Almost as soon as I learnt to read, my parents introduced me to Enid Blyton, and for many years, I graduated from one set of books to the next. Sure, there were the occational Pollyannas, and the Hedies, and the Secret Gardens and, the March sisters thrown in, but for the most part, I stuck to reading and re-reading and re-re-reading the Enid Blytons. With the result that, though I spent the best part of my childhood reading, when it comes to Children's books, I am almost functionally illiterate.
Some months back, two European friends were arguing about whether or not the holiday home one of them stayed in resembled the house Pippi Longstocking grew up in. Considering I had only heard her name a couple of weeks back when I had read the first of Stieg Larsson's trilogy, I was incredibly inpressed by how well my friends knew their books. That weekend, while looking for books for my kids, I chanced up the Astrid Lindgren classic, and bought it for myself.
A couple of weeks after I fell in love with Pippi, I ordered a copy of Charlotte's Web, which for some inexplicable reason doesn't seem to want to vacate Mt. TBR (Mount To Be Read, for the uninitiated). But a few weeks after that, I was taken in by Matilda's grin, and brought her home along with The Railway Children. Both books I finished within a week, and I can barely wait till my next visit to the bookstore so can stock up on more 'children's books'.
The official reason for my interest in those books is that I am surveying the market for my six and a half year old. But given the fact that he is currently struggling slightly even at the Mary Pope Osborne level, I know that there is no way he is going to be ready for any of those books for at least another year.
There may just be something wrong in my internal wiring- but I have liked all the 'childrens' books' that I have read recently; genuinely liked, not condescendingly liked in that 'they are good for children's books' kind of way.
And if by reading them, I am better placed to introduce my kids to the magical world of books, can anyone ask for more?
And, and, since this is a great place to ask. Any recommendations?