I started collecting children's books before I had children of my own. I was relatively slow to start reading at school, but once I got going I quickly became a voracious book worm. But when I got to University I realised I had missed loads of children's classics and so started collecting.
I think my first books were old copies of Rudyard Kipling's THE JUNGLE BOOK and JUST SO STORIES. I even remember a wonderful afternoon with my friend, Anne, constructing a crepe paper elephant head as wrapping for a friend's birthday gift of a second-hand copy of the Just So Stories.
I know that everyone goes on about the importance of books and reading to your children. Having spent the last year volunteering at my daughter's school in Year One. I can only add my voice to those of all the other, much better placed, voices. It seems to me that it can't be emphasised enough how much the children's progress in reading is directly related to how much their parents put into reading with them at home.
At Mrs Fox HQ we've been trying to come up with a list of our favourite children's books. It's a wonderfully hopeless task, the list just never ends. But then a blog is the perfect place for a list like that, isn't it? So here goes, and in no particular order:
THE LORAX by Dr Seuss.
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It's not."
I love the "mossy", "bossy", "sharpish" Lorax and the psychedelic Truffula Trees. As a bit of a tree hugging hippy at heart I really appreciate the environmental message of this book. But mostly I just love the language. I always struggled with being asked to read out loud at school and it was, among others, Dr Seuss books that helped me to hear the words as I spoke them, and love the sound of language. All the Dr Suess books, and particularly this one, owe a debt to the nonsense poetry of people like Edward Lear (THE OWL & THE PUSSY CAT) and Lewis Carroll (THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK and JABBERWOCKY). I used to doodle all over my school books; "the time has come the walrus said to talk of many things, of sealing wax and candle flax cabbages and kings...", I think this is actually a misquote from ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS.
I now love reading aloud to my own children and they can join in with the Dr Seuss books after only a few readings. We have lots of rhyming books, and my daughter at 6 loves reading these aloud to her 3 year old brother.
I think the Lorax is my favourite Dr Seuss, although it is very hard to pick a favourite. GREEN EGGS AND HAM is an all time great read and THE CAT IN THE HAT. My Mr Fox was often read BEARS IN THE NIGHT at bedtime when he was a child and we have kept up the tradition with our own children too. His mother bought our children the book - Ahhh!
The other Mrs Fox, Jackie, recommends THE BIPPOLO SEED AND OTHER LOST STORIES
We have taken the little foxes to see the new film of The Lorax. We really enjoyed it, it's great! It takes the book and frames it within the story of 12 year old Ted's search for a tree to impress the girl of his dreams, Audrey. A mad, technicolour, 3D, musical extravaganza by the team that made Despicable Me and Horton Hears a Hoo. It is a little sentimental and has not quite got the wit of the book (And I am not one of those people that always says the book is better than the film), but the kids loved it, it was a great way to spend a rainy morning in the summer hols and I'm sure we will get our little foxes the DVD when it is released.
Mrs Fox would just like to say that the books listed in this strand Books We Love are all ones that we have owned, and usually purchased ourselves. Links in this article to Amazon are to our store Mrs Fox's Books and More, where we receive a small commission on any purchase made through our link. However, we choose the books we add to the store and review and are not influenced by any third party in this choice.