We reached the point at home where the books my Dad put away from my childhood can finally be unearthed. My eldest is nearly six and relishes the opportunity to choose the next book from the drawer of those books, which up until now have been too old for her.
The whole thing is fascinating. Certain books which I loved as a child are in honesty not much fun to read. I adored Milly Molly Mandy growing up, reinforced by my Dad using it as an affectionate term for me probably. I remember loving the picture in the front of the whole family lined up and labelled beneath, and the map of the village. But whole chapters revolve around her going to shop and buying things for members of her family. Not exactly scintillating stuff.
On the other hand I loved Worst Witch by Jill Murphy and now my girls are both very enthusiastic about her. And I myself laughed out loud at points. It’s probably not as gripping as I thought it was going to be but that’s probably something to do with my age.
Then there are the books with bits which frankly are a bit inappropriate. When I got to the chapter in “Lotta” called “the one in which Lotta nearly swears” I braced myself. It was a bit odd because the swear word was “damn” which is fairly mild in today’s climate I suppose, but it still made me wince reading it to Tilly as she said it on every page. I wouldn’t want them shouting it in the playground. The children were left at home alone a lot in the story which Tilly found a bit confusing and was somewhat tricky to explain. Probably the trickiest part though was when she found a pair of scissors and cut up her new jumper, then moved out to live in the next door neighbours barn. And that was just tricky because I didn’t want the girls to get any ideas…
The House That Sailed Away by Pat Hutchins went well. Apart from the fact that the mother is depicted as a dense silly woman and the mother in law is a raging alcoholic. Oh and the bit about cannibals was interesting.
The best one so far though has to be Issi Noho. It’s a story about a Chinese magic panda. If even includes a maths puzzle every time he uses magic so was right up Tilly’s street. Ironically I don’t remember reading it as a child but I must have.
And next she’s picked the Borrowers. All four books in one which will take months to read probably but she’s excited so I’ll work out some answers for “can we just have another chapter mummy?” and get started. Just like my Dad did for me when I was little.