Favourite Childhood Books

Friday, 18 March 2016

As a little 'un, I was rarely seen without a book in my hand. I vividly remember being told off at age eight by my dad for not coming to the dinner table when asked because I was so stuck into the book that I was reading. My parents spent a small fortune on a PlayStation for me (one of the retro PS1's where you played Rayman), but my brother used it way more than I did, just because I'd rather spend my time reading.

The older I've become, the less time I've had to read, between lectures and assessments and shifts at work... And sleep. I now genuinely can't wait to let go of all university-related responsibilities just because I might find the time to get into a good book or several again.

It only dawned on me how little time I've been able to spend reading when I passed a shelf in Waterstone's which basically summed up my entire childhood. That one shelf had on it pretty much every book that I adored as a child and just seeing that really uplifted me. I was transported back to being a child and spending evenings with a book and my mum, and reminded me why I fell in love with books.

So I was inspired to write a slightly different post, summing up all of my favourite childhood books and why I loved them so much.

1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Kind of obvious, but definitely needs to be mentioned. I remember going with my mum and dad to buy my first Harry Potter book, aged eight, from WH Smith's whilst on holiday in Devon. Mum read it to me at bedtime every night and I was soon gripped by the magical world that the pages took me to (and of course Hermione became my idol!) I pretty much grew up with the series, making my way through every book and I even found myself queuing outside Waterstone's at midnight to be one of the first to get my hands on a copy of the Deathly Hallows. Those books will always be special to me and I know that if I ever have kids I'll be forcing them to read the whole series, whether they like it or not!

2. The Famous Five by Enid Blyton
This was one of my mum's favourite series as a child, and when she started reading it to me when I was little, it soon became one of my favourites too. The books follow the adventures of five children and their dog Timmy, usually exploring somewhere new or uncovering treasure. I absolutely loved them and it was so nice to spend a bit of quality time with my mum reading stories that we both adored.

3. The Twits by Roald Dahl
Remember in primary school when you'd all sit on the carpet and listen to your teacher read to you? Well, I was in Year 2 (so around six or seven years old) when I first heard The Twits. I re-read it countless times after that. It was just so cleverly written, incredibly funny and just so easy to read over and over again. I think it always makes for a good story when you're reading about two utterly despicable characters doing utterly despicable things to each other!

4. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
I don't have many memories of time with my dad in comparison to my mum as a child, but my clearest and my fondest memory would be having him read Guess How Much I Love You to me. And it's probably the simplest story in the world, a parent telling their child how much they love them, but I used to love hearing it for the millionth time, and the end line was something that stuck with our family, "love you to the moon and back", which we still actually say to each other now. We still have the tatty old copy of it sitting on the shelf at home, and if my sister ever tried to get rid of it I think I'd genuinely throw a fit!

5. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
I loved reading stories from WW2 when I was nearing the end of primary school, and Goodnight Mister Tom was pretty much my favourite book at the time. It's such a heart lifting story and carries with it one of the biggest lessons that I've ever learned, that family aren't necessarily the people that nature chooses for you.

6. The Lottie Project by Jacqueline Wilson
Or pretty much ANYTHING by Jacqueline Wilson. Ask any girl around my age who their favourite authors were as a child/pre-teen, I guarantee you that Jacqueline Wilson will be in their top five. She's so brilliant in the way that she creates relatable, funny characters, and tackles difficult stories in such a way that it's brought down to a child's level but is still incredibly sensitive. I don't think you can find many writers who do that. I struggle to pick out one all-time favourite book of hers, but I chose the Lottie Project because I think it's the one that I re-read the most over the years. I think it's one of the less-talked about ones too, but it's absolutely brilliant. The main character, Charlie, is so funny and down-to-earth, and the altar-ego of Lottie is the complete opposite, yet it's so easy to relate to both characters.

7. The Tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
One Christmas, my grandparents gave me a big box set of Beatrix Potter books, and they still sit on my bookshelf at my mum's now. Each one has a beautiful white and blue cover, and I was so careful with them when I was little that they still look pristine. I absolutely loved to read them all, from Peter Rabbit to Mrs Tiggy-Winkle to Jemima Puddleduck. They're simply but beautifully written, and I used to love reading them to my sister when she was a baby. These stories just take me right back to being a child which is why I love them!

What were your favourite childhood books?

Sian Kathrine xo


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  2. Jacqueline Wilson was, and still is, one of my favourite authors! I think my favourite book of hers was Candyfloss, but I did love The Lottie Project too :)

    Katie from lifeof-a-daydreamer.blogspot.com/ xx

    1. I don't think I ever read Candyfloss! :o as if I missed one! Me too, she'll always have a special place in my heart I think xo