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Do you still read children's books?

(100 Posts)
raggygranny Sun 17-Jul-11 13:54:12

An author I loved as a child and still re-read (I have finally got a complete collection) is Monica Edwards. She had two series, one set on Romney Marsh and one on Punchbowl farm in Surrey. Anyone else remember these, or is there another childhood favourite you still enjoy?

Stansgran Sun 17-Jul-11 14:23:34

As a child had fairly limited selection of books-couldn't understand Winnie the Pooh drawings and until my husband read the books out loud to our children I didn't realise how funny they were. Hate Disney version-but now we have Bernard Cribbens on CD in the car and they are wonderful
Have still got all my LM Alcott. Cant wait for dgd to read the Little White Horse (eliz. Goudge) and The Faraway Mountain (author I've forgotten but she wrote The Lshaped Room -Lynne something. Trying to encourage dds to TAKE AWAY their books to their own homes so I can downsize

Annobel Sun 17-Jul-11 14:56:44

I still have the Little White Horse which I loved as a child. I don't think I've ever met anyone else who knew it. So hello, Stansgran! I am going to give it to my second GD who enjoys reading much more than her half sister, who is a bit dyslexic, ever did.

goldengirl Sun 17-Jul-11 15:18:20

Yes, I have quite a few including The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier, What Katy Did and sequel, Little Women, Black Beauty [a real tear jerker] and Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses - Shadow March is my favourite; it struck terror as a child and I still find it delightfully scary. I also like Bed in Summer which I quote to my GC every so often.

Dordor Sun 17-Jul-11 15:29:32

I like The Silver Sword too, and have What Katy Did, although re-reading it recently it didn't do so much for me as it used to. I like(d) the Blue Door series by Pamela someone, and the Anne of Green Gables books. Nowadays I happily read the Harry Potter books, Philip Pulman, and Terry Pratchett's younger books, all of which are meant for children. The thing is, they are good stories, well written. What more can you ask?

raggygranny Sun 17-Jul-11 16:25:31

I too love Anne of Green Gables, though I didn't read them as a child. The Little Women books have worn well, but I recently re-read the Katy books and was disappointed. Like dordor, I enjoyed Pamela Brown's Blue Door series but haven't been tempted to read them as an adult. The Narnia books still give pleasure, as do The Hobbit (first read when I was 8) and Lord of the Rings (not a children's book, of course). As you say, dordor, if books are good stories, well written, it doesn't matter what age group they are intended for!

Mamie Sun 17-Jul-11 16:47:28

I re-read "When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit" by the wonderful Judith Kerr, recently. I gather there is an exhibition about her at the Museum of Childhood in London?

Baggy Sun 17-Jul-11 16:57:50

DD3 has a long shelf of my childhood books. I have re-read most of them (some twice) in adulthood and thoroughly enjoyed them again. I've also read new children's books throughout adulthood, partly to find out if they were worth buying for my kids but also just for the stories and the fun. I'm a complete Gruffalo fan but I think I like Room on the Broom even more.

JessM Sun 17-Jul-11 17:01:05

Nice list Dordor. I loved A Hat Full of Sky, didn't you? Green Gables also an old favourite - i would like to re-read with an adult perspective.
I re- read Tarka recently which i read in my teens. Amazing!
A Secret Garden is one of my favourites. Just about to read it again.
Must re-read Ballet Shoes soon. Often read as a child. i think the all-female household mirrored my own. The TV film was rather good. Of course when i read it as a child I never twigged that it did actually include a Lesbian Couple. shock. You know, the two rather mannish academics who share a room.
My cousin is doing a PhD of children's literature from that period and has done a fair bit on Streatfield.
I absolutely adore Northern Lights. It has so many dimensions. The film was pretty awful and deserved to flop - but not for the reasons it did perhaps.
I started reading Noughts and Crosses recently and then stopped. Might try again...

jackyann Sun 17-Jul-11 17:56:03

I love children's books & read them as lot. I think that if authors had to be as careful with adult books as they are with children's then the standard of literature would be higher: by that I mean, keeping the plot tight, making every word count, being clear.

I re-read a lot of my childhood favourites, and others that I've acquired along the way. I am a great reader of myths & legends, many of which get written up as "children's literature". My very first "can't put this down" experience was age 6, the children's version of The Odyssey, and I have to say that I've been hooked on "band of brothers" stories since.

I began to read adult books as a child - my parents & grandparents thought that if you could actually read it, it couldn't be unsuitable (!) and by my teens I had read a lot of classics, including Dracula & Frankenstein, and a lot of romance authors from Victorian times up to the 60s - I am still mildly astonished at how protracted Victorian death-bed scenes were (still a fan of Charlotte M. Yonge)

The Faraway Mountain was by Lynne Reid Banks: Radio 4 recently re-did the L shaped Room as it has ben 50 years since publication (I read that at about 12!)

So for me, since about 8, the boundaries have only ever existed in other people's minds!
And for me, sorry as I am to have to cede top position to a non-English language author, Astrid Lindgren is wonderful!

Dordor Sun 17-Jul-11 18:12:18

Oh JessM, how could I have forgotten Noel Streatfield. I've read Ballet Shoes many times, as, like you, it mirrored our mostly female and pretty eccentric lifestyle. I was given a coral necklace by my mysterious grandfather who was divorced (!) from my grandmother, so I always felt drawn towards the necklaces in the book given to the girls. Have you read hNS's other books? I'm sure you have. There was one about the circus which I found very romantic when I was young, and The Painted Garden where one of the girls from Ballet Shoes goes to Hollywood. Must find and re-read them.

There were other brilliant books; The Children Who lived in a Barn, and The Family from One End Street, both of which I adore(d). Can't recall who wrote them, at the moment.

Yes Hatful of Sky is tremendous, and I've just read the Diggers, Truckers, Wings trilogy, which I recommend highly.

Baggy Sun 17-Jul-11 20:23:54

Oh yes! I loved the Family from One End Street too! I also read another large family book called Afke's Ten. It was based in Holland, I think, and fabulous. Has anyone else come across that one?

numberplease Sun 17-Jul-11 23:29:44

I don`t still read childrens books, but have recently been thinking of getting hold of copies of Louisa May Alcott`s books and re-reading them. As a child, aged between 11 and 13, I read them all over and over, loved them.

JessM Mon 18-Jul-11 07:05:45

Hey they are also about women coping in the absence of men are't they. At least Little Women is...

Annobel Mon 18-Jul-11 07:42:38

I haven't read children's books for myself for many years, but the ones that made me long to go to boarding school were the Chalet School books by Elinor M Brent Dyer, more exotic than Enid Blyton with the cosmopolitan cast of characters and the background of Austria in the early books, following the school to Britain during the World War II and back to the the Swiss Alps thereafter. I don't think I read all sixty-ish books but they have now become collectors items and I wish I'd held onto mine.

jangly Mon 18-Jul-11 10:51:20

I like Colin Dann books, and Robert Westall. I liked The Flour Babies by Anne Fine. My favourite book of all time is a children's book - The Wind in the Willows.

Jess, they do get very dewy eyed about their absent men though, don't they? (Hey, I thought you were not going to be distracted any more! Shoo! wink)

jangly Mon 18-Jul-11 10:53:06

Oh Jess - just seen that was 5 past 7 this morning you were on here. You are allowed to be distracted at that time! grin

Gally Mon 18-Jul-11 21:18:57

Anyone read Seven Little Australians with the sequel The Family at Misrule by Ethel Turner? They were my Dad's and his before! I loved them; Heidi, Heidi Grows Up and Heidi's Children; Blue Door Theatre; Cherry Ames - I had the whole set; Minnikin; The Little Women series ( I wanted to be Jo) and today I have been reading Black Beauty (my own 50 year old copy) with my 4 year old grandson - he loved it, but I do do very good voices!! Ooh I'm becoming all dewy-eyed remembering all this.

Gally Mon 18-Jul-11 21:25:55

Oh - I forgot The Little Princess - I was named after her - that's the nearest I get to royalty! I still love the story and watch the film whenever it's on the telly.

jangly Mon 18-Jul-11 21:31:48

Has anyone read Stone Cold by Robert Swindells.

Its really scary, and I'm wondering how soon I can get it for my grandson, (10 soon).

I guess not yet. His mum wouldn't like it. It is a good book though.

jackyann Mon 18-Jul-11 22:14:42

I don't know Stone Cold Winds, but I love some of Robert Swindells' other books.
If you like it, and it is either around at your house, or you have it in your bag when you go to visit, then your gs may just pick it up to read for himself!

yogagran Mon 18-Jul-11 22:59:56

Anyone remember Strewelpeter.... what frightening stories, but I think I liked them hmm

GillieB Tue 19-Jul-11 12:46:30

This is another opportune thread for me. A week ago we had our loft re-insulated and everything (and I do mean everything) came down into one of our bedrooms. I had intended to throw a lot of things away, but then I came across a box of books from my childhood and, I am afraid, I have been re-reading them all.

I have Mollie Chappell (The Summer of the Great Secret), several Malcolm Saville books (Lone Pine Club, anyone?), C. B. Rutley (the Crimson Rust) - the list goes on.

I was interested to read about The Little White Horse - I discovered this in our local library when I was a child and I used to borrow it almost every month. For a child growing up in the grey 50s, the descriptions of Maria's clothes were magical. Unfortunately, as an adult, I couldn't quite remember what the title was (and, of course, there wasn't the internet then), so I wasn't able to buy my own copy until one Monday afternoon I was helping in my son's school library and it appeared on the desk. I went to W H Smith's the next weekend and ordered my own copy. The book has subsequently been filmed (Moonacre) and I was quite excited when I realised that it was "my" book" - but how disappointed I was when I saw the film.

crimson Tue 19-Jul-11 14:44:05

Oh Gillie, how magical to have all those books. My mum threw all my books away when I left home [I still have Black Beauty, Heidi's Children and Around the World in Eighty Days for some reason; perhaps I took them with me]. I had a picture book called 'Lad, a Dog' about a collie..I can still see the pictures in my head. I managed to get a copy of Ghost Horse from a book search and when I saw it after forty odd years it was as if I'd just put it down and I dissolved in tears.

crimson Tue 19-Jul-11 14:46:12

Just googled the Little White Horse. how did I miss out on this one? I must buy it.