One thing I'm really enjoying about the age and stage of our kids now, is that we're getting to read 'chapter books' to them and rediscover some of our childhood favourites.
For me, the Famous Five has wonderful memories. I remember my Dad reading the stories to me when I was a child - and the different voices he used for each character.
I don't use different voices and accents, but I have to admit to feeling the need to reading in a posh English accent when I read these books to our girls!
The Famous Five series, of which there are 21 in total, are one of the best selling children's book series of all time. They tell of Julian, Dick, Anne, Georgina (who wants to be a boy and is known as George) and her dog Timmy. In the books the children enjoy a large degree of independence - going off camping alone - with Timmy as their guard, and always finding adventures.
Reading them now, I chuckle at the food they're eating - lashings of ginger beer, cold tongue sandwiches, home made fruit cake - and all wrapped in a damp cloth and kept for days when camping! Funny thinking of food keeping so well outside in the cooler climate of England, now that we live in tropical Cairns, and have to keep so much more of our food in the fridge than we ever had to back in the UK. But I digress.
Another thing that is amusing, is the older style expressions and language used. As I said, I do feel the need to read in a posh English accent - particularly when Anne says something like, "Oh Julian, you are a brick!" Also funny is when our daughters come out with these old words and expressions themselves!
For me, I feel the Famous Five books are so well written, that although they aren't all fast paced action, every page is enjoyable. The descriptions are fantastic and the characters are so well developed, even Timmy the dog, that it's entertaining enough just reading about their daily activities, and the thoughts, sights and sounds that are vividly brought to life around them.
How about you? What was your favourite childhood book or series? Have you rediscovered any with your own kids? How much do you think our book preferences influence those of our children?