Things have been super-hectic here, what with the usual summer activities – Sports Day, the school play and the village fair – but also my own work publishing other people’s books has kept me very, very busy. I recently published a middle-grade children’s/crossover book called Oy Yew, by Ana Salote. It is simply a superb book and I really do mean that – during the editing, copyediting, proofreading, typesetting and conversion to kindle process (I’m still in the middle of that last one) I must have read the book about 10 times, and I STILL love it. However, I have suffered with eye-strain and ‘writer’s bum’ from being slumped over a computer at every available moment so I’ve tried to take every opportunity to get out into the fresh air, to exercise and to take a break from the screen.
I have, at times, felt overwhelmed by everything (particularly as there is little time for my own artistic and literary endeavours – doodling and writing the odd paragraph or two is all I’ve managed recently) and so sometimes I’ve pictured myself as a little boat on a stormy sea.
BUT, my supportive family have been my one constant and every night I’ve been reminded of just why I’ve been doing all this ‘bookish’ work – because I simply love reading to my kids and sharing books with them. This is surely why all (well, at least, most) writers write – for that vague feeling/hope that someone, somewhere, right now is getting lost in the world created by the writer. I know that sitting with both my kids at bedtime and reading to them has been a wonderful escape for me from my everyday concerns, so I thought I’d share some of our favourite books here. As my children are 8 and 4 it can be difficult to find books that engage them both, but the below seem to have captured their imaginations. No doubt you’ve heard of many (if not all) of these wonderful books/writers but if you haven’t I’d encourage you to give them a try (and if you can’t get them at the library, why not support your local bookshop and buy from them?). And if you think I’ve missed some that our kids may like please do let me know.
- The Findus books by Sven Nordqvist
- And Sven’s Where is my Sister is absolutely stunning illustration-wise.
- The I Spy books by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick
- Long Tail Kitty by Lark Pien (my kids always howl with laughter when I do the different voices for the alien characters at the end of the book…)
- Frederick by Leo Lionni (particularly good for children – or adults – who wonder what the worth of poetry is…)
- Most of the Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler books are a hit (though Tabby McTat is our favourite, and not The Gruffalo!)
- Virtually anything by Oliver Jeffers is a hit too, though Stuck and The Great Paper Caper are probably our favourites (and a grumble about The Day the Crayons Quit: it seems that most of the crayons are boys… hmm).
- Christopher Nibble, by Charlotte Middleton
- Virtually any of the Mog books by Judith Kerr
- And any of Shirley Hughes’s books
- Me by Emma Dodd is another favourite
- Any of the Percy the park keeper’s books (the below is perfect for wintertime)
- We really like Mick Inkpen’s creation, Kipper, but we also particularly like the story of Threadbear.
- Topsy and Tim my kids both love (although I’m not as big a fan as they are!)
- And I especially appreciate Cover to Cover: How a Book is Made by Rob Lewis as it explains beautifully what is involved in mummy’s publishing work… 🙂
And many thanks to Maddy and Chrissie for being such hard-working and lovely hosts 🙂