Tuesday, 28 February 2012

What's your favourite bedtime story?

No, not yours per se. Not as such. As in, what's on your bedside table; what do you read before turning out the light. No. A recent twitter conversation with - among others - @anniephoto, @Mrs_Rev, @mumstheboss, @adventuretogs and @tiddlyompompom set in train one of those discussions you don't really consider (well, I didn't) until it suddenly becomes the most immediate and interesting and inevitable topic ever to have crossed your mind.

In this case, the subject for cogitation was favourite bedtime stories to read aloud. Not even, necessarily, those we admire or enjoy for the quality of writing or the story or the literary merit. Not even, especially, those that appeal because of the magic of our own childhood memories.(This latter can, in fact, have the opposite effect. I have very fond memories of having the Beatrix Potter books read to me as a child, but was rather disappointed when I started reading them to Charlie.)

Anyway, books with gruesome twists, grotesque characters, grimly fascinating settings and all the gory details. Who else, of course, but the late, great Roald Dahl? For entertainment, for fun, and for the chance to give full reign to my inner Thespian, I can't beat The Twits. I'm delighted Charlie's now old enough to appreciate Roald Dahl. And even more pleased that it gives me a chance to do all the voices all over again.

In fact, I'm thinking of hiring myself out. Or making a story tape. I could probably do The Twits from memory. YouTube clips to follow, I promise. In the meantime, though, I'd like to know what you love reading to your children?


22 comments:

  1. I love reading to the kids. In the last year we've done The Hobbit, Weirdstone of Brisingamen and are currently working our way through The Chronicles of Narnia (last chapter of Voyage of the Dawn Treader tonight). We've done The Twits in the past (and the BFG) and they've all enjoyed Revolting Rhymes. Julia Donaldson's stuff wins hands-down with the youngest 3 at bedtime.

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    1. Same here, John. We've read 'The Gruffalo' and 'Gruffalo's Child' so ofter Charlie can recite them to his baby sister at the same time as turning the pages... to all intents and purposes, 'reading' the books himself!

      There's something memorable about her rhymes.

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  2. Roald Dahl (I'm loving my BFG accent, pleases me everytime I say anything). Also the hairy mclary books and the Mungo and the Pirates/Dinosaur Island/Spiders from Space always make me giggle too.

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    1. Ah, the BFG! We've that joy to come. Thanks for the other suggestions, Emily - I'll look those out!

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  3. Great minds think alike, I have a post about children's bedtime stories scheduled for tomorrow! We are currently on Beatrix Potter again!

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  4. Burglar Bill was always our favourite when the kids were little. (They're now all in their 20s.) Is it still around? We've kept our copy and I still look at it. (No, no, not empty-nesty at all.)

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    1. Do you know, Fran, I'm not sure. I've not come across it so far. But now you've mentioned it, I'm on a mission!

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  5. We've recently started reading My Naughty Little Sister books at bedtime, although The Girls often chose something else too...

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    1. Do you know DG, I somehow think that's going to become a favourite of ours too - especially has Charlie already has one (a naughty little sister) in training!

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  6. Roald Dahl is my eldest son's favourite (he's 18 now and still reads our collection, which he says he will take with him when he leaves home). I loved to read Goodnight Moon to my kids when they were little, just to have them 'read' it with me in their little cozy voices. I miss those days sometimes. Anyway, we came across a new parody of Goodnight Moon, called Goodnight iPad. There is a Youtube video of it available. It made me laugh...and then it made me a bit sad. Long live reading aloud!

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    1. I don't think you ever out-grow Roald Dahl Rebecca. And having kids of your own is just an excuse to re-read him! Just watched Goodnight iPad, btw - hilarious... but a little sad too, as you say.

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  7. We're moving into longer stories now so looking forward to having proper bedtime stories not just fairy ones

    Zog is a bit of a new favourite Chez Muddling

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    1. Oh yes, Hannah - proper bedtime stories. That's what I've been waiting for. And I'm going to add Zog to the reading list - thanks for the suggestion.

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  8. Oh love The Twits-an all time favourite. As soon as the child's old enough he'll be getting his Roald Dahl introduction and subsequent immersion! At the moment Tiddler is his favourite. Made me cry the first time I read it.

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    1. Tiddler? Really? I'm not sure if that's one of the many books we've borrowed from the library or not, but I'm going to have to look it out again and find out why it made you cry!

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  9. The Twits was my favourite book as a child. In fact it's still one of my favourite books. I only have to think about various things in it and my inner 9 year old hoots with laughter! It was fantastic reading it to my two for the very first time a couple of years ago, I enjoyed it immensely. Even if they did look a bit worried about how much I laughed. I laughed even more when a few months later they asked their grandfather whether he was Mr Twit (seriously!) because he had a bit of cracker stuck in his beard...

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    1. Oh I love it! Asking grandpa if he's Mr Twit! Thankfully my own beard is too short for bits of food to get stuck...

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  10. My kids enjoy Julia Donaldson, particularly The Gruffalo, they all join in now and also We're going on a Bear Hunt. I really liked re-reading the BFG and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. SO many to choose from...

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    1. So many indeed Mel. We've been immersed in everything Julia Donaldson for a long time now - so much that Charlie can recite The Gruffalo by heart. And we're none the worse for it, either. They're great books.

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  11. I love reading the little one the Julia Donaldson/Nick Sharratt books - Hippo has a hat, One mole digging a hole etc. The pictures are just glorious.

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    1. Good pictures can really 'make' a book can't they BFT? Which sounds strange when you're talking about bedtime stories, but if a picture is 'busy' it can add so many new diversions and imaginative twists. Axel Scheffler is our hero!

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