May is National Share a Story Month, which is an annual celebration organised by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups to recognise the importance of children reading more.
It is the perfect opportunity to share our love of stories and books with our families and friends. In honour of this wonderful event, we are very pleased to share some of our authors’ favourite books they loved as children.
Join us in celebrating the power of storytelling and inspiring the younger generation to do the same.
‘The Happy Prince and other tales’ by Oscar Wilde
As a child, I adored reading this fairytale as well as listening to my grandmother’s retelling. I remember as a child being struck by the cruel injustice of society with the haves and the have-nots and the selflessness of the prince that ultimately leads to his tragic fate. The social justice message in this story is as relevant today as it was then. It is also a story of hope, inner beauty and how simple acts of kindness can transform our lives.
Rohini, Bajekal, Nutritionist and Co-Author of ‘Living PCOS Free’
‘Someone Bigger’ by Jonathan Emmett and Adrian Reynolds
My favourite book that I loved reading to my children was “Someone Bigger” by Jonathan Emmett and Adrian Reynolds. It’s about a boy called Sam who makes a kite with his dad and they take it out on a windy day to see if they can fly it. The problem is he’s told he’s “too small” to fly the kite, which promptly takes off into the wind, out of his dad’s hands and picks up various groups of people on its flight. Eventually, the boy does grab hold of the kite and brings it and its various passengers including a bank robber who escaped from jail and a postman with a sack of mail. I loved it because it just shows the little boy had everything he needed inside of him and he was always big enough to fly the kite if just only someone had believed in him. So don’t listen to those who doubt you. Always know you can achieve anything if you want to and you believe in yourself.
Victoria Fox, author of ‘Yoga for Cancer’
Reading books is one of life’s most endearing pleasures. Born in 1949, my main memories of wonderful children’s books were those by Enid Blyton. Being female I adored Malory Towers, all about a girl’s school. The Secret Seven and the Famous Five series were all among my best reads ever! The Faraway Tree also comes to mind and I am pretty sure that was also penned by Enid Blyton. My mother taught elocution and public speaking so I was read to and encouraged to read by myself from a very young age.
She loved poetry and A. A. Milnes Now we are 6 comes to mind as well as the Jungle Book stories by Rudyard Kipling. My father lived by the sentiments of the poem IF, also by Kipling and I currently have a framed copy of this ever-inspiring poem on my study wall. I still never go to sleep without first having read a chapter or two of my current reading material. My own sons, now in their late 40s love Ladybird books as toddlers, particularly The Garden Gang Stories like Percival Pea and Polly Pomegranate by Jayne fisher.
Beverley Jarvis, author of ‘Eat Well to Age Well’
There are so many that stand out for us that we read 3 to 4 decades ago but still carry the warm feeling and images with us. Our top picks, full of courageous characters and magic include:
A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley, The Children of Green Knowe By Lucy M Boston, The Lost Prince by Frances Hodgson Burnett and the whole Narnia series, by C S Lewis, with our personal favourite the Dawn Treader.
Zahra Kassam, co-author of ‘Eating-Plant Based’
‘When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit’ by Judith Kerr, ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ by Philippa Pearce and ‘The Owl Service’ by Alan Garner.
I absolutely loved to read as a child. I’m of the generation who learned to read with Janet and John, and I distinctly remember the thrill of parental praise when I grasped the word ‘aeroplane’ when Janet and John were going on one. Most of my childhood favourites were classics, and often centred on animals or nature.:Black Beauty, Tom’s Midnight Garden, The Wind in the Willows and The Secret Garden were read and re-read, often well past the time I’d been told to turn my bedroom light off. My Grandma had an old bound copy of The Flower Fairies which I found completely captivating..
One book I found particularly impactful was When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit: I think it was my first detailed understanding of the realities.. Anne Frank then taught me more. As I hit double figures, I discovered Alan Garner, starting with, and utterly loving The Owl Service, before going on to devour most of his work.
I lived in a village that had a tiny mobile library and I loved library days. It had a really familiar, musty smell. I remember owning, with considerable pride, my own little cardboard, hand-written library tickets and having a tangible sense of responsibility that I must look after, and return promptly, all of the treasures found within.
Carolyn Garritt, author of ‘Get Your Oopmh Back’