We are big fans of books in our house. Before having children I would buy myself books on photography, cookbooks, novels, vintage travel guides, old atlases, anything that caught my eye. Having children seemed to break my attention span for novels. It takes me so long to read one that it has to be very gripping to keep me reading to the end. I’m sure I’ll return to devouring novels weekly eventually, it’s just not happening at the moment.
That’s not to say I don’t read. I read all the time to the children. I can’t pass a charity shop without picking up a few books for the little monkeys, and if there are any vintage Ladybird in stock or other old books filled with soft-focused, watercolour illustrations – like the one below – then I’m a total sucker for those too.
Today is World Book Day and it got me thinking about favourite books. I don’t have a favourite book. How can you narrow all the books in the world down to one favourite??? Baffling concept! The children are quite fickle too when it comes to having favourites. They both usually have one or two books a week though that are on high rotation, with a few exceptions that are always a hit like The Gruffalo and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
At the moment, Shine can’t get enough of There’s an Ouch in my Pouch by Jeanne Willis and Garry Parsons.
Several times a day she asks for ‘ouch in pouch’. I don’t blame her either, it’s a beautifully written, sing-songy rhyming tale about a wallaby who outgrows his mother’s pouch. There is sneezing – ‘atishoo atishoo’ – which she finds hilarious, and gorgeous bright illustrations. It is one of those books that just rolls of your tongue and is an absolute joy to read. I love also that it’s set in the Australian bush as it reminds me of books I read growing up, like Blinky Bill and books by Maeve Binchy with characters like the Banksia men and gumnut babies.
This week Sun’s favourite is a book called The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. I think he loves it because it plays with classic children’s literature. The postman delivers letters to the famous characters, like the three bears, the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella. It’s fascinating to watch Sun begin to pick up on things like the narrative subversion in this book. He loves that each page has a real envelope and a little letter inside too. I’m happy that he has moved on from wanting Bernie Drives a Truck for the billionth time!
I don’t see how I’m ever going to be able to part with the books that have been such a part of my children’s childhood. So many memories tied up in these pages. I am going to need a lot of loft storage when I’m old! Is everyone else as crazily sentimental as me?!
Happy World Book Day lovely people!
PS. I didn’t get sent these books or asked to review them, we just love them.