There is a shelf on my bookcase which is reserved for those special books, ones which I have had and read for years, and still love. I’m not sure why I kept them all until now- except that I couldn’t really think of parting with them, and so there they all are, lined up neatly anticipating being re-read and read by some younger eyes when our little ones are able!
In the past couple of weeks I have found it really restful and enjoyable when I need to take some time out in the evening or just ten minutes whilst Simeon naps and Phoebe is at preschool, to grab one of those lovely paperbacks, make a hot chocolate, run a bath or just sit on the sofa and read some beautiful and familiar stories.
Perhaps you have small people at home to share tales with, or you are in need of an easy yet beautiful and inspiring read yourself. These authors are sure to hit the spot- just a selection of a huge number which I love and hope to continue to share. Some books just stand the test of time- no matter how old you are when you read them, they are still able to evoke the magic that they did when you were younger (or if you missed out then, your chance has not disappeared!). The more I read these books the more I love them, and I hope you do, or will too.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little House on the Prairie Books– I’m reading from the start again with these at the moment, and Im just reacquainting myself with Laura, Mary and their family’s simple way of life in the Little House in the Big Woods. The joyful simplicity of their lives, their family relationships and their own childhood conveyed in the book has always captured my imagination. It’s somewhat like taking a deep breath and stepping away from modern life, into the wonderful world that Wilder conveys.
Frances Hodgson Burnett
It took me such a long time to realise that two of my most favourite stories (and that is like choosing a favourite child, but my statement still remains!) were actually both written by the same author. Both are captivating, magical and inspired my imagination both as a youngster and even now re-reading them through adulthood. Passing these tales on to my littles is going to be such a joy.
A Little Princess– The earliest memory I have of this story is fragments from the film which we watched one rainy playtime at school. I was enraptured by the story of a little girl who lives in the attic, her princess attitude and her fascinating friends. Years later (or so it seemed to my young mind!) I was thrilled to find it in the bookshop and take it home to read and savour for myself.
The Secret Garden– I always loved the idea of a wild and yet beautiful garden, locked away behind that wall covered in ivy. The way that the Secret Garden helps to turn Mary’s attitude and enjoyment of life around shows how she learns how to navigate life in tune with nature that she discovers there.
Anne of Green Gables series– I loved this series. I’ve got a mis-matched second hand set of them and have held onto and re-read them. A fiery and red-headed orphan, Anne has the most beautiful way of seeing the world and life, despite the mistakes she frequently makes. Following her journey through the books as I also grew up was wonderful. I believe Lucy Montgomery wrote another series or two which I haven’t read, so perhaps some time I will get the chance to find those and undoubtedly enjoy them too, perhaps this time with some little people to read them to.
I have four or five Noel Streatfield books, from the popular Ballet Shoes to Winter Shoes, the Painted Garden and Gemma Alone. She is able to draw on a variety of different situations, children and inspirations to create equally enchanting tales which I was happy to read more and more of when I came across them in our bookshop. Her writing and stories always appealed to me as a child and I don’t think that has changed now I’m older.
What were your favourite books, or authors as a child? I’d love to know if any were the same or if you have different choices.