Top Ten Tuesday: Childhood Favourites

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

It’s already time for another Top Ten Tuesday and this week we are chatting about childhood favourites! So I’ve chosen ten from throughout my childhood from the very beginning that have stuck in my mind as having a big impact on me. I hope you enjoy reading and I can’t wait to hear all about all of your favourites!

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1. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen (author) and Helen Oxenbury (illustrator)

Summary: from Amazon

For brave hunters and bear-lovers, the classic chant-aloud by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.

Follow and join in the family’s excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud in search of a bear. What a surprise awaits them in the cave on the other side of the dark forest!

Why:

This is the first book I remember loving! The chant of ‘we’re going on a bear hunt, we’re going to find a big one…’ is still very much in my head today! It’s such a great story to read aloud and since bears are my favourite animals this had to make my list of childhood favourites.

2. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

Summary: from Goodreads

The Rainbow Fish is an international bestseller and a modern classic. Eye-catching foilstamping, glittering on every page, offers instant child-appeal, but it is the universal message at the heart of this simple story about a beautiful fish, who learns to make friends by sharing his most prized possessions, that gives the book its lasting value.

Why:

I remember the cover of The Rainbow Fish vividly – it is so pretty and calming. The illustrations are lovely and what I remember really liking about the book along with the nice moral of the story.

3. The Twits  by Roald Dahl

Summary: from Amazon

Mr Twit is a foul and smelly man with bits of cornflake and sardine in his beard.
Mrs Twit is a horrible old hag with a glass eye.
Together they make the nastiest couple you could ever hope not to meet.
Down in their garden, the Twits keep Muggle-Wump the monkey and his family locked in a cage. But not for much longer, because the monkeys are planning to trick the terrible Twits, once and for all . . .

Why:

Roald Dahl is a tricky subject for me because I adored his books as a child, and as an adult. They are a work of genius with eclectic plots and characters and such a huge amount of creativity. However, in recent years some less than flattering stories about Roald Dahl’s personal views have come to light which make me question his integrity. It’s difficult because I’m not sure I can claim to like the author anymore but I cannot deny how much I loved these books growing up and The Twits is one of my favourites. The Twits themselves are just so deliciously horrible and I loved reading about the animals getting their own back!

4. The Witches  by Roald Dahl

Summary: from Amazon

BEWARE.

Real witches dress in ordinary clothes and look like ordinary women. But they are not ordinary. They are always plotting and scheming with murderous, bloodthirsty thoughts – and they hate children.
The Grand High Witch hates children most of all and plans to make every single one of YOU disappear.
Only one boy and his grandmother can stop her, but if their plan fails the Grand High Witch will frizzle them like fritters, and then what . . . ?

Why:

I still find The Witches kind of scary today (if you haven’t seen the film version with Angelica Huston then I definitely recommend it) and it’s one of my other Roald Dahl all time favourites although Matilda is awesome too! The Witches totally captured my imagination as a child – it’s brilliant and creepy!

5. The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events) by Lemony Snicket

Summary: from Amazon

Dear reader,

There is nothing to be found in Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ but misery and despair. You still have time to choose another international best-selling series to read. But if you insist on discovering the unpleasant adventures of the Baudelaire orphans, then proceed with caution…

Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky.

In The Bad Beginning, the siblings encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune and cold porridge for breakfast.

Why:

I have to be honest and say that I kind of lost interest in these books as the series reached the end because they started feeling slightly repetitive at times. Saying that, they are still utterly fantastic! They’re not cutesy or insulting to a young readers intelligence in any way which I so enjoyed. I hate when kids books talk down to youngsters and A Series of Unfortunate Events never did so I had to pop it on this list.

6. The Twins at St Clare’s: Book 1 by Enid Blyton

Summary: from Amazon

Schooldays at St Clare’s are never dull for twins Pat and Isabel O’Sullivan in Enid Blyton’s much-loved boarding school series.

In book one, the twins are simply not having it. St Clare’s is beneath them and they’re determined to cause a stir. But life at St Clare’s is not as easy as they thought. They have several surprises and arguments before they admit their troubles are of their own making, and settle down to make friends. Expect mischief at St Clare’s!

Why:

I used to listen to the audio version of these books on cassette tape back in the late 90’s/early 00’s when I was young and struggling with insomnia. I could listen to these stories for hours as I lay awake and so they will always feel comforting and nostalgic to me. Enid Blyton is a legend for a reason!

