Thursday, March 17, 2011

Favorite Childhood Stories

Aaron is quite the reader at the moment. He enjoys reading as much as outdoor play or playing with his dinosaurs. And finally, he is now old enough to read some of the books that I remember enjoying. We are now reading the first of the books that I have had in my mental list of books he must read. Guess where this is from?

'Give us the recipe, O Brainy One!' cried the audience impatiently. 'Tell us the secret.'

'First,' said The Grand High Witch, 'I had to find something that vould cause the children to become very small very qvickly.'.

'And what was that?' cried the audience.

'That part vos simple,' said The Grand High Witch. 'All you have to do if you are vishing to make a child very small is to look at him through the wrrrong end of a telescope.'

'So you take the wrrong end of a telescope,' continued The Grand High Witch, 'and you boil it until it gets soft.'

OK, in case you didn't see the Grand High clue above, its from 'The Witches' by Roald Dahl. I loved that book and am enjoying it as much now as I did as a child. Aaron is also thrilled with it. He couldn't wait to find out what happened and of course kept asking me if witches were real or not. I can imagine the book being quite convincing to a 4 year old. I only read it when I was around 8 years old. Roald Dahl was my favorite author as a child. I liked all the books. The next one I want Aaron to read is 'The BFG'.

I liked all of the Roald Dahl stories because there was so much craziness weaved into every day lives about children. They were fantasy stories, yet they were not. It was all his stories that inspired me to write plenty of short stories as a child.

The other two series of books that I remember vividly are the stories of The Famous Five and The Secret Seven by Enid Blyton. What I remember of these stories is that the children went on wild adventures and solved mysteries without the help of any adults. They had the freedom to do whatever they wanted. I wanted a life like that but the furthest I ever went on my bike was to my grandmother's house in the neighboring suburb.

Roald Dahl might have been my favorite author but Enid Blyton was definitely the author that I read most of because of the sheer number of books she wrote. Some of the other stories I remember reading were about girls in boarding schools. All the midnight snacks and mischief that they got up to made me want to be shipped off too. I actually very nearly got that wish but just as I was starting to have some secret doubts about it, my parents chickened out. I shouldn't say that, they just thought that twelve was too young to be living away from them.

So back to Aaron and his reading. We're going to work our way through all of Roald Dahl's books and then I'll see if he gets into the Famous Five or Secret Seven.

What did you most enjoy reading as a child?


Bilbo said...

Aaron's a little young for them yet, but in a year or two he will enjoy "The Just-So Stories," by Rudyard Kipling. I can still remember my father reading us the stories of "How the Elephant Got His Trunk," "How the Rhinocerous Got His Skin," "How the Leopard Got His Spots," and many others.

NomadicExpat said...

Your son did proclaim, "My momma is a witch!" a few weeks back! :-)

No idea why I never got my hands on Roald Dahl. Perhaps, I should start reading his stuff.

Lots of Enid Blyton books for me as well and then, all those silly romance books when I was older! Wish I didnt read them. They put stupid ideas into my head... those silly romance novels.

Mike said...

My wife can remember stuff from when she was three years old. I have trouble remembering yesterday.

Fiona said...

those two are my definite childhood favourites, finding myself enjoying RD's omnibus of 'the umbrella man' etc later on. i even got his books of revolting recipes. (thank you so much for Kaeden's present. :) i mean to start a collection for him and your gift is a great start-off!)

i remember fondly EB's story of a never ending porridge producing pot and one on a method of curing a stitch on the tummy.

i also enjoyed reading 'wizard of oz' and the continuing series.

have fun reading!