Children’s Books… Not The Children’s Book

If you have come by this post thinking that I am discussing A.S. Byatt’s ‘The Children’s Book’ then you may very swiftly want to pop here instead as I am going to be talking about actual childrens books. It was initially a poll that Simon of Stuck-in-a-Book posted on Enid Blyton vs. J K Rowling that started my train of thought. He then wanted to find out what peoples favourite childrens books were, which ones people might not have heard of etc.

All the published children’s books I initially read and loved were by Enid Blyton at first its a little predictable but I got my Mum’s old books to read and her entusiasm for them passed onto me. I then branched  out (ha, branching out at the age of about six seems extravagant) onto Jill Murphy and her wonderful Worst Witch series before starting on the wonders of Robin Jarvis (The Whitby Witches is still one of my favourites. My very favourite books as a child though weren’t  ones which were published or available in shops. Here is just a selection of some of them…

So what is this series of books? Well its a special tale about a witch called Esmerelda, her giant cat Marmalade and their mouse Mitch.

The cast of characters eventually grew as the some more friends in the form of a duck called Rapunzel and ‘the hens’ as well as a certain young boy called Simon who lived in Newcastle sometimes and Matlock sometimes… hmmm could that be anyone we know?

So who wrote these books and why did they feature me, my Mum, places I had been too and my pet duck Rapunzel and my hens (who were never evil in the books like they were in real life). Well every last page of each adventure finished with some farewells and this image might give you a clue…

So who is Bong or Bongy? Well he was my Granddad (I couldnt say Grandpa when I was a baby so Bonpa became Bongy), in fact he was married to Granny Savidge Reads, until sadly he died two years ago aged 68 suddenly from cancer. Though he isnt here I am lucky enough to have these books (though we do all have an unfinished book of his memoirs my Gran had printed) which I treasure. The fact he made these for me by hand while he had a full time job I think is just amazing and still touches me. He sent these when I was living in Newcastle while my mum did her degree (in fact its where I met Novel Insights) from when I was 4 up until I was about 6. One would arrive through the post every few weeks I loved them and it certainly pushed me further into read as I had these books that were so special, all my own with no other copies and I even featured in some. I think that the time and effort he took to make over 20 books is amazing and they are my most treasured childrens books… in fact my most treasured books full stop!

What about you? What books have you treasured from childhood? I am thinking I should get copies of these made for all his other grandchildren, maybe a publisher would like to publish them with the pofits going to a cancer charity… am off on a flight of fancy.

23 Comments

Filed under Book Thoughts, David Savidge

23 responses to “Children’s Books… Not The Children’s Book

  1. That really just deserves a big AWWWWWWWWWW I like the stripy cat. Perhaps you should make some evil hen picture books for the small people in your family 🙂

    • Awww thanks Jodie. I am awwing at your awwwing hahaha. I have been tempted to do something for my little siblings and my cousins, I might think about it more once Christmas is out the way.

  2. These are wonderful! I pulled out a couple of similar books – “Hector stories”, written for me by my Dad the other day, and insisted on reading them to my partner. There is something very special about having books written specially for you.

    • Ohyou should do a post on them Verity the Hector Stories sound lovely. I think having a set of books that is just yours is quite something and makes me think I should do something special for my little brother and sister. I cant draw but I can write so many over the Christmas season something will be created.

  3. That is so totally special! I would sincerely encourage you to try to get it preserved, reprinted, something. It’s just precious. I didn’t have anything quite like that. I loved my Dr. Seuss books of course. My daughter has a book that is called “On this Day” about her birth, that was personalized for her. It makes me cry when I read it now.

    • I have them in a special box and so far they have lasted a good two decades but I do need to get them reprinted, even if only for my cousins who range from 1 year olds to 7 year olds and my brother (7) and sister (11) too.

  4. Kals

    This is such a lovely post 🙂 Enid Blyton is my all-time favourite children’s author. J.K.Rowling is excellent too, but its always Blyton who defined my childhood 🙂

    This is my post about Blyton that I wrote for the meme ‘Women on Wednesdays’ I think you might like it 🙂
    http://atpemberley.blogspot.com/2009/12/women-on-wednesday-enid-blyton.html

  5. My most treasured childhood book is The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien. I remember my Dad reading it to me before bedtime when I couldn’t have been more than 5 years old. When I was 7 I read it for myself…only to realise he’d left out the scary bits like the giant spiders…nasty surprise but bless my Dad.

  6. That is wonderful! I love the personal nature of these books and I think that writing something like that is really special. Perhaps I should get writing for my boys!

  7. Wow. That’s so lovely.

    I wonder if my sister will ever write a post like this, as I used to make books for her when I was a kid. One of them was titled “Granny Fitzgerald’s Delicious Cow’s Tongue Stew”! and another was “Mr Bee’s Honey Pot”! 😉

    • It was very kind of him and the collection is quite large I just dont know how he fitted all the drawing, writing and plotting in whilst having a full time job in the council.

      Your books for your sister sound gorgeous. Does your sister have a blog, I never knew! You must share that with us sometime. Both titles sound fabulous. You should get pics of them when you go back on our trip.

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