Saturday, 10 November 2012

Story Corner

One of the sadder things about watching The Children grow and mature is that they move on from certain childhood favourites. At about this time each year we have a bit of a clearout in readiness for the new toys, books and games that Christmas will bring, and those outgrown items get passed on to friends or donated to charity shops. Some I wave off with glee, but others with a twinge of sadness, as they signal the end of an era and mean that we bid goodbye to particular happy times reading or playing together.

Some items though we just could not part with. At every stage, we've set aside certain books and toys as 'keepers', sometimes because they're special to The Children but more often because they're special to me! They're worth hanging on to because when friends visit with young children we'll have something suitable for them to play with, and perhaps eventually, one day, a long time from now, The Children's own children will enjoy these old favourites too....

Today I want to show you some of our favourite 'keeper' books :)

In no particular order then - or rather, from the top of the pile down, so in size-of-book order!

1. One Moose, Twenty Mice by Clare Beaton

This book is a thing of beauty. It's a chunky board book with colourful images, and on each page you find a certain number of animals - and, somewhere, sometimes quite cleverly hidden, is a cat!

But the reason I totally adore this book is that each page is from an original piece that's been stitched from felt, with little button and ribbon and sequin accents - just stunningly beautiful :)

2. But Where Is The Green Parrot? by Thomas and Wanda Zacharias

This book was a favourite of mine as a child, though this is not my original copy! It's another 'find the hidden item on every page' type book. Mostly the parrot is pretty easy to find, with one or two challenges or red herrings included too. Again, the colours are bright and appealing, but this time the illustrations are simple line drawings.

The main reason for keeping this one though is for the story The Mother always tells, of how I used to insist that in the page where the parrot hides in a tree, he was wearing a hat.... (See the front cover above!)

3. Bears In The Night by Stan and Jan Berenstain

I was delighted to come across this book in a bookshop - I'd completely forgotten it, but as soon as I saw it the memories flooded back! The story is very simple, with lots of repetition, so very suitable for young children.

Look at that cute bear face :) Lots of 'positional language', too!

4. Patrick by Quentin Blake

Good old Quentin Blake - his style is instantly recognisable, and I love his use of colour!

Look how this chap goes from drab and downcast to colourful and jolly :)

5. The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl

For slightly older children, a fun tale of a sneaky crocodile who gets out-sneaked!

More stunning illustrations, too - thanks to our friend Quentin Blake again :)

6. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Such a classic, and written by a real character - the Year 2 class I work with got to meet Julia Donaldson recently, though unfortunately I wasn't able to go with them. She's clearly as mad as a box of cats, but in a good way!! This is such a fun story, with a lovely rhythm to it and just enough repetition.

I love that Scheffler gets an equal credit on the cover, though, because the illustrations complement the story so beautifully :)

7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Another classic - every child should experience a bit of very hungry caterpillar in his or her life!

I love the holes through the pages to show what he'd eaten!

8. We're Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

Another simple tale beautifully told, with just the right amount of repetition for a child to quickly become familiar with it. The illustrations are lovely, soft watercolours this time.

This particular copy is special because it was presented to The Tomboy after her class (Year 1 at the time) did a performance of it in an assembly :)

9. There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly (based on a nursery rhyme, author unknown, illustrated by Pam Adams)

Although this isn't my childhood copy, it is just the same as the one I had - on each page there's a slightly bigger cut-out, so you can see the next animal she swallowed!

Interested in the full nursery rhyme? You can see it here :)

10. A Cheese And Tomato Spider by Nick Sharratt

We've got two books like this by Nick Sharratt; in each case the idea is the same - each page is divided into two flaps, so you can mix and match the top of one with the bottom of another for surprising and unexpected combinations!

Bright, colourful, fun and very silly, these have great appeal for children of all ages :)

Whatever books may need to part company with us, these ones are a permanent fixture. These ones stay.

This post was brought to you by Shimelle's 10 Things on the 10th


Amy said...

This wasn't what I was expecting from our earlier discussion but it is such a lovely idea - and I too have a little stash of items that I can't part with. As far as the books go, I still have them all - space will become an issue before long and I will have chose carefully!

Kirsty.A said...

Oh my goodness. I'd foegotten about 10 Things. We are still enjoying a lot of these books. I like the look of the Cheese & Tomato Spider.Another of our 'keepers' is 'Guess HOw Much I Love YOu'

furrypig said...

we loved the Gruffalo in our house and I also have kept a few favoutite toys and things from when the children were little!

Jane said...

I see some old favourites of mine there that I've kept for the grandchildren, so many happy memories!

Cheri said...

Even though mine are all young adults now, we still have 2 shelves full of the childhood classic, including Bears in the Night and The Hungry Caterpillar. In fact we have three Eric Carle books and a full shelf of Dr. Suess! And yes, I'm saving for my someday grandchildren.

Mary B said...

Most definitely keeps each and every one.
Wish I had kept some of my childhood books

Alison said...

I love picture books....when we moved to Spain I parted with most of mine, except for Christmas ones..among my favourites were'The Tiger who came to Tea' and. 'Dogger'
Alison xx

Unknown said...

So fun! I have a ton of stuff from my childhood, but my books are not one of them and I wish they were. So many good Dr. Seuss books just lost forever!

scrappyjacky said...

I've still got nos 2,3,6,7 and 8 as well!!Sadly no.9 fell to pieces with over use!! 'The tiger who came to tea' is another 'keeper' along with 'Rosie's Walk'
All these books are still used in schools today even though some of them were published 40 odd years ago....they just don't date.

Fiona@staring at the sea said...

I recognise most of these titles and 7 and 8 can be found on our book shelf still, although both my children are in their teens now. I've yet to get rid of any childhood books!

Missus Wookie said...

The first time Eliza visited I was grinning as she was ignoring the large box in the living room... she doesn't any more 'open please' :)

We are sorting through books again and I'm starting to make lists for the newest nephews (about to turn 2 and just turned 1) plus Eliza - about to turn 3, so thank you. for the reminders and inspiration. I'm going to go looking for number 1, we own or have owned most of the rest. Have to confess not liking no 10 sorry.

Quentin Blake is a favourite here "All Join In" is still a favourite.

Sian said...

I'm certainly with you on holding onto books! We still have all our childrens ones - and I still have all my childrens ones - and my Mum still has hers. Three generations have read the same copies of The Twins at St Clares

A lovely idea for a post

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Our family loved Bears in the Night. Once on a group camping trip 6 parents amused/appalled a bunch of non parents by reciting it as group, from memory, to them & their kids for campfire storytime

Julia said...

Aw that brings back memories - I love Quentin and his drawings and a house is not complete without The Gruffalo!
I too have some "keepers" hidden away :)

Melissa said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post Mel. I am a collector of picture story books & always enjoy reading them when my nieces or nephews or other guests are here. I even sometimes use them as illustrations in my ladies' Bible study classes & they are always a big hit.

Last week I went to a scarecrow festival & saw a scarecrow replica of the Very Hungry Catepiller (hoping to post some of those photos soon!).

Jimjams said...

We have/had several of those - though not all would survive a purge. Thankfully we have a large house with plenty of bookshelves and books rarely do more than move from one to another!

Jo said...

I love it when my daughter enjoys the same books I did as a child, we have a few too many 'keepers' here! x

Maria Ontiveros said...

I have a huge collection of children's books that I just couldn't part with. We loved Helen Oxenberry.