Artist

Alexander Averin

Sunday, 13 April 2008

When you were a Child - A Literature Survey




When you were a child.

A Very Last Minute and Hastily-Put-Together Survey on Children’s Literature



Our library book group is meeting tomorrow evening (Monday) so I need this information quite quickly. I have chosen a general subject - children’s books - and to broaden the discussion I would love to hear your views and opinions.

If you could take a few minutes to answer the questions below I would be so….. pleased.

There will be a prize for the 'best' entry.

You can copy and paste your answers as it might be easier. If not just write as much as you can.

Thank you so much.

PART ONE.


When you were very young, did anyone read to you?

Did you have a favourite picture book?

Did you read to yourself, can you remember what age you started doing that?

Why did you read? To escape or experience adventure? Or another reason?

Did anyone ‘ignite’ a passion for reading, a teacher/relative/librarian for example?

Were there any book characters who influenced you and your behaviour?

Were there any places in a book that you longed to be?

Were you inspired to read poetry or were you put off the genre?

Did you enjoy fairy stories?
Which fairy story or myth, if any, has stayed with you?

Was there a book you hated? More than one?

**************************************************************
PART TWO

Can you think of any modern writers of children’s literature who you think will survive the test of time? Any that won’t?

Do you think that a love of reading as a child made you want to become a writer?

If you wrote for children in the future what form would it take? Poetry, novel, film, quick read, short story etc? Have you ever done so? Been published?

Do you have children, grandchildren or young friends/ relatives? Do they enjoy books? What do they prefer? How do you encourage them? If you do?

Do they visit a library on a regular basis?

If not why not?

Do you buy books for children? What was the last one you bought?


**************************************************************

And finally, congratulations if you have read this far, not long to go now.

PART THREE

Is the love of books becoming rarer?

Has the computer/TV/DVD screen taken over from the written page?

If so, will it herald the decline of imagination?

**************************************************************

Last but not least and this may be impossible to answer.

Do you have ONE favourite book from your childhood?

Whether you have one particular favourite or not, can you take a few minutes to list as many titles as you can remember that you loved or that have stayed with you, for whatever reason. Just the ones that come into your head at this moment.

If you were sent to a Desert Island and were only allowed one children’s book what would it be?

**************************************************************

Thank you for taking part in this survey.

There will be a prize!



(I will be doing my own later, I promise)

17 comments:

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Berlimey Cait - no small task this - not sure I will have the time today - bit will do it if I do.

Cait O'Connor said...

Thanks WW. Just pick bits out and write what grabs you, if you can't manage it all.

Faith said...

When you were very young, did anyone read to you?

Yes, my mother, my eldest sisters, grandmothers, great-aunts, aunts.

Did you have a favourite picture book?

Probably. I still have a book I had when I was about 5 called Jolly Jingles. I loved the pictures and the rhymes.

Did you read to yourself, can you remember what age you started doing that?

I learnt to read at school aged 5. Learnt quickly and then read to myself. I can remember reading to myself aged 6.

Why did you read? To escape or experience adventure? Or another reason?

I suppose because I enjoyed it.

Did anyone ‘ignite’ a passion for reading, a teacher/relative/librarian for example?

Not really. I could read, and I enjoyed it, so I did it!

Were there any book characters who influenced you and your behaviour?

? Don't think so.



Were there any places in a book that you longed to be?

Well only at the time I was reading it. If I'd been transported by magic to some of the places I would have been horrified no doubt.



Were you inspired to read poetry or were you put off the genre?

I had The Golden Treasury of Poetry as my first poetry book and enjoyed reading it.

Did you enjoy fairy stories?
Which fairy story or myth, if any, has stayed with you?

I enjoyed the typical Enid Blyton fairy stories. I don't remember reading any others. As a slightly older child I enjoyed King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table stories and that type of thing.

Was there a book you hated? More than one?

'Hated' is quite a strong word. I disliked many but can't recall them particularly. Swallows and Amazons was one I didnt like.

**************************************************************

Can you think of any modern writers of children’s literature who you think will survive the test of time? Any that won’t?

Sorry, I can't think. I suppose many children's books about 'now' may date quickly. There are so many advances.

Do you think that reading as a child made you want to become a writer?

Maybe. I don't know.

If you wrote for children in the future what form would it take? Poetry, novel, film, quick read, short story etc? Have you ever done so? Been published?

I suppose out of those options I would choose 'novel'. I've had a few tiny little articles or whatever published, but not for children. Years ago, my mother had a short story for children published.

