Childhood reads

Razia Iqbal blogged last week about her favourite children's books as last week was Children's Book Week: "a celebration of reading for pleasure for children of primary school age" (up to the end of tween years, age 12). This got me thinking about what my favourite reads of that time were. Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton automatically spring to mind, but I'll go back to the very beginning. These are my favourite reads from when I could first read, to the onset of my teenage years (I'll post another time on those).

I have *devoured* books since I was three years old. My favourite early read was a series of books called Puddle Lane by Sheila K. McCullagh (there was also a TV series that aired in the late '80s). Sadly, there's not much information about the books online, but the books were split into five stages and told us about the inhabitants of Candletown:

Has anyone else read Puddle Lane books? Thinking of picture books, I'm sure everyone will have read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. How about the Topsy and Tim books, not to mention Mr Men! I loved those!

After Puddle Lane, Enid Blyton was my next lot of childhood defining books. I *adored* The Famous Five, and also loved the R-Mystery books (actually known as the Barney Mysteries - anyone remember the likes of Snubby and Loopy?), the Adventure series and Malory Towers. The Secret Island from the Secret series is still one of my favourite books, but I wasn't a big fan of The Faraway Tree series, even though I know a lot of people who rave about that series from their childhood reading memories.

I also loved the Galliano books, and The House at the Corner is brilliant, too. You will never hear me say a bad word for Blyton. I think the reason I like her books so much is because the children go off and do their own thing - there are rarely adults involved - yet the children cope and survive, managing to catch a nasty robber or two along the way! Dreadfully politically incorrect nowadays, but you can't change the face they were written when they were written.

Roald Dahl was another childhood favourite of mine. At school we had to make a monster from The Minpins in clay. We had Danny, the Champion of the World read to us (I actually have a first edition of Danny - I also have first editions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, and a few of The Famous Five books), ditto for Fantastic Mr Fox. At one point I could recite that book off by heart, as well as The Magic Finger, but my *favourite* book of Dahl's is George's Marvellous Medicine. I even painstakingly trawled through the book to write down the ingredients so I too could make my own "medicine"!

Other reads: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Then there's The Chronicles of Narnia - my favourite is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Stig of the Dump by Clive King. The Horrible Histories books. A series called Coping With... by Peter Corey. The Anastasia books by Lois Lowry. Poor Jack by Una Power. Various Judy Blume books but in particular Are you there God? It's me, Margaret and the Fudge books). Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. The Demon Headmaster series by Gillian Cross... Oh, and I read the Nancy Drew books, and also The Three Investigators. Jupiter, Pete and Bob anyone? I was never a fan of The Hardy Boys though.

What were your favourite childhood reads (up to age 12)? And, more importantly, do you go back and dip back into your childhood by reading them now? x

1 comment

  1. I can remember loving Harold and the Purple Crayon when I was a little Pete.