July/August Kids Reads

Before lockdown I was struggling to get Edith to stop reading at night. Miss Independent just wanted to get straight into bed and read to herself for a couple of hours. Now she is in a bit of a slump. She is more than happy to read to her sisters but very uninspired to read to herself. I wonder whether the whole lockdown situation has scared her off the whole idea of doing anything independently and this includes reading. The silver lining to this situation is that she now wants me to read to her again which I am loving.

  • Rapunzel by Bethan Woolvin.

Rapunzel is smart. She has great hair. And she does NOT need a prince.

I HAVE HIT A WALL. In the quest to raise daughters who could never be described as princesses, I have created MONSTERS. My daughters are independent, feisty and opinionated and maybe just for an hour I would like them to be quiet, introverted stamp collectors. (no disrespect to stamp collectors). 👧👧👧👧👧👶👧👧👧👧👧👧I have quite a few mum friends who don’t like their daughters to read fairy tales. They don’t want their girls to be exposed to princesses who want to fall in love and be rescued by a man. I on the other hand, pity the poor man who falls in love with my harridans. Today’s major melt down was as a result of me saying that they couldn’t watch their iPads at 4:30 in the morning. I AM DONE!!!!

Bethan Woolvin is a hit in our house. She says of her books ‘I’m inspired to create strong female characters in my fairytales, because I want to create female characters both boys and girls will want to read about. It shows children that females are worthy of being written about.’ Her female characters are never rescued by princes, they aren’t victims and they always emerge victorious. These are utterly empowering books (I just sometimes wish my girls weren’t so empowered). Incidentally, every time I write the hashtag raising girls, I mistype and write raising gits. Hmmmmmm.

With this book, I wanted to deliver to readers are braver, more resource full Rapunzel, who doesn’t need to be saved by a prince.

  • See Inside London. Usborne. Rob Lloyd Jones and Barry Ablett.

See inside London. Over the past 2000 years, London has survived fires, plagues and terrible areas to become one of the largest cities in the world. With amazing illustrations and revealing flaps to lift, this book tells the cities incredible story.

The legendary Usborne books. My kids have TONS and my sister and I had loads when we were kids. I remember giggling with my school friends about the erection pictures in Understanding The Facts of Life and the Usborne Book of Ballet was the bible for many a school project.

We love a lift the flap book in our house. I think they appeal to our nosy nature. The Usborne See Inside series means that we can be educated and nosy at the same time. See Inside London is Edie’s favourite and was very useful when she had to do her Year 2 Fire of London project. There is something really comforting that Usborne books will always be the go-to for a school project.

  • Busy Zoo by Ruth Redford.

There are so many animals to meet at the zoo. Penguins, elephants and giraffes too! Push, pull, turn and slide to bring the busy zoo to life!

And then she turned 1!!! I am proud and joyful to report that her favourite pressie was a book!! Busy Zoo published by @campbell_books. This is a great book for little fingers. Really sturdy with loads of push, pull and slides. Maisie loved the 🦒 page. Happy Birthday Mrs!

  • The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton.

When Joe, Beth and Frannie move to a new home, an Enchanted Wood is on their doorstep. And when they discover the Faraway Tree, that is the beginning of many magical adventures! Join them and their friends Moonface, Saucepan Man and Silky the fairy as they discover which new land is at the top of the Faraway Tree. Will it be the Land of Birthdays, the Land of Toys, or even the Land of Ice and Snow with its magic snowman?

When Edie requested that we read The Faraway Tree books together I was pretty chuffed. I had an image of myself sat on the sofa with beautiful hair, perfect dress and glowy skin, Edie and Ceci either side of me, freshly scrubbed from the bath. All three of us laughing at the Saucepan Man and imagining the taste of Toffee Shocks. I am sad to say that the reality has been different. Revisiting my childhood favourite has been…a disappointment. Appealing to adults was never part of Blyton’s MO. She famously said ‘My work in books, films and talks lies almost wholly with children and I have very little time to give to grown ups’ as a result I doubt very much if she would care about my adult opinions of her books seeing as my childhood self and my current children love the books

What would Ms Blyton say about the fact the books have been snowflaked?? No more Dame Slap…she is now Dame Snap. Fanny is now Frannie….my 7 year old was baffled by this one….how many 7 year olds call it a fanny????!!! Of course the premise of the book is great and incredibly exciting however I am sorry to say that we found each chapter a little repetitive. I would say that the lesson of this situation is that you shouldn’t return to childhood favourites but that theory is utterly disproved by Edie’s love for Roald Dahl.

Thanks for reading and stay well.

Els

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