Thursday 31 March 2011

Favourite Books (1)

I have always been a voracious reader. Some of my earliest books I can still quote chunks from, and bought copies on eBay (so sentimental!). Every child should read Lynley Dodd's beautifully illustrated "The Nickle Nackle Tree"; it begins "In the mangle munching forest there's a Nickle Nackle Tree, growing Nickle Nackle berries that are red as red can be". It's a counting book - but the picture are glorious and even now if we see a gnarled looking tree with a flock of birds roosting we see a Nickle Nackle Tree.

Another favourite was Ruth Orbach's "Apple Pigs"; again beautifully illustrated. A long poem that starts "Once in our garden there stood an old tree - no blossoms, no leaves, no fruit for me."

Unsurprisingly as I'm in my thirties these books were published in the late 70s. Nickle Nackle tree has finally been reprinted, but sadly Apple Pigs remains a collectors item on eBay - out of print.

Very influential was "Haffertee Hamster Diamond" - about a stuffed toy hamster and the other toys who come to life when their owner is asleep. So taken was I with this book that a decade later when I owned a hamster his name was Haffertee.

A popular choice in our house was always "The Great Green Mouse Disaster". A picture book where every double page spread shows a section through a hotel where the disaster unfolds. Hours of fun to be had choosing a different character's story to follow each time.