Do you have children, grandchildren or young friends/ relatives? Do they enjoy books? What do they prefer? How do you encourage them? If you do?

I don't have anyone now that I read to. I encouraged my girls to enjoy books and read to them every night from the age of about 10 months. If I had grandchildren I would enjoy reading to them and have kept all my children's books.

Do they visit a library on a regular basis?
If not why not?

My girls did when little. I don't go to the library now.

Do you buy books for children? What was the last one you bought?

I would sometimes choose a book as a present for one of my great-nieces or nephews. I can't remember what was the last one I bought - I think one about mermaids for a 4 year old.


**************************************************************

And finally, congratulations if you have read this far, not long to go now.

Is the love of books becoming rarer?

I Don't know. I suppose so - I find that sad.

Has the computer/TV/DVD screen taken over from the written page?

It must have done. When I was a child there was nothing else to do on a raining Sunday afternoon except read or draw!

If so, will it herald the decline of imagination?

No, children and adults will always have imaginations!

**************************************************************

Last but not least and this may be impossible to answer.

Do you have ONE favourite book from your childhood?

Favourite - possibly - The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.

Others:

Noddy books
Rupert Bear Annuals
Amelianne books
Little Grey Rabbit books
Paddington books.
Blyton Five Findouter books
Peter Pan
Mary Poppins
Borrowers books
Ballet Shoes, White Boots, Tennis Shoes etc
The Phoenix and the Carpet, Five Children and It etc.
What Katy Did
The 1001 Dalmations
A Little Princess
Melissa Ann
Brown Mouse
Thimble Summer
Charlotte's Web
Little Women, Good Wives etc
The Swish of the Curtain
Ruby Ferguson's 'Jill' pony books
Daddy Long Legs
I Capture the Castle
Freckles

Can't think of anymore off the top of my head at present, but loved loads.





Whether you have one particular favourite or not, can you take a few minutes to list as many titles as you can remember that you loved or that have stayed with you, for whatever reason. Just the ones that come into your head at this moment.

If you were sent to a Desert Island and were only allowed one children’s book what would it be?

I don' know but whatever it was I would be very sick of it by the time I was rescued. Maybe I would take Robinson Crusoe to give me some tips!

**************************************************************

Faith x

Elizabethd said...

My mother read to me from as far back as I can remember.
I was a very early reader and Mum set me off on Mollie Clarke's books, written for early readers, and used in schools later.
I think the love of reading is something you have inside you, but is developed, or not, by your family when young.
I grew up with all the Beatrix Potter books,with A.A.Milne, with Millie Mollie Mandie, Little Grey Rabbit, with Arthur Ransome, which was my childhood dream, and with poetry recited to me by my mother,paricularly the Hiawatha poems, the Lady of Shalott and many more.
I have always tried to encourage a love of reading in my grandchildren, making sure that we gave them copies of the original A.A Milne, not the Disney, the wonderful tales of Rudyard Kipling ,and many more.
My favourite childhood books are probably the Pollyanna books, and also Ballet Shoes by Noel Streitfield.
I do feel tht the computer, the Television and the awful texting , have taken away the wish to read good literature. We didnt have television when I was a child, and were no worse for it.
Hope that has wanswered a few of your very interesting points.

Milla said...

Yes, Faith to Thimble Summer, I have it spilling out of a box here, and What Katy Did and The Little Princess, loved that and the Secret Garden, and Phillipa Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden and the Dodie Smiths. Don't know Freckles or Melissa Ann. Oh this is so exhausting, Cait, zapping around keeping up with this thread here, the forum, the common room. You might guess, I love children's books. All books.

Kaycie said...

When you were very young, did anyone read to you?

My mother read to me when I was little, but I was reading books at four according to Mama.

Did you have a favourite picture book?

I loved books with words. I don't remember a picture book ever being my favorite.

Did you read to yourself, can you remember what age you started doing that?

At about four I began reading to myself.

Why did you read? To escape or experience adventure? Or another reason?

I read because I loved books and the stories they told.

Did anyone ‘ignite’ a passion for reading, a teacher/relative/librarian for example?

My mother is a teacher. She doesn't really like to read, though. My father is a voracious reader. I think it's something you're born with.

Were there any book characters who influenced you and your behaviour?

I remember trying to be very brave like Sarah Crewe.

Were there any places in a book that you longed to be?

I wanted to visit Concord, Massachusetts, but not in the present. I wanted to be there at the turn of the 20th century.

Were you inspired to read poetry or were you put off the genre?

