My favourite childhood books

When I was a little girl, I read and owned lots of books. Not really surprising for a potential author.

But when I was a slightly bigger girl, aged 12 or 13, I decided most of these books were babyish and I should get rid of them. Classics like the Famous Five, Paddington Bear, the Wombles, Time and Again Stories, Teddy Robinson, the Faraway Tree, Milly Molly Mandy, Little Grey Rabbit, My Naughty Little Sister, Mallory Towers, St Clares, Fantastic Mr Fox, Danny the Champion of the World, Richard Scarry’s Big Books, Jennings, Just William.

Hands up if you remember any of those.

Off they all went somewhere, I can’t even remember where. To a charity shop? To younger friends? All lost in the mists of time.

But now I have a little daughter who loves reading. So what am I doing? Slowly buying back these books, one by one, from online retailers, who, bless them, sell them for £2.00 or so.

It is making me laugh and cry to see the dear familiar covers and illustrations again. Whatever was I thinking to give them away?

My mum said she was the same at 12- she gave away all her childish things and regretted it. Luckily, she kept some of my books and I still have a few left. But my library needs re-filling.

I expect my daughter will be the same at 12, think she is far too grown up for children’s books and want to give them away. But I shan’t let her. I shall put her old books in the loft- out of sight, out of mind- til she wants them back for her children.

The latest batch, Milly Molly Mandy and Little Grey Rabbit, arrived in the post today- hardback editions! My daughter gave them a cursory glance, but I carefully wiped the old, slightly faded and torn covers and shed a tear of happiness.

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10 thoughts on “My favourite childhood books

  1. I ADORED the Richard Scarry books. I can remember sitting with my parents talking about the tiniest details in the pictures. I actually still have some of my most-loved books from when I was young–they’re falling apart but I can’t get rid of them-too many great memories!

    • You are very sensible. I wish I’d kept all mine 😦 I remember loving the Richard Scarry books too, its so great I managed to get the ‘Big Book of Words’ for my daughter 🙂

  2. I have tried to hold on to most of my books, even the ones that have crayon scribbled in them. When i went through that phase i gave away a few of the ones i had bought in later childhood, but most were put in boxes and hidden away for the next gen. My best friend has just had her first child and I’m looking out already for some of these classics to give to her. In my opinion they are much better presents than brats dolls and some of the crap kids want these days. ( geeze how old and cranky do I sound saying that lol)

    • Very wise. I have kept many of my books, the scribbled ones, but so many got cleared away in a frenzy of ‘growing up’.

      You are right, classic books are a great present. Try Amazon, some of the marketplace sellers give you a bargain 🙂

  3. I’ve been doing that as well. There are some wonderful YA books out there, but the ones that influenced me the most are the ones that I am buying for my own kids a little at a time.

    Authors like Alan Garner, Monica Hughes, Roald Dahl, Dianne Wynne Jones and certain Enid Blyton books are all in my sights – I read them as well as recommend them to my kids!

    • I’m always moaning about Amazon but in this case, I’m blessing them. I got a hardback copy of Little Grey Rabbit Treasury (RRP £8.99), for £2.50!

      And guess what, after I read a chapter to my daughter at bedtime, she was entranced. A good author is a good author, forever.

  4. Oh yes. I remember those books well and I too thought that I was too grown up for them at that age! Some autors, such as Enid Blyton even went out of fashion for a time, but I’m glad to say have now been reprinted and are in the book shops again.

    • Yes, maybe all kids go through that feeling of being too old for books and things.

      I think Enid Blyton went out of fashion for being racist and sexist, but they are set in specific eras, rather like history.

      • Yes we can’t change the views of the past as society changes over time and such books can even help us broach important subjects such as racism and sexism with our children as well as give them a love of reading.

      • Exactly Tina! I remember when I was a kid reading Enid Blyton books, it didn’t occur to me that they were modern stories. They were clearly 1950s or so, with contemporary morals and opinions. Historical, in some ways.

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