Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Assorted public agencies are always running initiatives to turn kids into good, worthwhile citizens, and targeting parents to encourage them to bring up their children well.

These are sometimes rather hopeless and depressing. For example, there's a poster in the local doctors' surgery aimed at reducing violence. It starts by encouraging parents to speak to their small children and maybe give them a hug sometimes. The fact that people wouldn't do this anyway is awful; that some unit somewhere has decided it can be tackled with a poster is almost as bad.

Anyway, more cheerfully, I got some stuff from one of the better initiatives yesterday. It encourages you to read to your children. You get a magazine about reading (rather bizarrely, this featured an interview with a daytime TV presenter rather than someone you'd associate with reading!), but, more usefully, three books to start you off.

Two of them are ok, but we particularly loved Babies. It's got a mirror at the back - the Boy smiled when he saw himself for the first time - and it finishes up with the line that the baby the reader loves best in all the world is the baby in the mirror. It made me go all sniffly!

Anyway, there's the library for most books - but I want to build up a collection of classic children's books for me to read for the Boy when he's old enough.

So far, the list includes:

The Hungry Caterpillar
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Hobbit
The Dangerous Book for Boys (I keep wanting to steal my nephew's copy)
Assorted Enid Blyton (although my husband says he didn't like these as they were all about posh kids!)
Harry Potter
The Eagle of the Ninth and other Rosemary Sutcliffe books
Roald Dahl - I particularly loved George's Marvellous Medicine (who doesn't like making up potions when they're a kid?)
Truckers, Diggers and Wings

And when he's a bit older, Dragonlance, the Lord of the Rings, the Hunger Games, and the Discworld novels.

That's a fairly short list and I'm sure there are loads I've missed. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I also loved the Tamora Pierce Lioness books at the Mallory Tower books as a kid, but I'm not sure the Boy will dig them. On the plus side, we're probably spared him being into Twilight.

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