7. Clique: A Novel: Bk. 1 (THE CLIQUE) by Lisi Harrison

Summary: from Amazon

Meet the Clique: Massie Block – with her glossy brunette bob and clear white smile, Massie is the uncontested ruler of the Clique and the rest of the social scene at Octavian Country Day School, an exclusive private school at Westchester, New York.Dylan Marvil – Massie’s second in command, Dylan divides her time between sucking up to Massie and sucking down Atkins shakes to try to get rid of the extra fifteen pounds that won’t seem to leave her hips alone. Alicia Rivera – as sneaky as she is beautiful, Alicia floats easily under the adult radar because she seems so ‘sweet’. Would love to take Massie’s throne one day. Might just do it…Kristen Gregory – Kristen has been dying to fit in ever since her parents went broke. She’s smart, hard-working and will insult you to tears faster than you can say ‘scholarship kid’.Claire Lyons – the new girl from Florida, Claire is staying in the guesthouse on Massie’s family estate. She is definitely not Clique material, yet Massie’s family insist that Claire is included in her gang. Claire’s future looks worse than a bad Prada knock-off, but with a little luck and a lot of scheming, she might just coming up smelling of Chanel No.19…

Why:

I remember being kind of obsessed with the Clique books when I was about 12/13ish. I loved reading about gossiping and the fashions worn by the children of the ridiculously wealthy! It’s kind of like a pre-teen gossip girl but more snarky and whilst plenty of the girls in it are pretty awful – the series makes for a really fun read!

8. Little Women  by Louisa May Alcott

Summary: from Amazon

‘I want to do something splendid… something heroic or wonderful that won’t be

forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what,but I’m on the watch for it

and mean to astonish you all someday.’

Curl up with this timeless classic, and your new best friends – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, the four March sisters whose lives will bring tears to your eyes and warmth to your heart, and whose stories will stay with you forever.

Why:

I think this one might be on a few lists today! It’s obviously a classic for a reason and growing up with two sisters of my own made me feel a strong connection to Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy and their relationships with each other. It’s a great book which I think can be universally loved by both children and adults. It’s one that I reread quite a lot.

9. Chinese Cinderella  by Adeline Yen May

Summary: from Amazon

Jung-ling’s family considers her bad luck because her mother died giving birth to her. They discriminate against her and make her feel unwanted yet she yearns and continuously strives for her parents’ love. Her stepmother is vindictive and cruel and her father dismissive. Jung-ling grows up to be an academic child, with a natural ability for writing. Only her aunt and grandfather offer her any love and kindness. The story is of survival in the light of the mental and physical cruelty of her stepmother and the disloyalty of her siblings. Jung-ling blossoms in spite of everything and the story ends as her father agrees to let her study in England.

Why:

This is a book I’d mostly forgotten until it sprang into my head whilst making this list and I was immediately filled with affection for it. It’s a pretty emotional and at times sad read but also such a beautiful version of a classic cinderella story.

10. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling

Summary: from Amazon

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

Why:

This one really doesn’t need an explanation. The Harry Potter books meant so much to me as a child and possibly even more now as an adult. It is irreplaceable and uncontested in it’s brilliance in my humble opinion!

Well that’s it! Ten of my childhood favourites! Are there any here you also loved as a child? Or any you would like to read to your child someday? Lets chat in the comments and I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s lists!

xxx

44 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Childhood Favourites

  1. Lilyfae says:

    Know how you feel about Dahl, though I was never a huge fan, it was a rite of passage if you know what I mean- same with Blyton for me, horrifying when you tease out the attitudes but still have a magic that hooks children even today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa says:

    We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is such a favorite of mine! I read it with all my kids, and give that one as a baby gift quite often. There’s something so lovely about it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mahmarino says:

    This is such a great list!
    The fun thing about growing up in a different country is that I didn’t know most of these titles until I was much older…
    Little Woman is still on my TBR, I’m so curious about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Debbie J says:

    I’ve read seven books out of the ten on this list, child me is pretty impressed with herself! We’re going on a bear hunt is honestly such a classic though, I hope it’ll remain a firm favourite for children in many years to come!

    Like

  5. Annemieke says:

    I agree that Roald Dahl is tricky. I am not a fan of his but I am a fan of the books that meant something to me. But I am very aware that he was not very likeable.

    Like

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