Thursday, 6 July 2017

Bedtime Stories

I recently came across some books which I'd kept from when Daniel and Eleanor were very young. They both used to enjoy being read to, particularly at bedtime, and it's something which both Mick and I used to take turns in doing.

These were some particular favourites.


Actually, I'm not sure why The Very Hungry Caterpillar is in there as I can't say it was a book which anyone enjoyed very much, me included. I know it's been raved about over the years but perhaps it's just outdated now. My house was filled with children's books and there were many more which I would rate higher than this. Incidentally, the local primary school did very well when I cleared my bookshelves as the children grew out of books.


The book which was Eleanor's absolute favourite was Where's My Teddy? and It's The Bear by Jez Alborough.


It's The Bear was her favourite story, about Eddy and his mum going on a picnic. It's written in rhyme, which is usually a hit with youngsters.


The best bit for Eleanor was hearing what food was going in the picnic basket and when we got to I've forgotten to pack, she'd shout out THE BLUEBERRY PIE!


I Don't Want To Go To Bed by Julie Sykes and Tim Warnes is a charming book. Little Tiger never wants to go to bed and getting fed up with his protests, his mummy tells him he can stay up all night.


It doesn't take long for Little Tiger to discover that it isn't fun staying up when all his friends are in bed, and the jungle can be a scary place on your own after dusk. Don't worry, a friendly bush baby soon takes him home where his mummy is waiting to tuck him up for the night.


A personal favourite of mine is The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear.


I always finished off the bedtime reading with this book.


Both Daniel and Eleanor can now recite this well known poem without the need to have the words in front of them. It just goes to show how much of what they hear when young actually sticks in their minds.


How about you and your children? Any favourite children's books?

52 comments:

  1. We used to have a really old fashioned nursery rhyme book with hundreds of rhymes from all over the world. We'd sing or talk through some of those as there were ones I wouldn't know the tunes to. Ronald Dahl featured highly too.

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    1. I remember having a nursery rhyme book when I was young, it actually had the music written in it too, which was handy for those we didn't know the tune to. I read a lot of Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected books in my teens, I actually met him at a book signing event and he signed a couple of them for me, but I discovered his children's books more through my own children.

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  2. PS: Roald not Ronald flipping auto spell.

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    1. Ha ha, it's a nuisance, isn't it?

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  3. Both our sons loved the Mr Men books. Not too long to read to them (or read with them later on), simple illustrations in primary colours that were very clever in their simplicity.
    They also enjoyed Hilda Boswell's Book of Nursery Rhymes which also has stories in it. Elder son not a great reader, younger son loved Asterix and later on Fungus the Bogeyman - what nine or ten year old wouldn't love something as gross as Fungus? Elder son enjoyed Stig of the Dump, too!
    Margaret P

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    1. I think the Mr Men books were a lot of people's favourites, as you say, very simple books which children seemed to latch on to. They were a good size for little hands too. I remember Stig of the Dump from my own childhood. Sadly, though both my children enjoyed being read to, neither of them have gone on to be great readers themselves. More things to occupy their minds these days, very sad.

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  4. I think the very hungry caterpillar is still very popular, I have a copy and it is one of my favourite childrens books! These are a great selection!

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    1. It's funny how none of us warmed to The Very Hungry Caterpillar when it's been such a popular book with others.

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  5. The Tiger who came for tea was an absolute favourite.Anything by Shirley Hughes.Dogger and the Alfie and Annie Rose stories.We kept all our children's books and have had them there for our grandchildren.Sadly, they are now way past these books but I shall hang on to them in case we are around for great grandchildren!!!!!!

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    1. We had The Tiger Who Came For Tea too, as well as some Alfie books by Shirley Hughes. I wish I'd kept more of their childhood books now, we gave away literally hundreds, but it's where to store everything. Space became a bit of an issue.

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  6. Our kids were always read too as well & had lots of favourites. DD read to her 2 brothers as she got older, being 4 & 5 years their senior. I know DS2 loved one about a moose, but the best memory is of granddaughter Miss A (nearly 21) always picking The Bear Detectives & woe betide if you missed a word. She seemed to know it by heart. Mine also liked the Mr. series, as in Mr. Silly etc. I've still got quite a few childrens' books & even a few of my favourites as a child. Thanks for jogging memories & take care.

