Thank you so much to Halina Johnson from Vie Choufleur for her guest post about Books she is looking forward to reading to her son; when you read this I will be having fun at Butlins in Bognor Regis on a Just for Tots break.
Over to Halina…
Children’s books have always been a huge part of my life. As a child I was a huge reader, and that has never changed. Becoming lost in a story has always been one of my favourite things to do, and my opinions surrounding reading and its enjoyment have always been hugely along the lines of YAY, READING! YOU GO READING!
I cannot wait for my son to become of an age where I can read chaptered children’s books to him at bedtime. Sharing stories and building imaginations has to be one of the most exciting things you can do with your children. Just thinking about introducing him to certain fictional worlds gets my heart jumping up and down with frenzied excitement. I can’t wait to watch his eyes widen as I read the very first description of Hogwarts from the first Harry Potter book. I can’t wait to see if he experiences the same magical warmth mixed with terror as I did when Edmund accepts the White Witch’s drink and Turkish Delight, or if he feels the same fantastical happiness as when Mary enters the secret garden.
Here is a list of the children’s books that I cannot wait to introduce him to – the children’s books that I still, as an adult, read regularly, so as to remember that first glow of book love all over again:
The Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling
Because obviously, right? Confession: I was late to the game with this series. I only started reading at 16, but thereafter was HOOKED like the proverbial fish to the magical, incredible line. My son has already watched the first movie and enjoyed it, so I have high hopes for introducing him to Harry, to Hogwarts, to Muggles and Transfiguration and Honeydukes and Quidditch. I think I would cry if he didn’t enjoy these books.
Truckers, Diggers, Wings – Terry Pratchett
I began reading Pratchett at about eight years old – too young to understand most of the jokes, but young enough to appreciate the fantasy Discworld. With my son, I’ll try to wean him in using these three children’s books by the late great Sir Pratchett. They are still whimsically amusing, but focus on a tiny group of “nomes” battling against huge odds. I’d love this series to be my son’s introduction to Pratchett-esque off-beat humour.
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
Oh, be still my childhood heart. This tale of Mary, an orphan uprooted from India to the wild moors of North Yorkshire, still generates a flutter of epic FEELS in my chest. The mysteries of Misselthwaite Manor, the locked garden, the poor disabled boy shut away – it is an absolute GEM of a story. Unbelievably, I’m fighting back a tear at the anticipation of introducing it to my son.
The Little House Series – Laura Ingalls Wilder
A good dose of “See How Lucky You Are” never goes amiss with young childrenat times, am I right? That’s one of the core messages that I took from the Little House series in spades – no electricity, no cars, no comforts, sharing a bed with all of your siblings, rarely settling in one place… I still read this series every other year or so, and marvel at Laura’s life. The series gets a bad rep sometimes these days for its portrayal of Native Americans, however I see that as a chance to insert some extra education into any reading.
Goodnight Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian
Not that I love historical settings or anything, or that I’d be trying to cram history education into bedtime stories (I totally will be), but this is a children’s book that everyone should read. It gets dark at times – definitely best for those aged eight and above – but WHAT a story. The story of Willie Beech, the evacuee sent to the deepest countryside to be cared for by the reclusive, grumpy old Tom, melts my heart. I hope it melts my son’s, too.
Roald Dahl – ALL
The Witches, The BFG, Matilda, Henry Sugar, The Twits, James & The Giant Peach, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory…it is impossible for me to pick a favourite. The worlds he created are many and all are wonderful beyond belief. I still own every single one of his books and cannot wait for my son and to start working our way through them.
These are just a selection of the many, many more children’s books that I am eagerly looking forward to introducing to my son. I’m also hoping that together we will discover legions more – more stories that he will then look forward to introducing to his own children further (MUCH further!) down the line. With that in mind I’m always open to recommendations – what are the children’s books that you can’t wait to introduce to your children?
Thank you Halina – Don’t forget to check out Halina’s blog: www.viechoufleur.co.uk