This lovely linky from A Mummy Too is about sharing books, a great thing to do anytime but what better time than the New Year to find new reading matter? It asks to share your 3 favourite books: from childhood, adulthood and parenthood. These are mine:
I grew up in a family that loved books. Our house was stuffed to the brim of bursting point; never mind wallpaper, all the walls of the downstairs living areas was lined with bookcases piled higgledy-piggledy full of books. Days out included trips to second hand bookshops and we had library cards from the word go. Both myself and my sister adored reading and constantly read, making this challenge really quite hard! Childhood books are so special, from picture books to learning to read to first fiction and then slowly more complex stories until the sort you want to hide from parents! After much deliberation, I have picked All About Alice written and illustrated by Penny Dale. It is a book I still have and would be upset to loose. I fully intend to by my very own Alice her own copy once she has gone through the stage of nibbling books for dessert.
This is a simple picture book for younger readers and sums up beautifully the sibling relationship. Alice wants to copy every her big sister Laura does but takes it too far and Laura is very cross. However, it is alright in end (phew!) and they all dress up and go to play.
As well as being a gentle and familiar story that will appeal to many children especially those with a sibling, it is a beautiful depiction of every day life for pre-school and school age children. For the younger children who may be distracted easily, it works even without the narrative as there are pages on what Alice likes doing, teaching first words and simple counting. They are broken down into themes likes food, toys, and activities and work well as a stand alone feature.
I am happy to try any fiction as an adult, but that I love best is slightly older writing. My favourite writers are Stella Gibbons, PG Wodehouse and AA Milne. I love the nostalgic prose they write, that sums up an era I never experienced in tandem with sharp wit, satire and a humour that appeals to me. The Sunny Side by AA Milne is "short stories and poems for Proper Grown Ups". I could have happily picked many of his titles but this is my most dog eared copy that still even with child gets lugged everywhere in hope of catching ten minutes, and is a wonderful introduction to his style.
'"In London, it is raining. Looking out of my window I see a lampost (not in flower) beneath a low, grey sky. Here we see oranges against a blue sky a million times deep. What a blend! Myra, let's go to a fancy dress ball when we get back. You go as an orange and I'll go as a very blue, blue sky and you shall lean against me."
"And we'll dance the tangerine," said Myra'
My daughter at 16 months LOVES books, which makes me very happy. Next to stuffed Christmas Hedgehog and looking in the mirror, they are undoubtedly her favourite thing. She has recently learnt to "read" the right way up from front to back rather than upside down which I think must be very helpful! I always intended to read to her a bedtime, but after being Very Busy all day, she drops off like a light as soon as she is in her pyjamas so we read books throughout the day instead. (I'm not complaining)
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury is my favourite. It is a very simple rhyming book with lots and lots of babies, but the specialist one is at the end. It is a very gentle book with beautifully expressive fun pictures and is great for interacting for your baby, by counting said fingers and toes and looking at the pictures. There is nothing nicer than a baby on your lap looking at a book in a rare moment of calm quiet!