Children’s books

Hmm – every so often mine remind me of some old favourites.

Harry the dirty dog – Harry is a white dog with black spots who loves everything . . . except baths. So one day before bath time, Harry runs away. He plays outside all day long, digging and sliding in everything from garden soil to pavement tar. By the time he returns home, Harry is so dirty he looks like a black dog with white spots. His family doesn’t even recognize him!

My Naughty little sister – Dorothy Edwards’ classic story about one naughty but very entertaining little sister. My naughty little sister is stubborn and greedy and full of mischief. She tries to cut off the cat’s tail and eats all the trifle at Harry’s party! How much bother can one little sister be?

Where the wild things are – One night Max puts on his wolf suit and makes mischief of one kind and another, so his mother calls him ‘Wild Thing’ and sends him to bed without his supper. That night a forest begins to grow in Max’s room and an ocean rushes by with a boat to take Max to the place where the wild things are. Max tames the wild things and crowns himself as their king, and then the wild rumpus begins. But when Max has sent the monsters to bed, and everything is quiet, he starts to feel lonely and realises it is time to sail home to the place where someone loves him best of all.

In the Night Kitchen – Sendak’s hero Mickey falls through the dark into the Night Kitchen where three fat bakers are making the morning cake. So begins an intoxicating dream fantasy, described by the artist himself as ‘a fantasy ten feet deep in reality’.

A Lion in the Meadow – When the little boy tells his mother he has seen a big, roaring, yellow, whiskery lion in the meadow, she decides to make up a story for him too and gives him a matchbox with a tiny dragon inside.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea – When the doorbell rings unexpectedly one afternoon, Sophie and her mummy can’t imagine who might be there. Much to their surprise, a tiger with a very large appetite has come to tea! What will they tell Daddy when he returns home and finds all the cupboards bare?

Not to mention The Cat in the Hat, James and the Giant Peach and others by Roald Dahl, The Very Hungry Caterpillar ……

We don’t need to mention Enid Blyton then do we? Nor the fact that I had some very old Muffin the Mule annuals that amused at least one for some time. Amazingly you can still buy some of these sixty years later!

I wish that there had been so many good books around for children when I was growing up. For me it was Enid Blyton, Muffin the Mule, Heidi and Little Women.

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