detail is something else!
Anyway, on page 31 there is a picture of a prince trying to make his way through the rose thorns and in his failed attempt, is covered in cuts and is bleeding. I don’t know why I remembered this picture so vividly but all I can think of it must have been quite a shock to see such a graphic image (with blood) in a children’s book.
Nevertheless I love a fairytale and I do remember recreating this as a play in the reading room at my infant school and also mum making me a Sleeping Beauty birthday cake, so Princess Aurora was clearly my favourite!
I thoroughly recommend re-reading your favourite children’s books – it has bought back such happy memories for me, and I’ve had a good laugh too!