I’m currently reading Flood and Fang by Marcus Sedgwick – a novel aimed at children – and I am loving it.
It is like a sunny day in the middle of a snow-filled March (sounding familiar?) – I read quite a lot of Young Adult fiction, an awful lot of adult Urban Fantasy, a simdgeon of saucy stuff and the odd crime, thriller and horror and I love them all, but there is nothing quite like stepping back and picking up a piece of Children’s literature.
There is just something magic about it – the something that instilled in me the passion to read and to write – and for all it is well below my ‘reading age’ and not aimed at me at all, I love to read it.
I still happily read Brian Jaques Redwall books without a second thought and consider Children’s novels as ‘must reads’ just the same as anything else. Especially now I have two children of my own, granted they can’t read yet but they are both happy to sit down with books by themselves and point things out in the pictures and pretend to read them. They love story time and have favourite characters already (such as ‘Barry the fish with fingers’ or ‘Ba-weee!’ to Arthur) and I am hoping this will stay with them as they grow older.
I have a large amount of my old favourite children’s novels still (on my bookshelf in my old bedroom… sorry Mum & Dad!) and I hope that Tori and Arthur will love at least some of those as much as I did. But I want them to read everything – from my old Animal Ark collection and classics like Colin Dann’s Animals of Farthing Wood through to whatever is new and ‘cool’.
Will Tori discover Jaqueline Wilson and love her like all my friends did? Or hate her books like I did? Will Arthur read the Redwall novels and spend days pretending to be a woodmouse with a sword like I did? Will they love the Horrible Histories books and read each other Goosebumps stories at bedtime and give themselves nightmares?
I am looking forward to discovering new books and redicovering old ones with them – reading Harry Potter as a bedtime story, chapter by chapter. Sharing their school books and expanding my own library as we go.
But even if I had never had Tori and Arthur, you can bet your bottom dollar I’d still be picking up books like Flood and Fang because they are brilliant. Children’s literature is not something to be dismissed once you hit adulthood – it is magical and funny and clever and eye-opening if only you give it the chance. Remeber, you are never too old for books – any books.