Remembering Classic Books From Childhood.

dangerous

“That’s going to cause bad dreams,” I thought, after pulling this school library book from Freya’s bag.

We’ve got into a nice routine at bedtime where Mark reads her four books of her choice before snuggling down for Guess How Much I Love You.

I actually flinched when I heard her request the new book last night. Having dipped into it earlier in the day, I already knew it mentioned death approximately 56,000 times – and that’s just on the first page – but I figured it’s in the nursery class bookcase, how bad can it be?

“One lion bites the zebra’s throat and holds on until it stops breathing,” I heard Mark try and read in his calming bedtime voice.

Freya is a big fan of The Lion Guard, the spinoff series from The Lion King, and knows about the Circle of Life, sort of, but I generally like to send her off to the land of nod with books that are a little less…nightmare inspiring.

As it turns out it wasn’t a problem. For her. It was me who woke up in a cold sweat thinking I was being crushed by a snake while attempting to wrestle my duvet off me.

Freya and I always start the day asking about each others dreams.

“What did you dream about, mummy?”

“That snake from your new book. How about you?”

“Ballerinas.”

How lovely.

Freya’s school puts a lot of weight behind them picking their own book and being able to bring it home to read together each week. I have yet to come across one I’m familiar with.

She also has a lot of books of her own – although in general Mark and I have picked them for her (there are NO SNAKES in any of the books I have chosen). The most requested are  by Julia Donaldson at the moment but Freya will mix in some Dr Seuss, Mog and even some Babylit books, such as Wuthering Heights.

Looking at her bookshelf got me thinking about my own childhood favourites. I still remember certain books with a great fondness – although I was several years older and mostly able to read for myself by then.

The Famous Five.

Anne of Green Gables.

Black Beauty.

Little Women

All chosen for me by my mum. I’m sure many of the books she got for me were her childhood favourites too. Timeless classics – or are they? In a few years will those titles grace her book shelves? Do older children today still read them? (I hope so because I have at least two of them in a cupboard waiting for Freya).

I wonder if Freya will look back and remember Dangerous Animals among her favourite books?

What was your favourite childhood book? 

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18 thoughts on “Remembering Classic Books From Childhood.

  1. I was raised by a family of non readers. 😱 They can read of course, just choose not to. I can remember any words that I could get my hands on being sacred, seriously I used to read a cereal box as if it was a literary classic. As soon as I was old enough to use the library I was off.
    My children in stark contrast have shelves over flowing with books, sometimes I worry that books may be too violent or scary for them but actually they self govern wonderfully.

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    1. Thank goodness for libraries. So sad that cuts mean that many are under threat.
      Freya was really not bothered by the Dangerous Animals book (apart from the spider page which made her scream). For some reason, while she knows lions eat other animals, she hadn’t realised they were dead. Mark has fielded a lot of death questions!

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  2. My boys made a start on the Secret Seven but moved onto Beast Quest. Now they read a mix of YA books that are new to me and classics. At the moment one is sailing with Swallows and Amazons and the other is deep in The Riddle of the Sands. My own favourite was What Katy Did

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    1. How lovely! They sound like strong readers. I’m hoping I get to read some of my old favourites with Freya when the time comes. I don’t remember What Katy Did. I’ll look it up.

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  3. I loved reading as a child. I can still remember the first time I successfully read every single word in a Ladybird Peter and Jane book all by myself. From that day I was off. My favourites were Enid Blyton too. The adventures of Binkle and Flip, Famous Five, Lizzie Dripping by Helen Creswell. I must admit the animal book your daughter is reading does sound a bit graphic but obviously not alarming if she dreamt of ballerinas.

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    1. What a wonderful memory. Can you still get Enid Blyton? I know there were some issues with them a few years back. I’ll have to have a look next time we go to the book shop.
      Yes, I think the only person bothered by her new book was me!

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      1. Yes, there’s Rag Tag and Bobtail and other magical stories in paperback for £5.99 on Amazon and quite a few other Enid Blyton books, though the Bobtail book is probably better suited to very young children. Another one that just popped into my head this afternoon was Milly Molly Mandy which I remember reading. Apparently that was first published in 1928. (I’m not that old tho’ ha)

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  4. Your house sounds exactly like ours at bedtime. 2-4 stories of his choice with Julia Donaldson, the Mog series and Oliver Jeffers being BattleKid’s favourites. Only we share the reading. I too wonder what we’ll be reading with BattleKid in a few years time!

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  5. Hi Tara, it’s funny when things don’t affect our little ones as we expect. With Freya being a Lion King lover I would have thought that a lion doing its thing in real life would be a little too much info for her, but again it goes to show that children are more resilient than we give them credit for.

    My daughter is an avid reader and did read Little Women, Anne Of Green Gables and Black Beauty (I think). She was never into the typical reading that many youngsters enjoy and never touched Famous Five or any Jacqueline Wilson books (which I thought sounded great).

    I loved the Hiedi and the Famous Five books when I was young, but in my early teens got hooked on Stephen King after my Dad bought me The Shining.

    xx

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    1. What a cool dad! I had a thing for Stephen King in my teens too. Lovely to hear your daughter read all my favourites. I guess I’ll just give them to Freya and see what she thinks.

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  6. One of my early favorites was Where the Wild Things Are. Then later I loved Little Women and all the Little House on the Prairie books. I thought it was cool that my sister and brother in law gave our Dylan Where the Wild Things Are, as his first book, great coincidence! I would imagine Freya will love all sorts of books, sounds like she loves animals! It’s great that you encourage reading! I work with some children who don’t have any exposure to books at home. It’s so important to build curiosity and will help them become life long readers! 😁

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    1. Freya has Where The Wild Things Are. It’s not one of her favs but at least she’s read it. It makes me sad to think what people miss when they don’t have books in their lives. My mum used to come into my school and help with reading so I’m hoping they let parents do the same now.

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      1. I would think they would welcome parent volunteers! 😁We have parents come in certain times of the year. I love my little job, reading with the children and I help with guided reading and reading strategies. 😉

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  7. As we’re still clearing out my granddad’s house, mum and I keep finding items from both our childhoods. A whole stash of mum’s Famous Five books that she kept and read to me. I went on to be a big fan of Nancy Drew and of course anything fantasy related: the Hobbit remains a favourite after getting a copy from my Nana at around 7 or 8.
    But quite a lot of the children round our parts who enjoy reading are still bringing in Blyton books to school, which is encouraging. In fact, we did an entire topic on the 1950s centred around her books. They loved them, especially Secret Seven. I think they actually enjoyed the simplicity of them.

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  8. I think my favourite picture book was probably “The Quiltmaker’s Gift” by Jeff Brumbeau. The illustrations are exquisite and the narrative is meaningful. At 22 I still pick it up every once in a while.

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