My passion for books started very early in my childhood. I remember my dad reading to us, for what back then seemed hours, in his clear, strong voice: Pinocchio, Pippi Longstocking, The Jungle Book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Anne of Green Gables… He read to us when we were really young and could not do it well ourselves, but he continued long after we learned to read. I think he enjoyed that cosy time with us when we were quiet and restful, absorbed in the imaginary worlds which he brought to life with his voice. I also suspect that he was simply fond of those stories, many of which he remembered from his own childhood. Re-reading them to us allowed him to immerse himself in these innocent adventures once again and took him back to his adolescence. I remember those hours spent together with a book with warmth and affection and I encourage all parents to share a book or two with their children this autumn. September is usually a busy month, with children going back to school and adults back to their work routine after the summer holidays, but evenings are still light and long, so try to find a little bit of time to read together. We promise you will find it soothing and bonding!
Here at Bloomsbury Reader we have a handful of vintage children’s books which we would love to share with readers of all ages.
One of our very favourite authors, Monica Dickens, wrote for children with the passion and flare of her great-grandfather Charles Dickens; The World’s End series is perfect for September evenings when the summer adventures are still a recent memory. Begin with The House at World’s End and before you know it, you will be speeding through the whole series, especially if you were a fan of the heart-warming adventures of brave and independent Pippi Longstocking.
If you are a fan of pirates and sea-adventures, try The Happy Mariners by Gerald Bullett and experience thrilling voyages and a treasure hunt with the four Robinson children, whose uneventful summer changes completely when they meet ‘the man from the sea’ one Saturday afternoon…
The Goalkeeper’s Revenge, a collection of short stories about growing up between the wars in Lancashire, may seem to be set in a bygone era, but the humour and depth of Bill Naughton’s writing will touch readers of any age. It’s a real treat for everyone who loved the exciting escapades of good-hearted urchins Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.
For a more grown up and reflective read for teens we recommend a coming-of-age novel, Adrian Glynde. Times may have changed beyond recognition since it was written in 1930, but loss, loneliness and finding one’s own place in the world are universal problems that teenagers need to learn to overcome while becoming adults. Martin Armstrong tackles these difficult issues with sensitivity and deep understanding.
For the full range of Bloomsbury Reader children’s titles click here.