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    1. It's amazing how children remember books word for word and know when you've missed something out. I don't have any books from my childhood, they were all given to my cousin and there's only a few we've kept from when Daniel and Eleanor were young. I'm glad I kept these favourites though.

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  7. We always used to read to the girls too, and like you we used to take it in turns. Jenny was very into Puddle Lane and had all the books, i must admit that i liked those as well. When it was Marks turn to read to them he always tried to get them to have Gerry The Giraffe, that's in rhyme too. Because of house moves i got rid of a lot of the girls books, I really wish I hadn't now but it does become a storage problem. When Jenny was pregnant with Oliver Joanne managed to find a copy of Gerry The Giraffe and gave it Mark for Christmas that year, I think it's out of print which is a shame. I'm getting to do it all over again with Oliver now, he loves books just as much as the girls used too, although they tend to be about dinosaurs and spiders, lol Please don't do what I did and get rid of your children's books, it's something i have regretted doing.

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    1. It's a big regret of mine too, though I have kept a few favourites. I really wish I'd got my own childhood books too, I was a big Enid Blyton fan and had so many of her beautiful books, all in hardback. There may be more of Daniel and Eleanor's books in the loft, there's all sorts of things up there, it needs a good sort out, but other than that, where do you put everything you want to keep? Storage is such an issue, which is a shame.

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  8. I do enjoy a good story book which is a good job as I am reading about ten every evening! I like ones that rhyme and roll off the tongue easily and also Shirley Hughes books - I love the illustrations. X

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    1. Illustrations can make or break a book, can't they? Enjoy your bedtime reading, I wish I still had little ones to read to.

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  9. Our girls had so many favourites especially Postman Pat. My own personal favourite of theirs was "On the Way Home" by Jill Murphy. I've still got it on our bookshelves just waiting for Emily to be old enough to join in the story with me. "Clair had a bad knee so she set off home to tell her mum all about it. On the way home she met her friend Abigail. ..." I'll stop there in case I recite the whole book to you! LOL

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    1. I don't remember any particular Postman Pat books, though Daniel loved the programme. I'm sure all the old books will be out again soon now that you've got Emily to read to.

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  10. We had so many lovely books, with 7 years between oldest and youngest so covering lots of years of book reading. Janet and Allan Ahlberg did some lovely books - Peepbo was our favourite. I've still got several books from back then and about 2 dozen Topsy and Tim which were favourites of youngest daughter. Just remembered Hairy Maclary - another rhyming treat

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    1. We had a few Janet and Allan Ahlberg books too and a couple of Topsy and Tim ones. My sister was twelve years older than me but I don't remember inheriting any of her books, perhaps they were long gone by the time I came along.

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  11. What a delightful, nostalgic post. xx

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    1. It was lovely coming across the books, they brought back lots of happy memories.

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  12. I loved The Very Hungry Caterpillar when I was a teacher, I'd read it to the class and then as an art project they'd each make a little caterpillar book. Other than The Owl and the Pussycat I'm not familiar with the other books.

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    1. I think The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been a teaching aid for many teachers, perhaps one of the reasons it's been such a popular book. There's some fabulous children's books out there but they're not all widely known.

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  13. Our grandsons live The Tiger who came to tea, but bed times books featured high in our house. We have Will on his first sleep over this weekend, but he's too youngfor bedtime stories.

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    1. We had The Tiger Who Came To Tea and I remember it from my own childhood too. It won't be long until you'll be reading all your favourites to Will, they grow up so fast.

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  14. I used to really enjoy reading to my children, it's how I discovered the Harry Potter books. How lovely that you still have some of their favourite reads, perhaps to reread to grandchildren one day! One of Imogen's favourites was Goodnight Sam and of course The Gruffalo, she can still recite them now xx

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    1. I started reading the Harry Potter books to Daniel but he read the later ones himself, I never got round to reading them so I've started rereading the early ones and I'll make sure I finish the whole series this time. We never read The Gruffalo, it was perhaps published a little too late for Daniel but we didn't discover it with Eleanor either.

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  15. What a great post!This is my second go!I have loved reading what other people think.Has anyone mentioned Mog the cat stories by Judith Kerr or Ronald Pepe.We saw his working models a couple of years ago.Amazing.

    hang on to those books and collect more.You will need them in years to come .I hope!!!!!

