Saturday, 1 June 2013

Armchair BEA - Childrens Literature

Design credit: 
Sarah of Puss Reboots
I grew up with Enid Blyton books and still have my original set if Noddy books. I have wonderful memories of sitting with my Grandmother as we progressed from Noddy to the other books by Enid Blyton; Mr Twiddle was a real favourite and yet my Grandmother never complained as we read over and over again.
At some point I progressed to the Famous Five and then to Nancy Drew books which I really enjoyed. Later on I read the Sweet Valley High books. I don't remember though making the shift from children's books to young adult and then to adult books.

Those early memories of reading on my Grandmother's knee were always very special and I guess it is where I felt safe and secure, not that I had any reason not to feel safe, but it was those special moments that we look back on and realise their importance.

I can remember my first library visit with my Mum, being issued 3 little cards and then exchanging them for round discs that represented books. The ticket in the back of the book then slotted into the card. All very time consuming and a lovely memory. I wrote about libraries back in March and you can read that post HERE.

I have always read, as Mum did and still does and my late Grandmother did. I am never far from a book and have a Kindle and iPad, but you can not beat holding those wonderful books in your hand and getting such pleasure.

I was encouraged to read and to explore different writing styles and genres and I love the feeling of being completely absorbed in a book. A few years ago for a course I was undertaking we had to ask for feedback from specific groups of people - parents, old elderly relative, sibling or close friend. I remember asking Mum the series of devised questions and Mum shared with me that she can tell when I am in a good book, because I grunt. Grunt? I was horrified and asked Mum to explain. She said that asking a question when I was reading a special book or one that I enjoying was pointless because I never listened to the question and would often just grunt a response. I am still mortified and apparently I do still do it, but not as bad. Mum simply said, she was to blame for indulging my book obsession.

Magyk by Angie SageI guess, even in childhood and then into young adult reading I liked cosy and nice books - books that have a feel good factor or a nice dose of reality. I didn't enjoy make belief worlds or vampires and things.

I have though read all the Harry Potter books and a few years ago stumbled across a book by Angie Sage called Magyk, which marked the first book in a set of 7. I have the hardback version with this cover and I can see the appeal for children. I have read the three of these books and I going to purchase the other 4 in the same hardback styled covers, then I will have a re read of the series, probably sometime next year. There is a blog which I note mentions that the first book, Magyk is going to be made into a movie, which I will go and see.

Whilst I do not like blood and guts books (of films) - the Stephen King style books I love cosy mysteries and whilst I like reality books I still love the Harry Potter books, I have no idea why for this contradictory state of affairs,but that is the way it is!

Kids these days have Nintendos, computer games and of course iPods and alike and I wonder if being a chid is shorter than when I was a kid. I got to experience books, jigsaws and games like twister, snakes and ladders and Monopoly - heck I still have my childhood set of Monopoly and Scrabble with all the original cards and bits. Perhaps, as a society we should take a step back and let children enjoy being children and be able to experience the thing we enjoyed as kids.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John BoyneWhen did we, as a society expect children to deal with the atrocities that the world throws at them? A book like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne deals with the Holocaust in a nice way, so that children can understand the details, and implications without the in the face brutality that it is.

I recall reading that book just after it first came out and I read it twice before I could make notes in my journal. Certainly it is a book that is suitable for adults and children and could be used as a discussion point for people whose ancestry has been affected by the Holocaust.

A great discussion point for the Armchair BEA, I have enjoyed my time down memory lane.

1 comment:

  1. I always feel really lucky that I had parents that read to me when I was little!


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