Six for Sunday: Childhood Favourites
Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve joined in with #SixforSunday and I was so excited to shine a spotlight on kidlit during April…oh well, better late than never, right?
The prompt for this week was actually 2018 favourites, but I am terrible at remembering release dates so I decided to go for the prompt from the week before which is looking at childhood favourites. At first I thought it was going to be impossible, as I have always been a bookworm, but I decided to pick out the first six books from my childhood that I remember reading, rereading and rereading.
All of these books have been, in some way, formative experiences for me as a reader and have shaped my likes and dislikes as well as the kind of books I seek out.
Have you read any of them? Do you spot any favourites?
Alanna, The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
I read and reread this, although I didn’t have my own copy for years so just borrowed it every few months from my local library! I feel like this book shaped my reading tastes a lot – it is full of magic, intrigue and danger and I loved the fact that Alanna disguised herself as a boy to follow her dreams. This has probably shaped my interests so I love fantasy books with female characters with lots of agency!
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
I’m sure that Roald Dahl’s irreverent humour is popular with lots of children, especially when he pokes fun at adults. These Revolting Rhymes twist familiar fairytales in a fun and often disgusting way. As a kid they made me giggle and I love reading them to my class as a teacher too! I have always loved fractured fairytales and fairytale retellings – perhaps this book is part of the reason why I do!
The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye
This is a book that I picked up in a library sale and I adored it. It follows an ordinary princess – she has brown hair and is quite plain, unlike her older sisters who are all the perfect, stereotypical image of fairytale princesses with golden hair and unfreckled skin. So she sets off on her own adventure, along the way meeting lots of people including a prince who isn’t that fussed about fighting dragons, etc. I loved how this book gently challenged stereotypes, and I feel that this was also a formative book for me as I actively search for wider representation in the books I read and present to my pupils. It is really important for children to have access to mirror books (which reflect aspects of their own experience) as well as window books (those which offer a view of someone else’s experience).
The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas and Helen Oxenbury
My mum bought this for me for my birthday when I was quite small and I must have read it a hundred times since then! As mentioned above, I love fairytale retellings with a twist and this book is just perfect in so many ways, from the creative solutions the Big Bad Pig comes up with to the emotional illustrations.
Today is my Mum’s birthday, so it would also be a good time to thank her for always supplying me with loads of books, modelling reading herself and taking us to the library at least once or twice every week so we would always have a ready supply of reading material!
Which Witch? by Eva Ibbotson
This was another book that I had almost permanently checked out from the library – I read it and reread it so many times! I have always enjoyed stories about witches and the characters in this book really caught my imagination as all of the witches are so varied and so human in their flaws. Yet another book that I can credit with shaping my reading tastes (i.e. if it has ‘witch’ in the tile I will pick it up and I’m a character-driven reader)
Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr Seuss
This is a classic and rightly so, as it encourages children to aspire to catch their dreams while acknowledging that things don’t always go to plan. At different times in my life I have taken different messages from this, but it is one book which I read to my class at the beginning and the end of each academic year, that I give to my friends when they have a child and one that I would hope to read to my own children one day. Perhaps this one is responsible for my wanderlust…that or the house full of souvenirs and photographs from my parents going around the world before I was born!
#SixforSunday is created by Steph from A Little But a Lot.
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Thanks for reading!