I had a book of children's poetry, (Robert Louis Stevenson, I think) and I loved it. I continue to read poetry periodically and I bought that book for my children.

Did you enjoy fairy stories?
Which fairy story or myth, if any, has stayed with you?

I loved Hans Christian Andersen. My favortes were "The Little Mermaid", "Rose Red", and "Beauty and the Beast".

Was there a book you hated? More than one?

I don't remember ever hating a book as a child.

Can you think of any modern writers of children’s literature who you think will survive the test of time? Any that won’t?

I think children will be reading Maurice Sendak long after I'm gone. I'm sure there are plenty of authors who will be forgotten and left in their own decade. It's always been that way, especially with topical subjects.

Do you think that a love of reading as a child made you want to become a writer?

I don't really think so. Like reading, writing was always something I just did.

If you wrote for children in the future what form would it take? Poetry, novel, film, quick read, short story etc? Have you ever done so? Been published?

I don't think I am particularly suited to write for children. I am not one of those rare people who remember what it is to be a child.

Do you have children, grandchildren or young friends/ relatives? Do they enjoy books? What do they prefer? How do you encourage them? If you do?

My children all love books. I encourage them by buying books they like and suggesting books to them. There are collections of books I've purchased for my children to read without a child in mind, such as Roald Dahl. They have been well used.

Do they visit a library on a regular basis?

My daughter visits the library regularly and always has. The boys, not so much.

If not why not?

I think the boys are more interested in books just "appearing" for them in our own collection than going to look for something in particular.

Do you buy books for children? What was the last one you bought?

The last book I bought for one of my children was for my daughter. As she is 17, it wasn't really a children's book. The last book I bought that would be considered a child's book is probably the latest Harry Potter.

Is the love of books becoming rarer?

Not in my family.

Has the computer/TV/DVD screen taken over from the written page?

The children do love the computer and my daughter is a film buff, but I have bookcases full of books. Again, not in my family.

If so, will it herald the decline of imagination?

I don't know. I think there is great imagination required for certain activities involving the computer.

My favorite book as a child, a little child, was "Where the Wild Things Are". As I grew older, "A Little Princess", then "Little Women" and Louisa May Alcott books in general. One that I loved but don't hear much about anymore is "Jane-Emily". I have all of these in my personal collection. I remember loving to read biographies written for children. Eleanor Roosevelt was a favorite, along with Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots. Being Native American, I also loved reading about Pocohantas and Sacajawea along with Native American histories. I've always been a non-fiction fan, even as a child.

I suppose if I could only pick one, it would be "Little Women". Or perhaps a collection of Hans Christian Andersen. I don't know if I could actually choose.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

I do remember my Mum and Dad reading to me – but the memory isn't very clear. Although I seem to remember Dad more than Mum reading to me - which brought us close together. Oddly I don't remember my parents reading books!

I think I must have been quite young as I remember reading picture books to myself.

I read because I loved books. I loved the smell of them, the feel of them and the texture of the paper. I also read because I was an only child and reading took me somewhere where I was never lonely. Then again I also like my own company and this was something I could do alone. Contradiction. I felt congruent when I was reading.

I don't remember if anyone ignited my passion for reading. It was just always there.

I loved reading Enid Blyton and loved George and wanted to be like her ie a tom boy. I also longed to have a dog. I guess I also loved the sense of belonging the Enid Blyton children had together.- - even when arguing.

Narnia – I wanted to be in Narnia . . . when it was snowing – I loved the snow then and now.

I was highly commended for a Poem I wrote for the Daily Mail as a child – but wasn't ever really inspired by poetry – I think it scared me and still does.

I like stories about Fairies – I have written one and had it published – but actually found Fairy Stories irritating!

I don't remember ever hating any books as a child.

I think JK Rowling will stand the test of time. I am not sure that Enid Blyton will – given the new spin put on them.

OH YES YES YES reading as a child did indeed make me want to become a writer. I loved handling paper and pencils and watching the characters grow and move about . . . still do.

I am currently working on three projects – 1) picture book with Lixtroll – 2)a re-write of a novel I wrote a while back and 3) another novel which is in the early stages - all children's books. I always think big and everything I work on has – in my head- the potential to be turned into a film. Yes I have been published and a few years ago almost had a TV series made out of a novel I almost got published . . .sigh . . .

Children all grown up – but we used to read together and they were bought lots of books. I also used to be invited to schools to read my stories. One middle school ran a writing competition and for a week I taught creative writing in various classes – very scary and very exciting when I saw some of the creativity that was there.

