After yesterday's post on authors dressing up as their favourite childhood characters, I thought I'd share some of the books I remember from my early years. A few of my favourite hardbacks.
It all really begins with Puddle Lane. These were just the best idea for teaching kids to read. Dad would read one each night, and they're split into two parts - see above. On one page is the smaller print for the adults to read, then in larger print is the part for the kids to read. I always had to read my bit before he'd turn the page. I'm not sure they're still in print, but there's a full title list here.
The Mirrorstone both fascinated and scared me all at the same time, as any good book should. I was fascinated by the holograms which were embedded on the pages, but scared by the story. Especially where the boy steps through a puddle into a watery world where he almost drowns. The book is the product of several authors, including Michael Palin of Monty Python fame. A very unusual read.
Old Farm, New Farm appears to have become a bit of a collector's item. This one was special because it was a gift from my maternal grandmother. Mum read it to me many times, and I would always reach for it when I didn't really want to go to sleep, because - as kids' books go - it's quite long. It's all about an old, run-down farm, and how the farmer cleans it up and makes it new again.
Oleg the Snow Leopard is beautifully illustrated. Again, I was a little unsure of it: I loved the pictures, but the story was about Oleg being hunted down and wounded, and how his friends saved him. I also liked it because it was set in a land of ice and snow, which is something I've always been drawn to in stories. I think all children find joy in snow. After all, it signals a day off school.
The Patchwork Cat is another beautifully illustrated book. It's all about a cat, Tabby, whose owner throws away her favourite patchwork blanket. She goes on an adventure to retrieve it, and her catchphrase: "Good morning, good yawning," was oft repeated at the breakfast table.