” Hello from Editor Des. Well I’ve been allowed to introduce this little blog, even though I still struggle to read, which is a bit of problem for an assistant editor. BUT, I can recite the alphabet backwards, so that’s something!” Over to you Pauline…”.
Thank you Desmond. I just hope you will soon learn to use those 26 letters in a more meaningful manner….ha ha.
I’ve always loved reading and libraries, even though I (like every other child I knew) was terrified of Miss Andrews, elderly custodian of the Lady Clark Children’s Library in my Tasmanian home town of Ulverstone. Once I lost Marmalade the Cat and Miss Andrews sent an overdue notice to my parents, It was a dreadful worry; worse than losing my school jumper. The book eventually turned up under my bed, covered in fluff. I can’t remember whether I ever found the jumper.
Eventually I worked in libraries myself. Oddly enough, I spent a year or so in the Ulverstone library , where I was a pale shadow of Miss Andrews! No-one appeared to be the slightest bit frightened of me. When I told certain children they had to pay a fine they would say: ‘Try and make me!’ and saunter off. Afterwards I would discover terrible words scribbled in the pages. But there were lovely little kids too, who made it all worthwhile and loved The Giant Jam Sandwich as much as I thought they should.
My favourite book when I was growing up actually belonged to my sister. It had a black cover with a rainbow and was called; Coles’ Funny Picture Book . In retrospect it was very politically incorrect ….I remember there were pictures of thrashing machines for naughty boys and such like.
Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree was another favourite (aso one of Robbie’s) And I adored Norman Lindsay’s The Magic Pudding too (a birthday present to Robbie). Hmm, bit of a pattern emerging here. But what child could fail to love a book which included the rhyme:
‘Eat away, chew away; munch and bolt and guzzle,
Never leave the table till you’re full up to the muzzle!’
Perhaps I didn’t have any books, being the fourth and extremely deprived child. No wonder I had to read The Weekly Tines and grew up knowing so much about bloating in cows and what to do if a chook’s egg bag fell out. Only joking, I had lots of books really.
My mother read to us too…what bliss. Generations of children have enjoyed this pleasure;
To be honest, I wanted to write this piece just so I could share the following creation by the miniaturist Kiva Atkinson;
Isn’t it magical? Two examples of Kiva’s work appear in my book All Along the River; Tales From the Thames. You can see more of her quirky creations at: http://www.kivasminiatures.com Happy reading everyone!
There is another story about reading on this site. Just click here.
And finally, here is a message from Miss Andrews herself, now issuing books and overdue notices in that great library in the sky;
“EXCUSE ME….PLEASE DO NOT SCRIBBLE OR DRAW RUDE PICTURE IN LIBRARY BOOKS, ESPECIALLY THOSE WRITTEN BY PAULINE CONOLLY”
DO LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW AND LET ME KNOW WHAT YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK WAS WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD.