Friday, 7 January 2005

Books for the kid that was me

Disclaimer: This blog does not follow the pre-requisite 'formula' of "Commentary + Links + Extracts (quotes)" that is prescribed by a certain prominent blogger, and therefore should not be read by anyone.

As such, I don't really apologize to any readers who DO read this blog and are offended by the fact that I don't give a damn about the darn formula.

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Am in the middle of dissecting the entire history and countless rules of field hockey and condensing it into 1000 words, and failing miserably. Who knew cutting and pasting could be so hard?

Thankfully, I shot off a 700-word review of Zizou Corder's Lionboy: The Chase this morning. Meaning at least I got some work done, and I can't be accuse of slacking off at work reading blogs.

Anyway, while I was writing that review, I thought of all the nice little children's books that I used to read when I was a kid. I used to love Enid Blyton's books, especially those on The Faraway Tree.

In fact, when I was a kid, my sister and I used to have a nice little spot in the abandoned construction land near our house in Temerloh where we'd have our own versions of the Slippery-Slip slide that went down the middle of the Tree (I even came up with a Bumpity-Bump 'slide' later on. It hurt like hell.)

Anyway, I digress. Back to children's books. I liked Faraway Tree because I used to imagine as a kid what it would be like to go to the lands on top of the tree. The Wishing Chair books were pretty fun as well. I'd paste little wings on one of my little stools and pretend I was flying off to another land, where my Legos didn't get confiscated if my dad stepped on them.

Yup, my imagination was pretty wild back then.

Here, I have compiled a short list of children's books that I read in the past (whether as a kid or as an adult) that I would like to read to MY children in the future.

1) The Faraway Tree series, by Enid Blyton
Like I said, nothing fuels the imagination more than a man with a moon for a face, and a guy who thinks saucepans and kettles are high fashion.

2) The Lionboy series, by Zizou Corder
the book made me wish I could speak Cat too. It has cute characters and a nice story. Definitely better as a children's book than Harry Potter.

3) The Wee Free Men & A Hat Full of Sky, by Terry Pratchett
Lovely, lovely books that adults would enjoy reading to kids. Though personally, I'd leave this book off the bedtime story reading list until the kids are at least eight years old.

4) The Brer Rabbit books
Can't remember who wrote these, but Brer Rabbit's adventures were among my favorite stories when I was a kid.

5) The Mr and Little Miss series'
The first book I ever owned was Little Miss Magic (which I won, ironically, in a contest organized by The Star) back when I was only 8 years old. I tried to convince my dad to buy me more, but the lack of bookstores in Temerloh stopped THAT from happening. Anyway, I loved these books, because there were just so fun to read. And Mr Tickle is always good for a laugh. :-)

6) The Little Prince
This is a very charming book that I only got around to reading (and owning) a few years back. It's story is meaningful, and the drawings are cute too.

7) Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White
I loved this book too. And the ending is just so sad. :-(


Other books that I would keep around for my kids are:
  • Any Dr Seuss books
  • Enid Blyton's 'Five Find-Outers' books
  • All the Three Investigators books (I loved these!)

And no, Harry Potter is not there. And neither is His Dark Materials or Narnia. Don't ask me why, but I just don't really want my future kids to be reading these three series at too young an age.

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PS: Maybe when I get around to reading Daphne's copy of the Uncle stories, I might add it to the list too. It sounds fun, and the way Daphne gushes over it all the time, I think it SHOULD make the list sooner or later. :-)

PSS: My mom also collects a lot of children's books for pre-school children, and I think those are great as well. But that is another story.

Update: After more thought, I realised I left Little Prince and Charlotte's Web out of the list. So I've added them. :)

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