I’m a total book worm and have buried myself in stories for as long as I can remember and I’ve always made sure I read with the children every single night. As a result, much to my joy, I have two little boys that can’t get enough of it and Edith is beginning to show promise as a mini book lover too. In a world of tablets and TVs it could be all too easy to forget to inspire them with paperbacks but I know from personal experience how the books we read as children can be the ones that influence us most when we are adults.
Perhaps it’s a little early to be configuring a library for the grandchildren – but I just can’t help thinking about the timeless books that I’ll be sharing with generations of our family to come, especially after watching my mum with the boys reading some of my childhood books.
Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
This technically isn’t one book, but this collection was my absolute favourite as a child and Roo is at the age where we have been reading the first together. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve revisited these books, reliving the adventures and submerging myself in the magical world of Hogwarts. Discovering these books seems like a rite of passage for kids nowadays and that makes me very happy.
I’m dying to go to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in London and the boys would be as enthralled as they were with the Universal Studio’s world. I’m not sure how much fun Edith will find The Making of Harry Potter tour, but maybe the giant spiders in the forbidden forest will be enough to captivate her!
Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
We are big Roald Dahl fans in our house and Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of the kids favourites. It’s just brilliant – better than the weird Wes Anderson’s film adaptation, with George Clooney and Meryl Streep depicting Mr and Mrs Fox – neither the boys nor I particularly approved of it. What’s so great about Roald Dahl’s books is that they’re equally as enjoyable for adults as they are children, and it’s often a case of the parent, not the child, begging for ‘just one more page’.
There’s a fantastic little Museum and Story Centre in Buckinghamshire in the village where Roald Dahl lived before he died. Places like these really are fantastic as they really bring the stories and authors to life. What better way to feel inspired than to sit in Roald Dahl’s armchair and explore his replica writing shed?
Charlotte’s Web by E.B White
I haven’t even read this one with Edith yet but I know that it will be one of the many classics we share together. It’s a wonderful story about the unlikely friendship between a little girl, a pig and a spider and covers all manner of issues from life and death to the power of love and importance of looking after each other. I’m welling up just thinking about it – this will definitely be on the shelf in the grandkids’ room.
Oh the places you’ll go by Dr. Seuss
It’s one of our jobs as parents to inspire and fill our children with confidence, and this whimsical little book is a great tool for making them feel like they can conquer the world. It even makes me feel good when I whizz through the rhyming prose full of possibility. In his last published book, Dr. Seuss explores the journey of life which can be full of challenges but reminds its reader, of all ages, that we can all move mountains.
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Originally published in 1922, there’s something very comforting about this timeless tale. The story tells of the love between a little boy and his stuffed rabbit who is eventually brought to life by a fairy. The narrative is full of important life lessons, including listening to the people that matter and remembering that being sensitive isn’t a bad thing. It’s also a great introduction to philosophy, prompting never ending discussions about what makes something real.
What are your favourite childhood stories, and will you be sharing any of these with your children and grandchildren as they grow up?