Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ponies and children books

Something happens around 4 o clock in the afternoon, as the little family gather for tea? or to watch the children come home.

By the pub garden

Inquisitive young

This little family of ponies are incredibly sweet, there is a bond between them all, one wonders what will happen when these two grow up.

Children books, its been a week for the old stories to come to the fore. Firstly, there is Asterix having a 40th birthday, can't say that I bought all of those marvellous books for my son but I bought a great many of them, they were then handed on to my first grandchild, but memories of standing in Waterstones perusing the titles and trying to remember which we had at home comes back to me.

Next Mr.Fox has been made into a film, Roald Dahl is seen as something of a cruel writer, but very readable, my favourite is The Giant Peach not Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Then this morning its Maurice Sendak and The Wild Things that have also been made into a film; surrealistic illustrations is my memory of the book but another favourite with the children.

What else, well I've ordered Shirley Hughes Tom and Lucy books for Lillie the smallest, if only for her marvellous illustrations.

There seems to be a rennaisance of children's books, and I must admit I enjoy them as much as the children. My own treat last year was a set of Fairy Tales by the Folio Society, and the Wind In The Willows cover is absolutely stunning. But strangely my favourite is a rather obscure book called The Little Grey Men by 'BB' - a tale of three gnomes who set off down the stream in a toy boat to find their friend who has disappeared, and though they only travel a mile or two, their adventures are well told as they drift through, spring, summer and autumn, ending up with a very strange meeting with the great god Pan.

And just as I was writing this, a radio programme on Masquerade by Kit Williams - the hunting of the golden hare - has been on, a book I still have, apparently after the finding of the hare (by devious means and old girlfriends!) it disappeared for years but Kit Williams now seems to have it in his possesion.
What is it about the approach of dark nights (the clocks goes back tonight) and halloween next week we all go back to childish things!


  1. How I agree with you about books and happy childhood memories and nostalgia coinciding with the nights drawing in, and being comforted by a real fire. I still have all my old pony books, and truth be told, if I find any I didn't have or hardbacks of the paperbacks I have, then I buy them. Some of them are very expensive now, so I have to wait for them to turn up in charity shops and car boot sales. I'm so glad I hung on to mine!

    I even have a copy of BB's Little Grey Men on the shelf, unread . . . as yet, and his wonderful Brendon Chase too (read that). An author who I never read until I was a mother myself, was Laura Ingalls Wilder. I found a complete set at a car boot sale which I bought and read to my girls, and still re-read them to myself!

    My son adored Thomas the Tank Engine and it is only this summer when he has left school, that I have been allowed to pass them on . . . The girls loved Cecily Mary Barker and the Brambly Hedge books. Happy memories.

  2. You really should read Little Grey Men, Bovey Belle - it's a classic of nature writing quite apart from the children's story.
    When I first got together with my husband, he took me to the Rainsbrook, which is the stream that the Little Grey Men travel along. It's just outside Rugby. BB was an art teacher at Rugby School, and knew the surrounding area well.
    Sadly, the stream had been channelled into a concrete culvert since his day - but you could still get some idea of what it had been like.