I love it when I can pass on something from my childhood to my own children and sharing books from my childhood is a really special way to do this. I have a set of Beatrix Potter books and it melts my heart to share them with my daughter, Sofia.
The set has 12 books in a presentation box. The box is quite faded now but the books inside are pristine and one of my most treasured possessions. They were a gift to my sister from a very elderly friend of the family called Alf. He gave them to us shortly before he passed away (I now understand that they were meant to be a Christmas present but he knew he was not going to live that long).
Beatrix Potter was a prolific children’s author and famously lived and worked in the Lake District. I went to the Lake District every summer as a child and my love of her stories comes from those early childhood memories.
I had these books stored away safely until my daughter was old enough to know to treat them carefully. They now live on a high shelf in her bedroom away from her not so careful younger brothers. Sofia calls them mummy’s special books. I used to cuddle up with Sofia (then aged 4) under the duvet when I was pregnant with the twins and read these stories to her over and over again. At the time this was a tactic to get some rest while looking after an energetic preschooler but I now remember these moments very fondly.
It’s hard to pick our favourites from the set. Sofia likes the cheekier characters like the two naughty mice in The Tale of Two Bad Mice and the mischievous Squirrel in The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin. I have a soft spot for the frog in The Tale of Jeremy Fisher and the lovely old hedgehog in The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.
As the books were originally written in the early 1900’s some of the language is a bit old fashioned and there are some words that I needed to explain to Sofia. In a way I like that they have a very distinct style and are different from the other books that we read. I find them quite calming as they show scenes from a different era of traditional country life. The pictures are incredible – it is like looking at a tiny detailed artwork on every page. The characters are really lively and appealing and have defiantly stood the test of time.
I would really recommend investing in a set of Beatrix Potter books. They would make a very special birthday gift or may a Christening present.
What books do you treasure from your childhood? Do you have a favourite author you can’t wait to discover with your children?