“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?”


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?