Gill is a nursery nurse who spends her time looking after pre school children, and secretly enjoying the stories she reads them more than they do!
Here are her memories of her favourite childhood books:
I look back at my childhood and have many good memories of my books. My imagination was fired through the stories of writers like C.S. Lewis and his Chronicles of Narnia; the animal stories of Beatrix Potter; A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh; J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan; Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden and all the many different books of Enid Blyton.
In C. S. Lewis’s tales I entered a magical world of children and talking animals, with the evil witch, tempting Edmund with Turkish Delight, and the heroic and self sacrificing lion who saves him, and everyone else, Aslan.
With Beatrix Potter it was the complex illustrations and simple stories that kept me interested. The books are still special to me today.
In Winnie the Pooh I explored emotions and friendship with the silly old bear with his appetite for honey. I loved the story of Winnie The Pooh and some Bees, and I always had a soft spot for Piglet and the sadness of Eeyore.
I also loved A. A. Milne’s poems, and; ‘Now We Are Six’ is still one of my favourite books. I can recite all the verses in it, and I love them just as much as I ever did.
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was another favourite. I really enjoyed the Cheshire Cat and his silly grin, and the episode where the baby turns into a pig. My favourite character is the Queen and her shrieks of ‘Off with her head!’ And for me, the silly verses are a delight.
All these figures and characters and scenes made me think and delight in books. I always had a book in my hand , even at the dinner table, just like children today are glued to their phones.
My thinking about what I had read, and the emotions the stories stirred in me inspired me to write poetry and stories. I didn’t mind that that no one saw it.
In later years I read Ann Frank’s diary and through her words I lived the heart break of living in secret and it made me write a diary of my own.
I urge you all to read wlith your children and let them read to you. Make up your own stories. Let your imagination run riot.
When I had my own child, my daughter listened every night to her dad’s cat stories enjoying their special world and the time they spent together.
And the most important message about reading?
Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy.