Monday, October 4, 2010

Influential Books of Our Childhood (and a great giveaway)

Are there books in your childhood that have influenced you? I’m not necessarily talking of your favorite books, but those that had an impact on you.
As my favorite books come to mind I am writing them down to get them out of my head – so I can ponder some of the influential ones. Oh, here they come (everyone likes writing a list of these!):

Fav books:
Richard Scarry Best Storybook Ever
Richard Scarry Best Storybook Dictionary
Anything by Enid Blyton
Grimms Fairy Tales
Mulga Bill’s Bicycle
Ant and Bee

Little Black Sambo
I Can Lick Thirty Tigers Today (and other stories)and many other Dr Suess

Influential Books
The Bible
How We are Made
What’s Happening to Me
Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Horton Hatches the Egg
Aesop’s Fables

I ponder the list I’ve written. How moralistic are the stories in the books that have influenced me! Why had these books/stories within, have such an influence? Why am I feeling a little nauseous as I think of them? I remember What’s Happening to Me filled me with dread – I didn’t want pointy boobs like that! And I certainly didn’t want to see my brother standing on the diving board at the pool, with an erection. I gave Jaws to my Dad for Christmas one year, only to steal it back and read it myself. I now have a morbid fear of deep water shadows. Karma.

Anyway I shall leave this with you – have a think about the books that have influenced you. Write a comment about them. Barefoot will give away a copy of the gorgeous book and cd set Mr Bandicoot and Other Tales to our favourite comment on this blog post. It’s a collection of unique Australian nursery rhymes by Anne Lawson (sung by Kate Rowe). We’ll contact one of you lovely readers (yes you have to comment to be in it!) and send it out.

Read Anna’s review below

Mr Bandicoot & Other Tales is a lovely collection of rhymes that has simple, but engaging pictures matched with a CD of accompanying songs. My 4 year old daughter has loved listening and reading/watching along, commenting on the pictures as she does so! I especially love that this collection of rhymes originates from a mumma who made them up for her children, and that her children loved them and remembered them years later – encouraging her to publish them for other children to enjoy. I think this book/CD collection is a great antidote to the populist children CDs that are on the market at the moment. Available from leading book stores or at the website

So come on readers, tell us about the most influential books you recall from your childhood. Anna and Jenny will argue over decide the best comments and winner will be chosen next Monday (October 11).

Jenny and Anna


  1. Any of the Serendipity books by Stephen Cosgrove are great -my particular favorite, Leo the Lop. Each book was its own moral story without being blatant about it, GREAT kids books.


  2. the book that i most remember from my childhood is "where the wild things are". our library van teacher (miss morton) used to read it to us. i always remember the way that she read it and the feeling that she invoked in us. i have bought it for my kids and love reading it to them :)

  3. The most influential books of my own childhood were definitely the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis. To this day I get enormous pleasure re-reading them and remembering, somewhat bittersweetly, how vividly they sparked my imagination as a was if I was actually there in the story when reading them. Cupboards and lions reamined slightly magical for years. One of my happiest literary moments was the day my six year old son was ready for me to start reading the series to him...ah, the memories that has evoked.

  4. Ah Sherryn - I very nearly put the Narnia series down in my list - then remembered I only read it when already an adult. I loved them so much I nearly CREATED a childhood memory of them!


  5. I would have to agree with "Sherryn"! The Narnia series had left me with a strange love for wardrobes ( and trying desperately to get in & through them... to the other side). So much so that I urged my little sis to lock me in our wardrobe hoping that the "other side" would finally reveal itself to me if only I was locked in... Unfortunately I kicked and pushed the inside but to no avail. CS Lewis was (still is) in my eyes a genius. The books introduced me to the ability to totally lose oneself in a book (... if not in the wardrobe).

  6. I loved the Richard Scarry books too - I loved looking for little Goldbug! My mum and dad bought me lots of nature books - about trees, butterflies, birds - i've kept them for my kids and they love them just as much.. I also remember any kind of flap books - i used to make my own and think of myself as a famous writer...
    I've kept my love of picture books too - I can't walk into a bookshop and not buy one..

  7. Oh I forgot - The Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair were BIG favourites - I used to look for wings on chairs too, imagining the places I could go if only I could fly away...

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