OK, so we’re always seeing lists of the top ten things of our time. Places, books, films. You name it, there’s a top ten list for everything. When I first started writing this blog, I was going to write down MY top ten list of children’s books – the books that shaped me (yes, number one was that classic of children’s classics, The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett).
But then I wondered if it might be more interesting to compile the top 10 books I NEVER read as a child. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have a book-deprived childhood. Quite the opposite. My mother encouraged me to read everything and anything from C.S.Lewis right through to Enid Blyton. So I don’t know why, but some of the classics still past me by – probably because I simply didn’t get round to them! Anyway, here’s my list for what it’s worth. Make sure that none of them are missing from yours!
(1) Charlotte’s Web by E.B.White, a beautifully written and heart-breakingly sad classic. I really did only read this as an adult. I won’t spoil the ending for you!
(2) Mary Poppins by P.L.Travers – I watched the Disney film numerous times but I’m ashamed to say that I never read the original book until this year. Cherry Tree Lane is now indelibly etched in my memory. Magical.
(3) The Twits – Roald Dahl. I read all the other Roald Dahl’s but this one escaped me. How I laughed out-loud with my son at the two horrible creatures in this cackling children’s classic.
(4) The Hobbit – J.R.R.Tolkien
(5) Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome – nothing much happens in these children’s adventures, but who would not want to live and breathe the carefree existences of the stories.
(6) The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling – again, immortalised by the film, but the book is quite phenomenal.
(7) When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit – by Judith Kerr. A deeply moving tale of life in war-time.
(8) The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
(9) Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss – unforgettable words that stay with you forever.
(10) Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery