Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Winter sunrise

a Cornish sunrise
warming the sleepy rooftops
on a Winter's day

I awoke to a beautiful sky this morning
The golden glow warmed my heart
It's going to be a good day!

The sunrise reminded me of a scene from my book called "Rook" by Deborah King, now a cherished childhood book that I only discovered last year!


In the "pass the book giveaway" I'm loving hearing about your childhood books and your precious memories of reading as a child. A few of the books are new to me but there are many favourites that I share with you!

I learnt to read with the Sheila McCullagh books about Roger red hat, Billy blue hat and Jennifer yellow hat. They all lived in The Village with Three Corners. In the early seventies, we used colour graded "SRA Cards" to read and then had to answer questions to make sure we understood what we were reading

One of the earliest memories I have is of my sister and I fighting over the "Topsy and Tim" books and the "Rufty Tufty" books (by Ruth Ainsworth) at the village library (I'm talking late sixties!). My sister loved "My Naughty Little Sister" books and "Twinkle". My friend next door liked the "Mr. Twiddle" books. I think they were by Enid Blyton

After dinner, Mummy brought out her workbox and a pile of gay old clothes ... "You're going to be gipsies" she said

Every other Saturday morning my sister and I would go to the bookshop and spend our pocket money on a paperback. In the early seventies you could buy a brand new paperback book for 20p. I remember this because in 1971 (when I was 9 years old) we got decimalisation and I remember drawing around the new money to learn about it. The alternate Saturday morning we used to lay in bed till lunchtime reading our books

My most favourite books were "Pookie in Search of a Home" and "Fairyland Secrets". They were both books about animals, fairies and elves making cosy little homes in the woodlands and I still have them

Fairyland Secrets

I also loved "Treasure at the Mill" by Malcolm Saville. It was about a group of children following rhyming clues to find treasure hidden in an old water mill. The treasure was hidden at the time of the Cavaliers and Roundheads (17th Century) and it was this book that first inspired my interest in English history

... and I liked these too ...
  • Mary Poppins
  • 101 Dalmations
  • Arabel and Mortimer books by Joan Aiken
  • Little Pete Stories by Leila Berg
  • Stig of the Dump by Clive King
  • Ballet Shoes and the shoe books by Noel Streatfeild
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Little Women (given to me by my great-grandmother)
  • Pollyanna
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • The Wind in the Willows
  • The Willows in Winter
  • Ladybird books of nature
  • Ladybird books ... What to look for in Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
  • Beatrix Potter books
  • Flower Fairies poems
  • The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • Enid Blyton's "Naughtiest Girl" books
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Sense and Sensability
  • Emma
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier
... and I remember a book about a volcano. I must have been about 11 or so and borrowed the book from the school library but cannot remember the title or author. It was part of a series of adventure books. I would love to discover that book again

I didn't realise, at the time, how much my childhood books inspired my love of nature. I had the Ladybird Books of Garden Flowers and Wild Flowers and used to spend hours and hours designing gardens, according to colour and height of the plants. I think Mum still has one of my designs tucked in a drawer somewhere. That was how I taught myself lots of flower names including some in latin

What to look for in Winter

If you have a blog and would like a chance of winning the "Pass the Book Giveaway" and some Valentine's Day goodies (details below) please leave a comment on this post or the last post telling me about YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD BOOK - I will pull the winner's name on Valentine's Day ♥

Well, all for now! I still haven't visited anyone yet! Naughty me! I still haven't sorted out my holiday photos yet either so will post about "E" soon. Now, I'm off to visit lots of lovely blogs!

Carolyn ♥

Link: Valentine's Day - Pass the Book Giveaway


La Dolce Vita said...

awesome post, filled with lots of lovely memories for me! thank you!

Jasmine said...

Amazing illustrations. Makes me want to create something tree like today.

I grew up with Enyd Blighton too. The Magic Faraway Tree with Silkie, Moonface and Mr Whats his name? And the Flying Chair. I know she is dated now and has een subjected to PC checks over the years but I found nothing but magic in these books as a child.

Auvery Eva said...

I gave a friend the ladybird book "what to look for in winter" for christmas. a lovely book.
notice jasmine's comment - I was just telling a close friend that I like Enid Blyton's Farawy Tree and The Flying Chair

Lawendula said...

My favorite childhood's book was "The brothers Lionheart" from Astrid Lindgren.
Thanks for your nice comment! CU

Julie said...

Your post has stirred up lots of memories, altho I am a little older than you :o) I loved the Ladybird Seasons books too and enjoyed all of Enid Blyton's "Adventure" series. I was an avid reader and devoured everything I could get and a particular favourite was "A Child's Garden of Verse" by Robert Louis Stephenson which I still own. At school a teacher once read us "The Ship that Flew" by Hilda Lewis which has recently been reissued and which I bought last year. I had the Pearl book of Fairy Stories which was magical (I think that was the name) and a book called 'Patsy' by Marie Jeanne Lind who I think is a relation. Then of course all the classics, Heidi, What Katie Did, Black Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Jane Eyre, I think I could go on and on. Musn't forget Thomas Hardy's novels which I loved! Maybe I'll write a post about it too ;o)

Jan said...

Your books are all so different from ones I read as a child. I'm older and live in the US so that must be part of it. I was enamored of all things horse, so I read all the Walter Farley books about the Black Stallion, also nature books by Jim Kellgard. I know I haven't spelled his name correctly. He wrote books from some woodland animal's point of view, like a grizzly bear or a wolverine. Then there were the fantasy books such as by Madeline L'Engle and CS Lewis. fun to think about all these. Thanks for stirring up the memories.

JP said...

have mised you while you've been gone - glad you had a good time - I feel a bit old now i realise you learned to read with roger red hat et al as I taught children to read with said books!!! - so no one wil know my 2 favourite stories! - The Five chinese Brothers and The Nasturiums Who Were Too Big For Their Boots!!

Pink Milk said...

Hello (big wave)!

I've just discovered your blog and thoroughly enjoyed reading your posting about childhood reads; made me feel all nostalgic.

I too loved Enid Blyton's The Enchanted Wood and The Faraway Tree but also the Mallory Towers series and ... my absolute favourite ... Milly Molly Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley. Imagine my joy when I had a daughter; I bought all my favourites and read them to her!!!


The Garden Bell said...

What a great posting today. I, of course, love Anne of Green Gables. So much so that we have visited Prince Edwards Island. Wonderful visit. Who could forget the Wind and the Willow. I could go on and on. Love this as it gives me so much to ponder this afternoon.

Kate - The Garden Bell - xoxooxox

Lyn said...

did you read Mrs Pepperpot? They have recently republished them all glossy and full of pictures. I remember them with just simple black and white illustrations, and there wasn't that many either!

Clare Wassermann said...

my goodness what a post and how evocative!

Sea said...

My absolute favourite has to be....Alice in Wonderland"....I read it so much that my copy fell apart, and I knew the story so well back then I could make sure the story was in the correct order.

Jill said...

I taught many children to read with Billy Bluehat and friends, but I also share many of your childhood favourites myself. In fact I wrote a post about The Secret Garden only this week.


So many happy memories, I have taken Arabel and Mortimer out of the library as that sounded really good, but the standout memory for me is "Mr Poppers Penguins".

vintagerockchick said...

I'm older than you - I was working as a Saturday girl in Woolworth's when decimalisation happened - selling iced fruit cake by weight, sliced off a bigger slab, and loose biscuits. The Health & Safety would have a field day!
Do you remember I-Spy books - my sister and I used to be given one when we went on holiday in a vain attempt to stop us saying "Are we nearly there?" Oh dear, this is turning into 'All Our Yesterdays' x

Menopausal musing said...

Great Post: I loved "Stig Of The Dump" ..... loved the ingenuity of it.

Melanie Uys said...

There is one old book that still holds a special place in my heart and has survived my mad, periodical culls, "Pookie puts the world right". I loved it mainly for the illustrations and I remember it having a strong environmental message even though it was published yonks ago. I initially saved it from my mum's bookshelf clear~outs. I'm going to dig it out again over half~term and read it to my kids.

CJ Stitching and Blooms said...

Hello Carolyn,

Your post is very lovely and the illustrations incredibly beautiful. My very favorite childhood books are from Beatrix Potter which I see you have on your list too. I believe that these books will go on forever and be enjoyed by millions of more children.

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your lovely comment. I hope you went over the Winter Wonderland Exhibition to have a look at all the wonderful art there. I am sure your vote will be appreciated. Hugs Judy

jude said...

the tale of benjamin bunny, the tawny scrawney lion, a jolly christmas at the patterprints and a little old man.

Diane said...

Lovely lovely post and illustrations. Don't think you'd find the word gay, or gypsies in kids books these days!!!! ha ha ha xxxx

Julia said...


