Our book group has a name! The Novel Nine. There are nine of us, and although we read non-fiction, poetry, and children’s books as well as fiction, we are uniquely brilliant, wonderful women – novel.
This month we discussed our favourite children’s books: the books that turned us into readers and the ones we loved reading to our own children. Although there were far too many to list, a few of the stand-outs were Winnie the Pooh and House at Pooh Corner by AA Milne, Charlotte’s Web by EB White, Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, Uncle Wiggily by Howard Gars, The Dead Tree by Alvin Tresselt, Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, The Olden Days Coat by Margaret Laurence, the Madeleine books by Ludwig Bemelmans, the Doctor Suess books, and The Secret Garden by Robert Louis Stevenson.
We shared nostalgic moments when we remembered how much we enjoyed being read to as children (and as adults), how much we all loved our childhood libraries, and how important those libraries were to our lives and to our children’s lives.
As we became better readers ourselves, we moved into books like Little Women and Little Men by Louisa May Alcott, the Nancy Drew mysteries, the Hardy Boys’ adventures, the Narnia series by CS Lewis, the Anne of Green Gables novels by LM Montgomery, The Famous Five books by Enid Blyton, and of course, the recent Harry Potter series by JK Rowling and the Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman.
We agreed that there is no better gift to give or to receive than a new book.