Here is a lovely guest post from Jane, enjoy!
Hello, my name is Jane, and I blog at Is That You Darling. When I offered to guest blog for Helen, I wasn’t sure at first what I wanted to write about. But when I realised that Helen is a fellow book lover, and is of course a mummy, I thought I’d write about some of my favourite children’s books.
This seems as though it’s a good fit for Helen’s blog, as she has her own little Alfie! The Alfie of Shirley Hughes’ imagination is almost exactly the same age as me, having first appeared in 1981, but he’ll remain a little boy forever in the wonderful drawings that Shirley Hughes uses to illustrate her stories. I love all the Alfie stories, but this one, where Alfie runs into the house before his mum and accidentally locks himself in, has to be my favourite.
Even without having a child of my own, I know how popular the books of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have become. The Gruffalo is obviously a big favourite, but my own personal favourite is Monkey Puzzle. I read it to the children when I worked at a nursery a few years ago, and I fell in love with it. It’s a joy to read aloud, as it has a lovely rhyming structure, and it’s a very sweet story. Will Monkey ever find his mum?
This is another wonderful book to read aloud; I’m a big fan of a rhyme in a children’s book (particularly for small children) because it gives your voice a natural rhythm. Janet and Allan Ahlberg are throwbacks to my own childhood - a long time ago! - with books like Funnybones, Burglar Bill and Please Mrs Butler. Each Peach Pear Plum incorporates lots of different nursery rhyme and fairytale characters in such a clever way.
This is a book for much older children than those I have mentioned previously, but it’s another old favourite of mine, so I had to include it! Stanley wakes up one day and finds that he is as flat as a pancake, having been flattened by a giant pinboard while he slept. Taking advantage of the situation, he posts himself to California for a holiday, and helps to foil an art robbery by posing as a painting in a gallery. This book is such a lot of fun, and would be great for a seven or eight year old.
Matilda ~ Roald Dahl
Another childhood favourite of mine is Matilda. The main character being a bookworm is definitely what appealed to me, but I do think it’s a lovely story with that old macabre Dahl humour lurking. I could easily recommend any of his books; they are all so wonderful, but this is number one in my book.
There are a number of other books that I see as essential childhood reads, including the Harry Potter series, the Mallory Towers series, and any number of Michael Morpurgo books. As someone without any children of my own, I am not exposed to many new children’s books, hence why the majority of my picks are of the vintage variety!