OK, another “easy” post. As much as I love to write, as noted in yesterday’s post, I also love to read. When I saw what today’s prompt would be, I started to think back to the books that stand out the most from my childhood. Titles, plots and characters came flooding back, and I had the task of narrowing down the memories to find my favourite book. I’ve concluded that I can’t just give one book the title of “Kate’s favourite childhood book.” There are four (well, 14 actually, but 11 of those are a part of a series, so I am counting that as just one).
In no particular order:
The Jolly Postman. Written by Janet and Allan Ahlberg in 1986, The Jolly Postman is the story of a postman who delivers letters to popular fairytale characters (Goldilocks, the Gingerbread Man, Cinderella, etc). The best part of the book is that the actual letters are enclosed in the book, that can be taken out and read as if the reader herself was the recipient. This is not just a book, it is an interactive experience! This book was followed up by The Jolly Christmas Postman, same concept, only this time incorporating a Christmas theme. I loved that one too!
Paddington Bear. Written by Michael Bond, in 1958, I’m sure many of you are familiar with Paddington Bear. If not, this is the basic synopsis: Paddington is found at Paddington railway station in London by the Brown family, sitting on his suitcase with a note attached to his coat which reads, “Please look after this bear. Thank you.” The Brown’s take him home, but Paddington soon finds himself in all sorts of situations, but because he is a polite and friendly bear, he always wins over his human family and friends. He also has a strange affinity for marmalade.
The photo of the book used here is the actual version of the book that I have. I’m not sure if it’s the original, but I’m certain it’s one of the earlier versions printed. Paddington got a bit of a new look, and is now more recognisable like this:
Corduroy. The only American book on my list, Corduroy, written by Don Freeman, is the story of a teddy bear who lives in a department store but is never bought. One day a little girl wants to buy him, but her mother points out that he is missing one of the buttons on his overalls. That night he decides to explore the department store in search of a button. He doesn’t find a button, but the next day he does find love and a home.
When I was seven-years-old, my grandfather bought me a bear who was just like Corduroy. He too had green corduroy overalls, so of course I named him Corduroy. He is my most treasured bear, and it’s easy to see, just by looking at him, that he has been loved. My mum has had to sew his arm back on a few times, and she even knitted him his own sweater (to help his arm stay in place). Now he’s on a shelf with Sean’s favourite bear, Mr. Bear. They’re best friends.
Finally, the Drina series, by Jean Estoril. I must have been nine or so when I started reading these books. Each summer when we went back to England, I’d pick up another Drina book. The series of books followed Drina Adams, a young girl with hopes of becoming a ballerina. I felt a special connection to these books, as I was similar age to Drina in each book (she got older in each book, and I tended to read one per year) and I loved to dance.
I’m actually considering re-reading this series again. I’ll need to fish them out of a box in the basement first though!
I could go on and on about more books that I loved while growing up. As you can see, it was difficult to narrow it down to just one favourite. This love of reading has continued, and I try to read something every night before bed. Whether it’s a chapter from a novel or an article from Professionally Speaking or the Talking Stick, I like to unwind from the day with a book in hand.