Books I’m loving re-discovering…and those I’d rather forget!

Today a kindly elderly relative informed me that he had purchased the below collection for my boys:

Thomas collection

Thomas the Tank Engine. Sixty-eight books. Sixty…Eight… that’s right people – that equates to one book a week for a year and four months. I admit it, my heart sank. Because lets face it, who’s going to be stuck reading these ‘treasures’? Not the hubster that’s for sure – he hates them as much as I do and he’s hardly ever around for bedtime anyway (the kids are too frenetic for daytime stories).

Obviously I am a girl so I have never had to think too much about steam trains or any other form of transport for that matter until now. I now know more than I would care to admit about shunting, sidings, and what can go wrong if you’re a bit of pompous twot and don’t learn quicksmart to have a bit of humility (either trial by bull on the line or a super humiliating dressing down from some officious chubby official).

As I would have quite liked a girl (no offence boys!) I picked out fairly neutral decorations and toys when JJ was first born – avoiding all the blues and cars and superheroes and fire engines. OK so this hasn’t lasted – I’m pretty sure ‘bus’ was his first word and I still excitedly point out approaching buses now, even when I’m on my own in the car *rolls eyes madly*.

However, some sanity has to prevail and I’m thrilled that my Mum has held onto plenty of the childhood books which my sister and I used to enjoy (not that I envisage either child ever becoming engrossed in the doings of Milly Molly Mandy). Nowadays when we’re staying the night at Grandma’s we all snuggle up on the bed together for a nostalgic foray into the world of Topsy and Tim complete with 21st century toddler-baffling references to pea-souper fogs and red telephone boxes:

Topsy and Tim go FishingTopsy and Tim and the Foggy Day

Or a charming reminder of those wonderful Ladybird “Well-Loved Tales” that seem to have a completely timeless quality to them:

the enormous turnipthe magic porridge potRumpelstiltskinGoldilocks

The volumes above are all tales which JJ adores and, as I’m never going to be able to force him into my old pinafore dresses or impose my Tiny Tears on either of them, I guess I’ll have to be happy with gender neutrality and accept the fact that even “Well loved Tales” are not going to get a look in if they involve any kind of romantic element (scratch Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella* and Snow White and Rose Red – all of which I love! Sob!). Hi ho, hi ho…

What about you? Have you re-discovered any much loved and almost forgotten childhood favourites? This has got to be one good reason for having children surely?!

*JJ at the panto “Cinderella” during Prince Charming and Cinderella’s brief flirtation at the ball: “Can we please go home now Mummy?”…

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25 thoughts on “Books I’m loving re-discovering…and those I’d rather forget!

  1. I did like Topsy & Tim! My children would love those Thomas books, too, though – they are BIG Thomas fans! My mum kept my Brambly Hedge books, which are gorgeous and I’m looking forward to Boo reading Blyton’s classics.

  2. I’m pleased to say we don’t have the ultimate collection of Thomas the Tank books but we do have A LOT of dinosaur books which is great and not so great all at the same time. I have bought my son lots of books I read as a child though and I’m pleased to say he loves them too. Whatever Next by Jill Murphy is one of our favourites and he loves all the ladybird books which my Mum kept.

  3. Oh my goodness, the enormous turnip, I’m certain we did a play of that in school and I played the turnip, haha!
    Anyway, I’m looking forward to my kids being old enough to read the far away tree series, they were my absolute favourite books as a child and I hope my children will enjoy them too. I still have the early versions of the books, when it was ok to have book character called fanny and dick, imagine that! I remember I always used to giggle at the name fanny!
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    • Ha ha to playing the turnip in the school play Lauren! Excellent memory. I don’t think I ever read the Faraway Tree series but it certainly seems to resonate with a lot of people! Fanny and Dick. Awesome. 🙂

  4. What wonderful stories to relive with your children. As my youngest two are now teenagers and the oldest two adults it has been some time since I read stories at bedtime. This post has inspired me to make it a point to share some of my favorite classic bedtime stories with my grandchildren, both step and biological. Thanks for linking up at #brilliantblogposts.
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    • Oh yes – my mum has been enjoying re-discovering the bedtime story experience too I think! It is one of my favourite childhood memories – her reading to me and my sister – all snuggled up in bed together! X

    • It is nice isn’t it? Sometimes I actually cry when I think what an awesome mum I have and how I may never be as good a person or mother as her. Love her for saving all those wonderful books. X

    • Its nice to combine nostalgia with parenting isn’t it?! I think we all secretly have children partly to get back in touch with a our roots and relive our favourite bits of childhood from the other side of the fence. X

    • Ooh yes old Enid got away with some ridiculously un-pc stuff didn’t she? It’s amazing how many books she actually wrote though and how many people remember one or other of her book series’ as favourites of their childhood. X

  5. Wow! I *love* so many older books, and it’s such a shame a lot of them are out of print now. Some of my kids favourite books can’t be recommended on my blog because they’re left from when I was a kid (in Canada) and impossible to find nowadays. Funny how some books are just timeless. Love your list, thanks so much for sharing #BrilliantBlogPosts

    • Oh Peter and Jane! I bloody loved them. Although I think we only had one to be honest but you know how some books just seem to have this power over you where, in your memory you feel like it was more than just a book – there was something a bit magic about it? That! With Peter & Jane – I know, weird! 🙂 X

  6. Love those old Ladybird books 🙂 My 3 year old daughter adores the Topsy and Tim books (and the cbeebies programme… and the old cartoon versions we found on Youtube…!). I can’t wait to introduce her to some of my childhood favourites as she gets a bit older, such as Pippi Longstocking, the Famous Five, Roald Dahl, Anne of Green Gables – I could go on and on!! Of course, I can’t expect that she’ll enjoy all the books I loved but hopefully we’ll find some old and new to read together #brilliantblogposts
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