My kids are at Uni and yes they visit the library.

Last book I bought was JK Rowling Harry Potter for Wildchild and Lord of the Rings for Robot Boy.

Favourite book form my childhood – Lord of the Rings.

Enid Blyton – everything she wrote.

CS Lewis – everything he wrote.

There was also a popular adventure series and I can't remember the the author or any of the titles . . .but they were amazing and exciting books.

Little Spotty Thing by Mike Ink Pen – has been my inspiration for years.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Eeeek missed three questions out

No I still think the love of books is there – you cannot replace the feel of holding and reading a book. This answers both of the questions.

If books were to be lost the imagination and creativity of the individual would always find a way of expressing itself.

Tom Foolery said...

Cait, when you ask you ask big girl. Like your style. Ok I'll give it a go for you.

When you were very young, did anyone read to you? My mum.

Did you have a favourite picture book? I was horse mad so anything with horse pictures.

Did you read to yourself, can you remember what age you started doing that? Yes about 7/8 I think.

Why did you read? To escape or experience adventure? Or another reason? Boredom.

Did anyone ‘ignite’ a passion for reading, a teacher/relative/ librarian for example? Family friend, Mr Haines my english teacher.

Were there any book characters who influenced you and your behaviour?
No.

Were there any places in a book that you longed to be?. No.

Were you inspired to read poetry or were you put off the genre? I've always loved poetry

Did you enjoy fairy stories?
Which fairy story or myth, if any, has stayed with you? No.

Was there a book you hated? More than one? Anything to do with space travel/science fiction.

**************************************************************
PART TWO

Can you think of any modern writers of children’s literature who you think will survive the test of time? Any that won’t? No.

Do you think that a love of reading as a child made you want to become a writer? N/A.

If you wrote for children in the future what form would it take? Poetry, novel, film, quick read, short story etc? Have you ever done so? Been published? N/A.

Do you have children, grandchildren or young friends/ relatives? Do they enjoy books? What do they prefer? How do you encourage them? If you do? I always buy my godchildren books as presents.

Do you buy books for children? What was the last one you bought? Yes. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I really loved it as a child.I can always remember a passage "The square sweet, always looked a(round)"....


**************************************************************

PART THREE

Is the love of books becoming rarer? I hope not Cait.I've only just started reading books again and I'm enjoying the rediscovery process of them.
============

Has the computer/TV/DVD screen taken over from the written page? Possibly.


If so, will it herald the decline of imagination? No, imagination is what makes us all unique as humans.
Long may it continue!
**************************************************************

Last but not least and this may be impossible to answer.

Do you have ONE favourite book from your childhood? Black Beauty

Whether you have one particular favourite or not, can you take a few minutes to list as many titles as you can remember that you loved or that have stayed with you, for whatever reason. Just the ones that come into your head at this moment.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Janet & John
Christmas Comic Annuals

If you were sent to a Desert Island and were only allowed one children’s book what would it be?
Book of Children's poems.
.
Hope it helps TFX

lampworkbeader said...

When you were very young, did anyone read to you? Yes, occasionally my sister

Did you have a favourite picture book? Nursery Rhymes

Did you read to yourself, can you remember what age you started doing that? By 7 I could read fluently

Why did you read? To escape or experience adventure? Or another reason? Both, and because my big sister did.

Did anyone ‘ignite’ a passion for reading, a teacher/relative/librarian for example? My sister, Childrens’ Hour on the radio. I wanted to read the books that were serialised on the radio

Were there any book characters who influenced you and your behaviour? No

Were there any places in a book that you longed to be? Coral Island!

Were you inspired to read poetry or were you put off the genre? I read a lot of poetry. My father would often recite Robbie Burns

Did you enjoy fairy stories? Yes, the green fairy books etc.
Which fairy story or myth, if any, has stayed with you? Too may to note. may of the stories were very frightening, not sanitised like they are now.

Was there a book you hated? More than one? I didn't like The famous Five stories or the Secret Seven. Maybe I was jealous of the 'posh' way they lived. I couldn’t relate to them at all.

**************************************************************

Can you think of any modern writers of children’s literature who you think will survive the test of time? Any that won’t? Not Sure.

Do you think that reading as a child made you want to become a writer? Not really.

If you wrote for children in the future what form would it take? Poetry, novel, film, quick read, short story etc? Have you ever done so? Been published? I make up stories for my grandchildren all the time. My main character is a 10 year old bear.The bear has got older as they have got older. He was 4 when we started.

