This is a part of my 7 day blogging challenge – every day for 7 days, I will post about 7 things. Today it’s 7 children’s books worth reading, tomorrow will feature 7 meditations, and the day after that – who knows?
‘Fortunately, the Milk’, by Neil Gaiman.
Possibly my favourite Christmas present this year, this book is a fantastical, fast-paced adventure story that takes you back to all the stuff that you dreamed about – and the stuff you wished you’d dreamed about – as a child. It’s a short novel so perfect for when you want some truly light reading. Lots of laugh-out-loud chuckles, too!
‘The BFG’, by Roald Dahl.
Okay, so I’d recommend all of Roald Dahl’s stuff (his short stories are borderline-creepy but extremely well-written), but I ended up choosing this one for the list because it’s less popular, but really, really magical. I mean, a big, friendly giant that controls our dreams? AND it features the one-and-only ‘snozzcumber’. Clearly a winner!
‘Sophie’s World’, by Jostein Gaarder.
I read this first when I was sixteen, on recommendation from a friend. What I particularly liked about this book is that Gaarder manages to weave in a whole Western Philosophy 101 into a narrative, and both parts of this unique novel are strong. The narrative is a great mystery, and ends with a thought-provoking twist. Worth reading for the history lesson at the very least!
‘Oh, the places you’ll go!’, by Dr. Seuss.
My sister bought this for my birthday a couple of years ago, and it was sitting on the coffee table when some friends came in. One of them opened it, read it cover-to-cover then looked at me and said, “That’s not a children’s book!”
Um, none of Dr. Seuss’ books are, really – he has strong messages about life and politics, but he does it with surreal illustrations and rhyming couplet. Again, I’d recommend all of this author’s work.
‘The Hobbit’, by J. R. R. Tolkein.
I don’t know if I need say much about this book, especially since the recent fame of being made into a three-part feature film by our Peter Jackson. I read this when I was 11, but have re-read it on numerous occasions – it has the right balance of magical stuff, adventure, mystery, and self-development. There are many levels to this story, and the writing itself is spectacular. Tolkein is most certainly an influence in my writing.
‘Rabbityness’, by Jo Empson.
I discovered this book when looking for a book for my newborn cousin – of course, it’s a bit much for him now, but I was determined to get something that wasn’t just another soft toy. This book has absolutely stunning illustrations, and is a tale of becoming comfortable with, and excited by, your uniqueness.
‘The Search for Delicious’, by Natalie Babbitt.
This is another less popular one, but one that really struck a chord with me as a child. Without giving anything away, the protagonist is on a search for the definition of the word ‘delicious’, for the royal dictionary. Everyone he asks has a different response, so he travels far and wide, searching for more exotic dishes, until finally it comes to him, and the definition is something rather ordinary. It’s a great reminder to appreciate what’s right beneath our noses.