Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Books, books, books...

I'm a huge fan of reading. I have an obsession with books - reading them, buying them, holding them, just seeing them on my bookshelf. Old books, new books, picture books, and books from my childhood. 

I have always had a special affinity with children's literature - from the classic children's novels, to popular writers such as Roald Dahl, J K Rowling and Jacqueline Wilson; I love it all. 

Having studied literature at university, and taught many children from birth-19 years since then, Children's books have been a huge part of my life, and I now own a varied collection.  I have the ones I remember (and have kept!) from my own childhood, the books I read to my younger brother when he was growing up (Harry Potter mainly!), the books I have taught through my drama teaching, and the books I have explored by myself in the children's department at Waterstones (everybody does that, right?). Together they culminate into a rather eclectic collection of books for children, all sitting on a bookshelf in my baby's nursery. 

Is it wrong that I have the books before the baby?

Anyway, never one to turn down a rummage in a book shop, charity shop, or any shop in between- today I had a rummage in a local charity shop on Castle Road in Bedford and was delighted to find a lovely mix of children's literature all for 75p a book! How could I resist?

 Here are the books I found:

Kipper's Birthday by Mick Inkpen
The Mousehole Cat by Antonia Barber/Nicola Bayley
Whatever Next! by Jill Murphy
The Tale of a Naughty Little Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Chocolate Mousse for Greedy Goose by Julia Donaldson/Nick Sharratt
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen/Helen Oxenbury

Some of these books I remembered from my own childhood - I was taught We're Going On A Bear Hunt in Reception class some 22 years ago! My mum regularly read Jill Murphy's books to me, and Beatrix Potter has been a favourite of mine since I was very small. Other's I have discovered as an adult in my teaching career, such as The Mousehole Cat, which I just love! 

Collectively, the books should have cost £33.94 at their RRP's, and today I bought the lot for £4.50. I LOVE a bargain! :-) All of them are in great condition, none are written in or torn, and I love the fact that they're pre-loved and have been read and enjoyed by other children. 

It isn't just the magic of the stories themselves that I enjoy but the stunning illustrations which are forever imprinted on my memory once I've fallen in love with a book ... the wonderful work of Quentin Blake (which incidentally has inspired my whole nursery theme), and Nick Sharratt's simple colourful illustration to name but a few of my favourites. 

Gorgeous illustrations from today's purchases...

The people of Mousehole (Mowzel) lighting the way home for Tom and Mowzer in the story!

The Mousehole women, children and cats baking Star-Gazy Pie!

Peter Rabbit running away from Mr McGreggor! 

Kipper baking his 'flat thing' Birthday Cake! 

Baby Bear in Whatever Next! playing make-believe with a box, colander and welly boots! 

The Bear Hunt family wading through the river! 

Greedy Goose admiring her chocolate mousse! 

I cannot wait to share these books with Baby Bishop when he/she is old enough. I'm a firm believer in the importance of reading to your children, and have such fond memories of my mum reading to me as a child...Heidi was the first 'novel' she ever read to me in nightly instalments and I will never forget the excitement I felt knowing I would hear the next chapter each night. I hope my passion for reading, writing, and illustration is passed on to my children...

And if I had to pick a favourite book from my own childhood, what would it be? 


Each Peach Pear Plum was my utter favourite - I can still recite it from memory & love searching the pages for all of the characters...

What was your favourite book as a child? 

Have you shared it with your own children? 

Do you read to them each night before bed?

Mrs Bishop



  1. We have so many books lined up ready to read to our girls, I couldn't list them. We also had many of them before Evie was even born :-). Greedy Goose is a current favourite, as is anything by Julia Donaldson!!

  2. I always read to my children, you must get The Tiger That Came To Tea and Hairy McLary, and of course Guess How Much I Love You x We also read a lot of A A Milne poems (Alexander Beetle) and other childrens poetry ( The Friendly Cinnamon Bun is great) xxx I loved the Brer Rabbit books, The Little Grey Men, and the Adventure series by Enid Blyton (The Island Of Adventure, I read that so many times ;) x)

  3. Oooh i also love The Tiger Who Came to Tea & Hairy McClary - also on the list of favourites ;-) my husbands favourite as kid was Brer rabbit too! xxx

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