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    1. I love hearing about other people's memories of childhood books too. Oh, I loved Mog, we had a few of those books. I do hope the books we've got will get another airing at some point, it would be nice to think there'll be children in the family again.

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  16. Our house was crammed with books, I think that every room bar the bathroom had a large bookcase stacked full. I try to limit myself to 3 bookcases now. There is a couple of boxes under Fran's bed though, I snuck them there after the massive clear out.

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    1. I tend not to keep books now, there just isn't the room. I have special ones though which I would never get rid of, such as these. It was different when the kids were young, there were children's books everywhere.

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  17. Stuart had a book which I think was called "How to cook the family pet" (I've just had a quick google and can't find it!) It was a funny book with such dishes as "flambe ferret" ...... I think a flame thrower was used for that one! The main books were Roald Dahl - I don't remember which ones, as it was Malcolm who did the bedtime reading.

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    1. Kids seem to love books like that, don't they? Probably why Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes did so well.

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  18. Great post. We always enjoyed the Alfie books and Apple tree Farm ones and Just William on tape in the car.

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    1. I remember Just William being on TV when I was a child but I never read the books, nor did my kids. I've never listened to audio books, though I know how popular they are, I should really give them a go.

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  19. I have kept the children's favourite books too, packed away in the loft.
    The teddy book was a much read one here too. We're Going on a Bear Hunt was popular. Happy memories.
    Most of our books were given to the school library too.
    Lisa x

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    1. We're Going on a Bear Hunt is a very popular book, I remember they made a lot of it at nursery and they had all the kids acting it out. I wish I'd kept more of their books now, it's lovely looking through them, they bring back such happy memories.

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  20. My three used to love to be read to and have all developed a love a of reading. The Ladybird books were collected by one and the Peter Rabbit books which we still have. Enid Blyton was very popular and Nancy Drew, when they were a little older. We have the pleasure of reading to our Grandchildren.

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    1. It's wonderful when you can instil a love of reading in your children, I wish my two were bigger readers now, they did love being read to when they were little though and they're competent readers, it just isn't something they enjoy. We had a few Ladybird books but Enid Blyton seemed to pass them by. She was my favourite author when I was young, I loved her mystery series with the Find Outers. I'm hoping that I'll have grandchildren one day so that I have an excuse to read all these lovely children's books again.

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  21. Oh, so many favourites, including Dr. Seuss (esp. One Fish, Two Fish and Mr. Brown Can Moo) but the top one was probably Goodnight Moon. This is one of the most popular bedtime books on this side of the pond and was first published back in the 1940's. What's funny is that when I first purchased it, I wasn't that impressed and wondered what all the fuss was about. It totally grew on us, however, and the kids LOVED it and would have such fun "reading" along and finding the different objects that the bunny was saying goodnight to - such wonderful memories.

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    1. Dr Seuss were books we had here too. I've never heard of Goodnight Moon but it must be a good one as it's stood the test of time. It does bring back happy memories when we think back to what our children were like when they were little.

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  22. I think everyone has read The Very Hungry Caterpillar at some point or other. I didn't have the book myself, but I do remember reading it, not that there's much to read!

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    1. I didn't have the book either when I was a child, I'd have, perhaps, given it a miss for my own two if I had.

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  23. The Hungry Caterpillar is still used a lot at school. My teachers know few picture books - lots do not read at all. Quite a few do not even bring their classes into the library. I've resigned and there is no replacement, so 8 years will go down the hill! I've boxes of my children's old books up in the attic and still own a lot of my own childhood books too - I don't remember the Hungry Caterpillar either.

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    1. It's surprising that the teachers don't use the school library and don't give their classes access to it. My two had a wonderful school library and brought home some fantastic books. They even bought books in when Daniel requested specific titles. I wish I'd kept more of Daniel and Eleanor's books, as well as my own childhood books, it's just lack of storage space why I didn't.

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  24. Lovely seeing these books, they bring back so many memories don't they? We lived in Oz when daughter was young so most of her favourites were Australian stories.xxx

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    1. I'm hoping that I have grandchildren one day so that I get to discover children's books all over again.

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  25. What a great selection, and so many of them are still firm favourites with the grandchildren.
    Books are just great to read and share and I think we are so fortunate to be able to do so.

    Lovely post Jo, thank you.

    All the best Jan

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    1. There really are some beautiful children's books out there. I wish I'd kept more now, it was just an issue of space at the time as I've saved some of their toys too.

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