there were no dogs in my childhood)
so, I learnt to read with the Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme
(altho I'll bet that Jane's mother didn't cut the tip off the shoes
when Jane's feet grew "too big". . .leaving "Jane" with a life long hatred
of open toed sandals and her too big feet)
(but am I bitter? no - I mean at least I had a pair of shoes, eh)
I used to dream of the happy lives - and all the instruments - that the children having a music party had - which is why I went so over the top with mine own children. . .
but my favourite books from Ladybird were, of course, the fairy tales. . .
known, in the trade, as the "Well Loved Tales". . . most of the ones I had were retold by Vera Southgate and illustrated by Eric Winter; of course, I didn't like all the stories
. . .Rumpelstiltskin scared me
. . .I was envious of Rapunzel's hair
. . .Jack just struck me as stupid - I mean magic beans?. . .I always wished I has a sister, like the Snow-White and Rose-Red
. . .and as for Sleeping Beauty, there was just something about her that made me feel uneasy - all those godmothers! what was that all about?
however some of the tales I really really loved and they and their magical qualities have stayed with me
. . .I'd love to find a door that I could turn up at, in the wind and the rain, soaked to the skin, where someone would take me in and make me and put me to bed - however uncomfortable
and as for my favourite ever story (of the Ladybird variety) - well, it is (as you may recall) The Elves and the Shoemaker
it wasn't until I had my own children that I realised that all these tales had been written - or indeed, in some cases, genuinely retold from historical folk tales - by people other than Vera. . .
The Brothers Grimm, Jacob (4 Jan 1785 - 20 Sept 1863) and Wilhelm (24 Feb 1786 - 16 Dec 1859), were academics best known for publishing collections of folk tales and fairy tales, which became popular. They are among the best-known story tellers of folk tales from Europe, and their work popularized such tales as Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel. . .
Hans Christian Andersen (2 Apr 1805 – 4 Aug 1875), was a Danish author and poet noted for his children's stories. These include The Emperor's New Clothes, The Princess and the Pea, The Snow Queen, The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Little Match Girl, The Ugly Duckling. . .
and of course, since I've become a grown-up and been in charge of my own reading material, I've also discovered some of the original illustrators of those books of stories. . . and I love some of them even more than Eric's images - but that's another story for another day
what is/was your favourite childhood tale. . .
(anyone who says "Biggles" will be disqualified,
similarly "Just William")
learn to read?