What a beautifully nostalgic post! I admit to shreiking out loud at the topsy & Tim illustration, my childhood was peppered with those stories not to mention Enid Blyton books, the Mrs Pepperpot series and the Moomins by Tove Jansson (and which I still read now haha!)
I also remember loving The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe as a slightly older child but as for a favourite, Im struggling to choose! Perhaps I must come back to Enid, her Faraway Tree books were a delight as were the Famous Five and are still very memorable to me now.

Love Julia x x x

Kayla coo said...

Hello Carolyn.
I remember visiting a second hand book shop as a child to buy old Enid Blyton books, I loved Castle Of Adventure.
Also The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was a favourite and books by Noel Streatfield which include Ballet Shoes.
Hope you had a lovely holiday.x

Anonymous said...

Hi Carolyn, thanks for dropping in to see me! I've found your post really interesting today, stirred a lot of memories. I think without doubt my favourite childhood books were the Milly Molly Mandy stories. I loved the map showing the village were everyone lived and always wished I could go there! My daughter (now 21) many years later also enjoyed Milly Molly Mandy and still has her books. I also still have my Ladybird "What to Look for" in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter books!
Vivienne :)

blueberries in the fields said...

beautiful post Carolyn and so wonderful to learn a little bit about your childhood. I remember reading a lot of " Comtesse de Segur" books. I did not read any english until late in my teens and loved all of Jane Austin's great stories.
this is such a great giveaway ♥

speak to you soon xoxoxo

Susan - said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your photos are beautiful and I'm glad you found my site. I guess my favorite book when I was a child was Secret Garden. I still love that book and I probably have read it over 10 times.

artangel said...

Fab post - I LOVE children's books! One of the pleasures of having kids is getting to re-visit your favourites!

I loved so many books as a child, but my very favourite was probably Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Roald Dahl is a genius at writing for children - just the right amount of gruesome-ness!

Gunnels blog said...

Great post with so many beautiful images. I love to read books for children, first when my kids was small and then when I work as a kindergarten and now I read a lot for my grandchildren.

bad penny said...

how lovely Carolyn - I remember Topsy & Tim ! I still have one or two of my old books. We handed down Enid Blyton's Adventure series through the four of us and they have all our old addresses in one of my brothers wrote. I have the set minus one - my favourite The Circus of Adventure. Mum thinks we gave it to my niece as she loved it too.

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Love all of the pics and illustrations in this post Carolyn - and the Haiku is excellent.

I forgot to include my favourite childhood book in the giveaway comment (such a long time ago, it's hard to remember individual titles!). Enid Blytons's 'Famous Five' and 'Secret Seven' were wonderful - full of excitement and adventure - and I adored all 'pop up' books (still do). Bfn, Lesley.

French Knots said...

I have my old Topsy and Tim books upstairs! I loved the Blackberry Farm books and Little Grey Rabbit and all the Enid Blyton books. Naughtiest Girl, Secret Seven, the 'R' Mystery series, the Adventure series. Oh and all the Swallows and Amazon books too, I suppose I yearned for adventures!

~Phyllis~ said...

Hi Carolyn,
I loved reading as a child. Still do. My all time favorite book as a child was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. I loved horses so I read it numerous times. I even have a copy of it on my Kindle to read again sometime soon.
You have brought back some wonderful memories with this post.
Thanks so much.

Eni said...

You mention Enid Blyton's books. Well, I am glad to inform you that I have published a book on Enid Blyton, titled, the Famous Five: A personal Anecdotage (
Stephen Isabirye

Twiglet said...

Such a lovely blog -brings back lots of very happy memories. Doesn't it show how important it is for adults to spend time sharing books with children. Bedtime stories last a life time!
I have just lent my infants teacher niece- 21 Topsy and Tim books! My favourite was The Borrowers - Mary Norton

Heather said...

Your post has revived so many childhood memories for me. I also loved the Flower Fairies, Wind in the Willows, Beatrix Potter, Enid Blyton and a book I have managed to keep from those years - Aldous Greenwing's Fortune by M. Forster Knight. It was published in 1945 and I must have received it not long after - it is a treasure to me. Your photographs are so lovely and all those illustrations from your books are delightful. I often think that children's books contain some of the most beautiful artwork. Sad though that many artists have to earn their living by illustrating books rather than selling more serious works. said...

What wonderful book choices! I used to love Milly Molly Mandy, Tom and the water babies, Alice in wonderland and Enid blyton's Faraway tree and the enchanted forest! Loved this post! suzie xxx

pinkfairygran said...

I am older than you as well, but remember the Enid Blyton books, though my favourites were The Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland too. I didn't discover Anne of Green Gables until much older, but love them. Just love books really.