Do you have children, grandchildren or young friends/ relatives? Do they enjoy books? What do they prefer? How do you encourage them? If you do? Yes 6 grandchildren. They all enjoy books. When they come to stay we always read books together. I sometimes take them to the library or buy them books. Even the older one still enjoys reading books with coloured pictures.

Do they visit a library on a regular basis? Yes
If not why not?

Do you buy books for children? What was the last one you bought? Yes, My 9 year old granddaughter requested The Faraway Tree, a favourite teacher reads it to her at school.


**************************************************************

And finally, congratulations if you have read this far, not long to go now.

Is the love of books becoming rarer? No I don't think so, well not in my family.

Has the computer/TV/DVD screen taken over from the written page? For a few children perhaps, but they may not have been interested in reading in any case.

If so, will it herald the decline of imagination? No

**************************************************************

Last but not least and this may be impossible to answer.

Do you have ONE favourite book from your childhood? Warrior Scarlet or anything else by Rosemary Sutcliff

Whether you have one particular favourite or not, can you take a few minutes to list as many titles as you can remember that you loved or that have stayed with you, for whatever reason. Just the ones that come into your head at this moment.
Coral Island, Treasure Island, lots by Rosemary Sutcliff, G Treece, Brer Rabbit, Heidi, Little Women,

If you were sent to a Desert Island and were only allowed one children’s book what would it be? Impossible to say!

**************************************************************

Thank you for taking part in this survey.
Deadline tomorrow (Monday 6 pm).
There will be a prize. 
13th Apr 2008 - 11:33AM Cait Comments: 8

Lane said...

PART ONE.


When you were very young, did anyone read to you?
Yes, my mother

Did you have a favourite picture book?
I loved the Ladybird picture books.

Did you read to yourself, can you remember what age you started doing that? I was about 5-6

Why did you read? To escape or experience adventure? Or another reason? Just for the thrill of it I think.

Did anyone ‘ignite’ a passion for reading, a teacher/relative/librarian for example?
My mother always made sure there was a supply of books to read.

Were there any book characters who influenced you and your behaviour?
Paddington. I wanted to be one of the Brown children.

Were there any places in a book that you longed to be?
Narnia.

Were you inspired to read poetry or were you put off the genre?
No, I loved a big old book of children's poetry that I had. I've still got it somewhere.

Did you enjoy fairy stories?
Which fairy story or myth, if any, has stayed with you?
Didn't realy enjoy fairy stories - apart from Narnia.

Was there a book you hated? More than one?
No I can't remember ever 'hating' a book.

**************************************************************
PART TWO

Can you think of any modern writers of children’s literature who you think will survive the test of time? I think there are probably several who will stand the test of time JK obviously and Jacqueline Wilson. Any that won’t? Hhm, not sure, I'm afraid.

Do you think that a love of reading as a child made you want to become a writer?
Yes, I think it probably did.

If you wrote for children in the future what form would it take? Poetry, novel, film, quick read, short story etc? Have you ever done so? Been published?
I'd write short novels. I'm writing one at the moment and no I haven't been published.

Do you have children, grandchildren or young friends/ relatives? Do they enjoy books? What do they prefer? How do you encourage them? If you do?
I have 2 children. They both love reading. The younger one loves animal stories, fairy stories, anything really. The older one likes biographies and anything about animals:-)

Do they visit a library on a regular basis?
Yes, at least once a week.

If not why not?

Do you buy books for children? What was the last one you bought?
It was called Tum Tum and Nutmeg. I can't remember who it's by.

Lane said...

Ooops and here's Part 3

PART THREE

Is the love of books becoming rarer?
No I don't think it is.

Has the computer/TV/DVD screen taken over from the written page?
Maybe. As kids we had no alternatives.

If so, will it herald the decline of imagination?
I sincerely hope not.

**************************************************************

Last but not least and this may be impossible to answer.

Do you have ONE favourite book from your childhood?
Malory Towers - The first one by Enid Blyton

Whether you have one particular favourite or not, can you take a few minutes to list as many titles as you can remember that you loved or that have stayed with you, for whatever reason. Just the ones that come into your head at this moment.
The Faraway Tree
Black Beauty
Famous Five
Malory Towers
Lion Witch and the Wardrobe
Paddington
Little House on the Prairie
Anne of Green Gables

If you were sent to a Desert Island and were only allowed one children’s book what would it be?
Anne of Green Gables

Phew. Hope that's Ok Cait:-)

Grouse said...

When you were very young, did anyone read to you? No

Did you have a favourite picture book? Lucy Atwell

Did you read to yourself, can you remember what age you started doing that? 3

Why did you read? To escape or experience adventure? Or another reason? Because I could

Did anyone ‘ignite’ a passion for reading, a teacher/relative/librarian for example? Sister

Were there any book characters who influenced you and your behaviour?
Monica Edwards
Were there any places in a book that you longed to be? Bagdad

Were you inspired to read poetry or were you put off the genre? Loved it as a child...

Did you enjoy fairy stories?
Which fairy story or myth, if any, has stayed with you? All of Grimm- ditto my children

Was there a book you hated? More than one? No

**************************************************************

Can you think of any modern writers of children’s literature who you think will survive the test of time? Any that won’t? Obviously Harry Potter is a modern classic

Do you think that reading as a child made you want to become a writer? No- never occurred to me

If you wrote for children in the future what form would it take? Poetry, novel, film, quick read, short story etc? Have you ever done so? Been published? Novel

Do you have children, grandchildren or young friends/ relatives? Do they enjoy books? What do they prefer? How do you encourage them? If you do? Read to mine but didnt insist- son never read but is now avid reader, daughter read more but reads less

Do they visit a library on a regular basis? No
If not why not? Buy books they want from Amazon

Do you buy books for children? What was the last one you bought?

Something about planets for great nephew
**************************************************************

And finally, congratulations if you have read this far, not long to go now.

Is the love of books becoming rarer? I hope not

Has the computer/TV/DVD screen taken over from the written page?
I think not- son was the computor addict in our house but now most avid reader, and considering writing as profession
If so, will it herald the decline of imagination? Only if we let it.

**************************************************************

Last but not least and this may be impossible to answer.

Do you have ONE favourite book from your childhood? Monica Edwards Punchbowl Midnight

Whether you have one particular favourite or not, can you take a few minutes to list as many titles as you can remember that you loved or that have stayed with you, for whatever reason. Just the ones that come into your head at this moment. All Enid Blyton, Monica Edwards, Grimm, CS Lewis, Tarzan Treasure Island The Water Babies, Ivanhoe, The Susan stories, Heidie,

If you were sent to a Desert Island and were only allowed one children’s book what would it be?
Punchbowl Midnght

Cait O'Connor said...

When you were very young, did anyone read to you?

No

Did you have a favourite picture book?

Like Jane I do not remember any, don't think they were around so much. Now they are plentiful and many are so well illustrated, I love them! I still love Shirley Hughes. I like Kim Lewis' illustrations too.

Did you read to yourself, can you remember what age you started doing that?

I think about six.

Why did you read? To escape or experience adventure? Or another reason?

To escape my home situation and to experience adventure.

Did anyone ‘ignite’ a passion for reading, a teacher/relative/librarian for example?

No. Though the library was a haven for me and I read three books a week (maximum allowed) and helped out on a Saturday morning.

Were there any book characters who influenced you and your behaviour?

All of them really.
Characters in Little Women, What Katy Did. Boarding school girls. Horsey types. Famous Five, Secret Seven.

Were there any places in a book that you longed to be?

Anywhere to be away from where I was. I longed to be in the countryside with ponies or at a boarding school. Or to live in New England or in a little house on a prairie.

Were you inspired to read poetry or were you put off the genre?

Totally turned off. Now it is one of my passions.


Did you enjoy fairy stories?

Yes.

Which fairy story or myth, if any, has stayed with you?

None in particular. I believe in fairies though:)) But I realise now that some fairy stories had a dark and creepy side to them. Grimms for example. I still have my childhood copy.


Was there a book you hated? More than one?

Can't think of one at the moment.

**************************************************************

Can you think of any modern writers of children’s literature who you think will survive the test of time? Any that won’t?

Roald Dahl is my number One and will live for ever. I really miss him.
C S Lewis, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Kenneth Grahame, Philip Pullman, J K Rowling, (she is SO lovely), Enid Blyton. Not sure about Jacqueline Wilson?
A lot of writers will fade away.

Do you think that reading as a child made you want to become a writer?
Oh yes.

If you wrote for children in the future what form would it take? Poetry, novel, film, quick read, short story etc? Have you ever done so? Been published?

Novel. It is so hard to write for children I am told and can well believe it.

Do you have children, grandchildren or young friends/ relatives? Do they enjoy books? What do they prefer? How do you encourage them? If you do?

YES to all. All great readers. I encourage in my job and at home to my family.

Do they visit a library on a regular basis?

Yes

If not why not?

Do you buy books for children? What was the last one you bought?

