I think I’ve said in a previous post how the Domestic King used to read to me when I was little, which then led to me being an avid reader. The books that I read as a child have stayed with me over the years and I have strong allegiances to many of them. I quite often end up buying my absolute favourites for the various children in our lives, in the hope that they’ll get as much pleasure from them as I did. I read an article recently about people’s favourite childhood books and it caused quite a debate amongst the readers and prompted me to think about mine. Here are five of my all time favourite books from my childhood (in no particular order). I’ll be sharing some of the others with you over the coming weeks.
Just seeing the cover on this book can take me back to being about two or three. The Snowy Day was first published in October 1976, and I think it was one of my Christmas presents that year. It beautifully captures the magic and sense of excitement of the first snowfall. Do you remember seeing snow for the first time when you were a child? Well for me, this book recreates that excitement and feeling beautifully. I remember this book taught me how to make snow angels!
Nobody who knows me will be surprised that I’ve included The Very Hungry Caterpillar in my list. I don’t know what it is that I love so much about this book. It’s a true classic. Even now I really enjoy reading it. I love the illustrations, and the final metamorphosis at the end. It’s a great book for helping little ones to understand days of the week and counting. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of this book.
I loved ballet; it consumed many, many hours of my childhood. So, Ballet Shoes resonated strongly with me. It’s the story of the Fossil sisters, who are orphaned at birth. Pauline, Petrova and Posy, are taken in by Great Uncle Matthew, “GUM” and initially live a privileged life. However, when times get tough, their guardian, Sylvia, GUM’s cousin, takes in lodgers to help with the finances. Some of the lodgers decide to send them to stage school, so they can eventually earn their own money. Pauline dreams of becoming an actress, Petrova hates acting school, and Posy dreams of becoming a dancer. Noel Streatfeild exquisitely brings the girls to life, I felt I knew Pauline, Petrova and Posy and loved the yearly vows they pledged to each other. Ballet Shoes is a truly enchanting story that has most definitely stood the test of time.
This was one of my set books for my English Literature GCSE exam. I remember the sinking, oh no feeling, when my English teacher announced that this is what we’d have to study. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Within the first few pages, I was completely gripped by the tale of George and his big childlike friend, Lennie, and the story of them trying to find work to help them live the American dream. I think I read it in one sitting, so enthralled was I. It’s a beautifully written piece of literature, that has stayed with me ever since, and which I’ve re-read three or four times. I think my fifth will be very soon.
I adored reading Milly Molly Mandy, the girl in the pink and white candy striped dress. Milly Molly Mandy is a collection of heart-warming stories about a little girl in the country and her adventures: life in the village, going to school, running errands, fishing, picnics with her friends Susan and Billy Blunt, blackberrying – just normal country life things. The stories are simple, but somehow end up being quite special. I would find it hard to believe that any little girl under the age of 8 or 9 wouldn’t be enchanted by Milly Molly Mandy and her adventures.
Did you enjoy reading as a child? Which are your favourite childhood books? I’ll be back in a few weeks to share some more of mine.
With much love
The Domestic Princess