PS I am also having a giveaway ending Valentine's Day, over on the Three R's blog... all to do with knitting.

Fiona Whitehead said...

Hi Carolyn - my favourite books as a child were the Enid Blyton books MAllory Towers and Famous Five - my life seemed so dull in comparison to their adventures! - but my favourite book to read to my children was Going to Sleep on the Farm - its not a well known book but the story line was so gentle and the drawings were wonderful - a firm family favourite and we still treasure it

Pomona said...

I have the Pookie book, too! Quite amazing - or maybe not, as we are obviously of the same vintage! It is so difficult pinning down a favourite - I put the Narnia books down on the original post - but what has been lovely about having children is being able to revisit old favourites and find new ones.

Pomona x

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the Mary Plain books, about a little bear and her guardian, the Owl Man. I also loved Mary Poppins; I have the whole series and I regularly re-read them to this day. And, of course, Winnie the Pooh. Wonderful blog post with some delightful illustrations. Thanks for some great literary memories!

sandra wyman said...

I just loved books (still do - give me a book and you'll keep me happy till I've finished it) and even from an early age enjoyed rereading my favourites. Amongst others - Rupert Bear, What Katy Did etc, Anne of Green Gables, any Fairy Stories (especially the Yellow, Green etc Andrew Laing Fairy Books with the beautiful illustrations); Wind in the Willows was a particular favourite and have read Jane Austen multiple times since the age of 14 without tiring and falling in love with Darcy everytime I reread Pride and Prejudice. Then there are the ones I used to read to my nephews: a particular favourite being the owl who was afraid of the dark, and the one about the two monsters hurling insults at each opther from opposite sides of the mountain. Not to forget Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Must stop. Could go on all night...

ArtPropelled said...

I'd forgotten about Pookie! The Secret Garden has been on my Must Read list for years. It's time I read it!

imac said...

Beautiful post - my little Cornish Pixie, Dont know if Julie has told you yet but we have booked to come again for 2 weeks to St Ives this year last week in Sept and 1st week in Oct. wayhay.

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

This one has a golden glow around it, even when its sitting in my bookcase - The Wind in the Willows


Pom Pom said...

Oh, I love the shoe books, too!

Robin Mac said...

I have just caught up with your blog again, and I remember so many of your favourites - though I am a lot older than you and some of those were my children's favourites. All the LM Montgomery books were super and there was an English schoolgirl series, the heroine's name was Dimsey, but I can't remember the author. I have posted more on my blog. Cheers, Robin

Debrina said...

My goodness but I loved the Puffin Annuals of the early to mid 70s! Well, there were only two actually. BUT they were marvellous. All the BEST authors and illustrators contributed: Quentin Blake, Leon Garfield Smith, K.M. Briggs, Colin West, Pauline Baynes, Fritz Wegner, et al. Your posting here is magnificent. I had no idea you'd been doing such a feature on books! Everything from my childhood has just come flooding back! I love your sunrise photo - apart from the obvious powerlines, it could be a match to Rook by Deborah King! What's more, I've never heard of her or her book. So now I am going to have to find it and pretend I am little again (I was born in '71)and reinvent some childhood memories.

ArtPropelled said...

I forgot to say my favourite childhood book was Winnie the Pooh.

Anonymous said...

What lovely memorys reading your post. Billy blue hat and friends were my childrens reading books and I made puppets for the Abbotts Farm infants school. I also remember and still read Mrs Pepperpot. These books are my treasures and memories...The Tall book of Christmas, Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden and Why are you crying Kangeroo?

Margie Oomen said...

i have so many favorites but the one i reread almost every year and have read out loud to each child and hope in the future to each grandchild is The Hobbit.

ger said...

Hello Carolyn, hope you had a great time in E... My favourite books were the travel- + adventure stories by German author Karl May, + Cooper´s Leatherstocking Tales...

wintergreen.3 said...

Lucky and The Giant. Don't know why I liked this book so much, but it has survived many moves and I still have it. Maybe I'll read it to my granddaughters when they're a little older.

Lori said...

This has been a delight - a real trip down memory lane. How I loved to read and have many favourites from Mr. Pinkwhistle and the Brownie stories of Enid Blyton, through The Secret Seven, The Famous Five, Mallory Towers to What Kay Did and What Katy Did Next, The Country Child, Little Women, Lorna Doone...Oh how I loved them all. Thank you for evoking such pleasant thoughts of yesteryear.
Thanks for a superb post xx


Thank you all so much for your comments!

The "Pass the Book Giveaway" is now closed