Don't buy many as I use the library of course. At Christmas I bought a few for the gdds. Lauren Childs, Flower Fairies, Art books and new novels.


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And finally, congratulations if you have read this far, not long to go now.

Is the love of books becoming rarer?

I think it is strong in 0-11 year olds, then I am worried it is diminishing in young adults (teenagers).
It is the older generation that are the keenest library borrowers though I have a wide cross section of age groups coming in. I would say it is on the up thanks to the promotion of reading that has been going on of late, with book groups, TV promotions, book awards etc.

Has the computer/TV/DVD screen taken over from the written page?

Children and teenagers do tend to spend less TIME reading as a lot of their time is spent online socialising. Same with (some) adults too. (Yikes is that me too?)

If so, will it herald the decline of imagination?

I hope not. Albert Einstein said Imagination is more important than knowledge. Clever man Einstein.
Nothing beats a book as far as I am concerned, you have to use your imaginative and visionary powers, as you do with radio.
With a book you can also go at your own pace, in your own time and take it with you.

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Last but not least and this may be impossible to answer.

Do you have ONE favourite book from your childhood?

I could never whittle it down to one.

Whether you have one particular favourite or not, can you take a few minutes to list as many titles as you can remember that you loved or that have stayed with you, for whatever reason. Just the ones that come into your head at this moment.

Little Women
What Katy Did & What Katy Did Next
Wind in the Willows
The Water Babies
All Enid Blyton
All Boarding School stories
Pollyanna
Heidi
Grimms Fairy Tales
A Victorian Novel called Freddy's Little Brother. It was in the home, not a children's book it was about a destitute family. I wept buckets.
Pinocchio
Rupert
Just William books
Every Pony book ever written
Peter Pan
Little House on the Prairie series
Malcolm Saville adventure stories
ROALD DAHL... I was too late to read him as a child but enjoyed him with my own children. He is the best.


If you were sent to a Desert Island and were only allowed one children’s book what would it be?

I just can't decide!
Might have to come back to this bit. Smile

KittyB said...

My parents read to me - I liked the same books over and over, we lived in Canada and I liked Disney's Cinderella with the little mice.

My favourite picture book was Hilda Boswell's nursery rhyme book. My imaginary friend Bobby was basically one of her blue pixie-like creatures.

I learned to read quite early and read compulsively as soon as I started. About 4.

Adventure, reading was the key to another world.

I presume my parents having such a wide range of books in the house, I loved the library, my grandmother took me as it was near her house.

Got to be the Famous Five, and the Swallows and Amazons crew. I longed for adventure without pesky adults telling me to be careful all the time. But mostly, Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet the Spy. I *was* Harriet.

The Secret Island in the Enid Blyton story - bivouaking without adults.

I had a couple of books of children's poetry - a Puffin Quartet, A child's garden of poetry, and I loved them. We had to learn poems in elocution lessons so I learned to appreciate them that way. Later, perhaps 12 or 13 I had an inspirational English Teacher who made us recite The Lady of Shallot, Hiawatha etc. Magic.

Yes, but mainly the Brothers Grimm or Russian ones, I like a bit of darkness to a story!

Plenty - horsey ones, not my style, plenty on my shelf I couldn't get away with, mainly books with inaccessible writing, an antiquated style. I remember feeling lost with Leon Garfield.
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Michael Morpurgo will stand the test of time. Jeremy Strong is also very funny. I personally don't like Jacqueline Wilson books, but I'm sure the issues will always be relevant.

Reading as a child certainly gave me a love of words, and from that I fell into writing. The ability to string together an article without difficulty is useful!

I have no plans to write for children as I can't seem to get back to that mindset.

I encourage my son to read as much as possible. He likes humourous books and adventure books too, as well as endless non-ficiton, usually historical. I buy those I see that I know he would like, and he borrows plenty from school.

Yes we visit the library fairly regularly, once every couple of months, he usually borrows non-fiction, DK Eye-Witness, that sort of thing.

Regularly - the last ones I bought were World Book Day special £1 books, Captain Underpants, and Odd and the Frost Giants.

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I don't think the love of books is becoming rarer, but the need for celebrity culture and gossip is making mindless biographies and Jeremy Top-Gear man books sell instead of anything decent. But at least people are reading!

No I don't think so.Computers are good for instant information, but you can't get in the bath with one or snuggle down in bed.

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Last but not least and this may be impossible to answer.
I couldn't possibly name just one!

Famous Fives - Enid Blyton
Secret Sevens - EB
St Clares/Mallory Towers - EB
The Adventure series - EB
Harriet the Spy - Louise Fitzhugh
The Hobbit - JRR Tolkein
Arthur Ransome adventures
Ballet Shoes - Noel Streatfield

If I couldn't have the collected works of Beatrix Potter in one big boook - Appley Dappley's Nursery Rhymes, Beatrix Potter. Although that Hilda Boswell book would be lovely too...

Preseli Mags said...

When you were very young, did anyone read to you?
Mum read to me mostly.

Did you have a favourite picture book?
I had a Pogle’s Wood book with lovely pictures.

Did you read to yourself, can you remember what age you started doing that?
I could read before I started school at five. I used to read the Janet and John books.

Why did you read? To escape or experience adventure? Or another reason?
I found books really exciting, a fabulous escape into fantastic worlds.

Did anyone ‘ignite’ a passion for reading, a teacher/relative/librarian for example?
My mum really got me started, then my infant teacher tried to stop me, but failed, gave up and let me have free run of the library. At Middle School they gave me a book shop to run.

Were there any book characters who influenced you and your behaviour?
Probably the Famous Five, Swallows and Amazons and the girl from the pony books (Jill?). I wanted to be a tomboy and have ponies.

Were there any places in a book that you longed to be?
The Shire with all those lovely Hobbits.

Were you inspired to read poetry or were you put off the genre?
I loved poetry, but only comic poems and limericks. I loved Edward Lear and Hillaire Belloc.

Did you enjoy fairy stories? Yes.
Which fairy story or myth, if any, has stayed with you? Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Princess and the Pea.

Was there a book you hated? More than one?
I can’t remember hating a book. Except Lord of the Rings, but then I was so deeply in love with Bilbo Baggins, I couldn’t accept that LotR was about Frodo.

Can you think of any modern writers of children’s literature who you think will survive the test of time? Any that won’t?
Julia Donaldson, J. K. Rowling, Michael Morpurgo and Jacqueline Wilson will stand the test of time. There are lots of trashy little books about puppies, ponies and fairies that won’t.

Do you think that a love of reading as a child made you want to become a writer?
Definitely. And from a very early ago too.

If you wrote for children in the future what form would it take? Poetry, novel, film, quick read, short story etc? Have you ever done so? Been published?
I have written short rhyming things (poetry is too grand a description, more doggerel I’m afraid!). Unlikely to get published.

Do you have children, grandchildren or young friends/ relatives? Do they enjoy books? What do they prefer? How do you encourage them? If you do?
I have a six year old and a four year old. Both myself and my husband read to them every night. We adore books, so they adore books. They don’t need any encouragement! They love books with characters that share their names, fairies, puppies, ponies and stories about slightly older children having adventures. They love things that rhyme (like Hairy Mclary) and things that are clever and make them laugh (like the Gruffalo, Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book, other Julia Donaldsons).

Do they visit a library on a regular basis?
We are visited every three weeks by a library van. The girls choose their own books when they are at home, otherwise I get them a selection. They regard it as a huge treat.

Do you buy books for children? What was the last one you bought?
I buy far too many! The last two were Little Animal Ark, The Party Pony by Lucy Daniels (for Rosie, 4) and Princess Hannah and the Little Black Kitten by Vivian French (for Hannah, 6).

Is the love of books becoming rarer?
Not in small children, but it seems to wear off in boys at about the age they discover rugby, football and/or computer games.

Has the computer/TV/DVD screen taken over from the written page?
It certainly competes for time.

If so, will it herald the decline of imagination?
No. Children still have wild, adventurous imaginations.

Do you have ONE favourite book from your childhood?
It’s a toss up between The Hobbit and Charlotte’s Web.

Whether you have one particular favourite or not, can you take a few minutes to list as many titles as you can remember that you loved or that have stayed with you, for whatever reason. Just the ones that come into your head at this moment.
Swallows and Amazons; The Famous Five; The Secret Seven; Mallory Towers; The Hobbit; Lord of the Rings; The Secret Garden; STif of the Dump; Alice in Wonderland; The House at Pooh Corner; Charlotte’s Web; The Jill pony books; The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, books by the Pullien-Thompson sisters (whose names escape me now.)

If you were sent to a Desert Island and were only allowed one children’s book what would it be?
Lord of the Rings, but I have only been able to read it as an adult. If it had to be a book from my childhood it would be Swallows and Amazons.

Preseli Mags said...

That's Stig of the Dump (not Stif!) and I forgot to add Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach) and Dick King-Smith to my list!