It would be hard to miss that today is World Book Day; all the lovely photos of people’s children dressed up as their favourite characters to go into school. We however, aren’t at that stage yet, although we are still getting involved in the celebration by reading lots of books today.
What is World Book Day all about?
World Book Day is a celebration of illustrators, authors, books and most importantly the joy of reading. 2016, is the 19th year of World Book Day and across the UK and Ireland children are encouraged to explore books and reading.
We LOVE reading in this house and today, we have picked our favourites to share with you… one collection is missing because we’ve lent it to someone, but we’ll share it with you anyway!
The Velveteen Rabbit
This was a book given to me as a child and one I still cherish today and love reading to my daughter.
Margery Williams’ incredibly touching story of ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ was first published in 1920 with illustrations by William Nicholson. It has been loved by generations of children and is a children’s classic. The edition I have, is new edition and has been illustrated by Michael Hague.
The story is a real tear jerker for those who have ever loved a toy so much, that it almost feels real to you, it may be a tear jerker, but it does have a fabulous, magical ending. The story is of a small boy and his shabby old rabbit and makes for the most touching and enchanting tale.
This collection was given to me by my Godmother when I was little, and it is a real favourite of mine and now my daughter’s too.
Written and illustrated by Jill Barklem, she spent years researching before starting her first stories of the mice of Brambly Hedge. Her interest in natural history, traditional crafts and rural living spilled over into these stories of hedgerow life.
Fabulous tales and illustrations of what the mice get up to in their little community, that may well be imaginary, but as a child sparked something in me and would make me search tree stumps and hedges for the mice of Brambly Hedge.
My little girl does the same now and we talk of what they’re all up to and in the evenings, when we come in to read, the events of our imagination during the day come to life on the pages of these books.
Belle & Boo
On receiving a card from a friend congratulating us on the birth of our daughter back in 2013, I was instantly drawn to a lovely illustration by Mandy Sutcliffe. It was after doing some more research into the illustrator, that I discovered, as well as cards there was a huge range of ‘Belle and Boo’ products available, as well as beautifully illustrated children’s books.
Every night the ‘Goodnight Kiss’ is read to my daughter, even if we are reading something else, it has become part of our routine. From the age of 6 months, it has been read to her every night and she will now sit and ‘read’ it to herself. Of course, she isn’t actually reading the words, she has almost memorised it to the pictures; so whilst she may only be 2, she appears to be reading the book word perfect!
It really is a joy to watch, and to see her so connected to the characters makes me enjoy the stories even more. Every bunny down here in the woods is ‘Boo’, her room has a selection of Mandy’s illustrated postcards, as well as what I call ‘the Belle and Boo discovery card’ framed on her wall, the duvet set… Belle and Boo has well and truly become a part of life here and is a real favourite of ours.
Another book collection given to my daughter, that used to be mine; Cicely Mary Barker’s ‘Flower Fairies’, this is the collection that is out on loan to a friend of ours.
If anyone wonders where my fascination with fairies come from it has to be from Barker’s illustrations. Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies, was first published in 1923 and have enchanted both adults and children alike. The botanically accurate drawings, coupled with the enchanting fairy images, along with a short verse or poem, dedicated to the individual Flower Fairy appeals to everyone’s sense of magic and wonder.
It was because of these poems and illustrations that I was so fascinated with fairies growing up, and why I continue to read them to my daughter. I even made lots of fairy doors for our woodland for all of Barker’s fairies who live here in the woods!
Please Note: I have not been paid or received any goods in exchange for this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.