What was your favourite childhood read?

Today is International Children’s Book Day.  A love of books and reading is close to all of our hearts here at Oxford Australia so we are celebrating the day by asking staff around the office to share some of their favourite childhood reads. Here are some of their answers:

9780192738271“I have so many but one book in particular that I reread throughout my childhood was The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Why did I reread it so many times? I loved the opening scene where Mary Lennox is found alone in a house in India after sickness has either killed or driven away her family and the servants; I loved the descriptions of Mary’s struggles to adjust to living in rainy, dour Yorkshire after the sunshine of India; I loved the mystery of the locked garden door, the serendipity of the robin helping Mary Lennox to find the key to that door and all that followed. I loved how she was such a strong-minded girl and could hold her own with everyone she met, but how she learnt empathy to temper her strong will. In fact, listing everything I loved about The Secret Garden has inspired me. I’m off to read it again!”
Nicola, Marketing Operations

The Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton was one of my favourite childhood reads. I just loved the characters Moonface and Saucepan Man – they were larger-than-life and had so much personality! The greatest appeal was that there were so many different lands to visit at the top of the tree, each as incredible and fantastical as the next one.”
Alicia, Editorial, Primary Education

“I was a fairy-obsessed child, so I adored Shirley Barber’s books. My favourite was probably the first one I received, The Tooth Fairy (you can’t get much better than a boat with rainbow sails!) Her stories and illustrations were pure magic and she made fairies very real for me. Sadly, the one mushroom ring I found in my garden must have been broken, so I never got to visit Fairy land.”
Amanda, Editorial, Secondary Education

“The book I always went back to as a child was The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I remember being completely caught up in the different worlds at the top the tree and wishing I could be friends with Moonface. I’ve read many more of Enid Blyton’s books, but this one is by far my favourite.”
Samantha, Publishing, Primary Education

“It was Hairy Maclary by far… I adored this book! The lively illustrations, the rhymes and suggestive words which were more like sounds that made the reader get into character. Plus… dogs have a special place in my heart.”
Tess, Design, Creative Services

“I re-read the Little House on the Prairie series (by Laura Ingalls Wilder) many times as a child and still go back to it today. I loved Laura’s pioneer stories, the iconic illustrations and the Ingalls family activities – Ma sewing, Pa playing the violin and the children playing with homemade toys. Even now I feel more of an affinity with the naughty Laura rather than the saintly Mary. I also enjoy reading modern research about the Ingalls Wilder’s life story.”
Jess, Compliance

“I loved the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. So much so that I faxed my dad’s work a picture I drew of the character Death. I think it puzzled his colleagues.”
Alex, Editorial, Higher Education

“Roald Dahl’s The Witches. It accomplished what only the best stories did, and made me look at the world in a different way.  In particular it made me very suspicious of little old ladies, mice, and paintings that feature small children.”
Jess, Marketing, Higher Education 

What were some of your favourite books as a child? We’d love to hear about them!

9780199695140For fans of children’s books, the second edition of The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature is publishing this month. Comprehensively updated and revised with over 900 new entries, the Companion is an indispensable reference to the world of children’s literature.

Written by Stephanie Swain, Higher Education – Product and Marketing Specialist

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